15 Best Plants That Repel Roaches

Last Updated on April 2, 2024 by Kimberly Crawford

Roaches are a real home nuisance, and this is not just because they are always on the run, hiding, leaving their eggshells for you to sweep but also because they bring in along with their trails, bacteria that contaminates food, meets skin, and causes diseases. Other than this, some people have developed phobia for roaches, so it is imperative that they be eliminated from the home. 

You have a choice to not always resort to harmful chemicals to exterminate roaches. Sometimes, all it takes to deter roaches is to have a plant that they fear, and this post features a list of what plants you can choose from to do this job. 

Related: How to Get Rid of Cockroaches and Keep Them Away

best plants that repel roaches

15 plants that repel roaches 

Having natural alternatives like roach repellent plants are handy solutions to roach control. So, without much fuss, let us look at some of the best plant choices for repelling roaches. 

1. Catnip

1 plants that repel roaches catnip

This is not just a cat favorite and a great border plant, but it also deters a whole range of pests and insects including roaches, weevils, bugs, ants, mosquitoes, and fleas. The strong, pungent smell of catnip and the chemical nepetalactone are what makes it potent as a roach repellent. 

2. Bay leaves

2 plants that repel roaches bay leaves

Having a bay leaf plant inside the home or in the herb garden is not just beneficial for your supply of spices but also in keeping roaches, mice, and bugs off the home. Roaches hate bay leaves because of its smell and its bitter tasting leaves. You can also use dry bay leaves to repel roaches. 

Related: Natural Tick Repellent: 8 Plants That Repel Ticks

3. Chrysanthemum

3 plants that repel roaches chrysanthemum

This colorful, beautiful landscape plant is helpful in repelling roaches and a lot of pesky insects. It has a strong citrus and musky smell that roaches do not love. It also contains a chemical substance which confuses snakes and rodents. These are the reasons why this plant is a garden must-have. 

Related: Top 7 Incredible Plants that Repel Ants

4. Citronella

4 plants that repel roaches citronella

It may appear as ordinary, long grass, but it sure has a wide range of repelling properties. Its strong, citrus scent and fine, yet serrated edges, strip roaches and other insects a chance to make a full-blown infestation. You can plant citronella in garden beds or process it for essential oils and spray. 

Related: 14 Companion Planting Herbs to Repel Pests (From Anise to Wormwood)

5. Garlic

5 plants that repel roaches garlic plant

This all-around spice is also an all-around roach, insect, and snake repellent. Its pungent smell confuses roaches of food sources but as soon as they munch into it, they get irritated and would run away.

If you have a roach infestation in your home, make sure to plant garlic in your herb garden and have them around in the home, even if they are just cloves or peels. 

Related: 20+ Plants That Repel Snakes

6. Mint

6 plants that repel roaches mint plant

This is another well-loved herb and spice that roaches hate. It has a strong menthol and quite citrusy smell which makes it a good plant for roach control. It is overwhelming for roaches so they tend to run away from it. Have them as container plants and place them in the kitchen. Also, scatter mint leaves where roaches thrive. 

7. Nasturtium

7 plants that repel roaches nasturtium plant

Its common name trap crop lives up to its name because it traps baby roaches as well as mites, bugs, aphids, and moths in its leaves. As a popular flowering plant, you would not be hard up in placing it in your garden. 

8. Cucumber

8 plants that repel roaches cucumber plant

Up to now, many of us still do not understand how the smell of peeled cucumber is repellent to roaches. But no natural roach control list is assembled without mentioning cucumbers.

You can plant them in the garden but for instant effect, you can shred the peels and distribute them in roach nests. 

Related: 17 Best Plants That Repel Wasps And Bees

9. Osage orange

9 plants that repel roaches osage orange

This odd-looking shrub is another staple when it comes to roach control. This one repels roaches in an interesting way. Its rotten smell lures the roaches around it but once they bite into the flesh, the citrus smell of the fruit kills them off. This shrub grows extensively in the countryside and goes by the name of hedge apple. 

10. Pyrethrum

10 plants that repel roaches pyrethrum daisies

This one is a beautiful border plant that looks like the crossover of daisies and marigold. This one is packed with pyrethrin which is basically the substance that is added to insecticides and commercial roach repellents.

