Flowers and Herbs That Repel Pests
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Robin
Posted on: February 4, 2003 Answered by: Conrad Richter


I love your website and have just placed my first order with your company. Being new at gardening I appreciate all of the wonderful information available on your website.

I want to plant flowers and herbs that will keep the insects and pests out of my garden. Please give me a few suggestions.

Marigolds and chives are commonly planted in gardens to repel insects. Chives are popular around roses to repel aphids. Lemon thyme and citrosa geranium are said to repel mosquitos. Organic Gardening magazine has a list of twelve plant combinations that they recommend (http://www.organicgardening.com/library/companion_planting.html) including dill with cabbage to control cabbageworms and catnip with collards to control flea beetles. There are also books on companion planting such as "Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening" (formerly published as "Carrots Love Tomatoes") published by Garden Way Publishing.

While there is some research to back up anecdotal claims that herbs and other plants can help reduce pest problems, the protection provided is never enough to eliminate pest problems completely. At best companion planting is a part of an overall strategy to control pests, together with other measures such as keeping weeds (which act as breeding grounds for pests) down, use of insect barriers such as netting and walls, traps, natural pesticides, etc.

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