As such, having this in your garden or as a container plant saves you money and offers a more environment friendly way to control roach infestation. 

11. Lemongrass

3 plants repel snakes lemongrass

A lot of people would not know this but lemongrass contains the highest level of citronella among all citrus plants. This makes it one of the most if not the most effective roach repellent in this list.

Citronella is another important substance that is infused in insecticides and roach repellents. Have this in the garden or hang it in pots in the kitchen since it is also used as herb for savory meals. 

Related: Natural Flea Repellents: 17 Plants That Repel Fleas

12. Basil

12 plants that repel roaches basil

The list for roach repellent herbs does not just stop and basil is another one of them. It is a must in pasta, salads, and other dishes but it is also a must in the kitchen and the garden because roaches do not love its minty, citrusy smell. They are best to place in windowsills or near the door because flies and mosquitoes are also not fans of this herb. 

13. Lavender

13 plants that repel roaches lavender

We all love the subtle scent of the lavender which in reverse, is everything that roaches hate about this plant. You can have them as container plants and place them in all possible roach niches around the home.

You can also make essential oils out of it and then keep the home lavender scented through humidifiers. It also repels mosquitoes, fleas, and rodents so it should be good to have lavender pots around the home. 

14. Marigold

14 plants that repel roaches marigold

This one also has high citronella concentrations, repelling not just roaches but also rodents, snakes, rabbits, mosquitoes, and fleas. Other than that, its flashy colors and low maintenance nature also make them one of the best border and accent plants in gardens. 

15. Rosemary

15 plants that repel roaches rosemary

This is another herb that we all could not live without because it makes everything aromatic, especially steaks. But in other practical use, rosemary is an effective roach repellent.

It has the same effect on roaches as basil. Hence, you should plant it in the herb garden and have container rosemary in the kitchen as well. 


What smells keep roaches away?

Roaches are easily deterred by strong odors in the home such as those coming from spices like bay leaves, garlic, cinnamon, and peppermint. Generally, they also hate citrus and menthol scents so having essential oils such as eucalyptus, cypress, lemongrass, or tea tree oils around could help in shooing them away. Coffee grounds are also good roach repellents. 

Why do I have roaches in my house? 

These pesky creatures live in damp, cool, and dark places. Any source of moisture at home attracts roaches in. As such, it is essential that you check holes and crevices, leaky pipes, regularly clean the basement and other hard to reach places in the home and do a general cleaning twice a month so that you can control roach infestation in your home. 

Does killing a cockroach attract more? 

Perhaps, we have all heard that killing roach eggs would attract more into the home. This has no scientific basis and must be disproved now. However, forcefully killing roaches might attract more of them inside the home.

This is the reason why commercial roach repellents only work for a certain stretch of time. But planting roach repellent plants can serve as a more sustainable barrier for roaches to stop coming into your home. 

Where do roaches hide in the bedroom? 

Since these pests love cool, dark, and damp places, chances are, they would be hiding underneath the dressers, the cabinets, wall moldings or outlets, piles of dirty clothes, under the bed, etc. If you suspect roach infestation in your bedroom, get a humidifier and pour strong scented essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, or lemongrass.  

At what time of the day are roaches most active?

Roaches are most active at night (and during damp seasons). As such, for pantries to be safe, it is recommended that you should also have container plants of any of the mentioned roach repellent plants here. And then again, you can also scatter shredded leaves and peelings as well as coffee grounds in the areas of the home that you want to seal away from roaches. 

Can roaches destroy soil beds?

While roaches are widely known as indoor pests, they can still destroy soil beds in one way or another.

Since they feed on organic matter, soil beds may be attractive to roaches because of the decaying matter found in organic compost. And when they do feed on them, they take away the nutrients that would supposedly go directly to the plants.


best plants repel roaches

As small as they may seem, the presence of roaches in the home should not be dismissed as inconsequential. There are a lot of reasons why you are seeing hoards of them on a regular basis. But there are natural solutions that you can employ to control roach outbreaks and one of those would be knowing which plants are roach repellents. 

The good thing is most roach repellent plants are easy to grow and are very accessible since they are mostly herbs, and spices, and citrus plants and grasses that are low maintenance and even thrive on neglect.