16 Wasp Repellent Plants to Grow in Your Garden

Summer marks the time when a lot of beautiful plants bloom, which creates the perfect conditions to enjoy some quality time in your garden. The problem is, summer is also the time when wasps are most active and ready to sting.

As a result, you might be interested in having some wasp repellent plants in your garden to ward them off, and that’s where this guide comes in handy!

Today, we’ll walk you through a brief guide of the best options that you can grow to keep your garden wasp free. Let’s check them out!

1. Lemongrass

Lemongrass is one of the most effective plants when it comes to repelling a wide variety of insects and pests, according to various studies.

What’s great about lemongrass is that it originally belongs to the grasses family, so they won’t stand out in your garden if you like to enjoy an uninterrupted stretch of land.

The lemongrass oil is the plant’s secret weapon, which contains several active ingredients, such as Geranial and neral (mainly) as well as geraniol and citronellol (to a limited extent).

2. Citronella

Bush close up of mosquitoes repellent citronella

As previously mentioned, citronellol is one of the active ingredients responsible for repelling wasps. 

This ingredient isn’t found in abundance in lemongrass. However, it’s actually one of the main active ingredients in citronella.

Citronella is close relative to lemongrass, but they’re still two different species and have different percentages of similar active ingredients. 

According to a 2013 study that was conducted to test the efficacy of citronella, it was among the plants that release effective oils to repel wasps.

3. Clove

Clove is another excellent choice to consider if you want to repel various insects and pests, all the while enjoying a tasty spice for marinades and meat rubs!

The flower buds in clove trees produce an essential oil that has a characteristic scent that repels wasps and is even used as an insecticide.

In addition to being a tasty spice and an effective insect repellent, clove also has many health benefits, such as preventing toothache, fighting specific types of inflammation, and more!

Also Check: 9 Purple Flowers That Look Like Bells

4. Geranium

Geranium, also known as “Crane’s Bill” is a large genus of flowering plants that is originally native to the Mediterranean region.

According to various studies, Geranium essential oil was found to be a potent insect repellent that is also capable of keeping various species of wasps at bay.

Geranium releases its natural oils into the air through its leaves, which is a rosy, citrusy smell with spicy accents. 

Additionally, geranium flowers are remarkably beautiful and vibrantly colored, which bloom in spring and last until late fall!

5. Wintergreen

American wintergreen flowers and berries

Wintergreen is one of the most aromatic plants out there, and you’ll immediately characterize its powerful scent. 

The oil of wintergreen (methyl salicylate) is used in mint flavored chewing gums and candies as well as ointments and creams to treat muscle aches.

If you like the smell of this plant, you’re in luck, because the vast majority of insects don’t, so it’s like hitting two birds with one stone!

6. Mint

Speaking of minty flavors and scents, another plant that is also highly effective in repelling insects, including wasps, is mint.

The main ingredient in the leaves of mint is menthol, which is an essential oil responsible for the iconic scent of mint. It’s also the ingredient that adds this remarkable flavor of mint to food recipes!

Fresh mint leaves will fill your garden with that scent that will fend off wasps and other insects like mosquitoes and flies. Yet, you should keep in mind that bees will also avoid the minty smell.

7. Sweet Marjoram

Another member of the aromatic mint family that also has some special abilities when it comes to deterring insects is the Sweet Marjoram. The scent of this herb is very close to oregano but slightly milder with woody undertones.

The essential oil of Sweet Marjoram consists of a wide range of natural insecticides, including sinapic acid, hydroxybenzoic acid, ferulic acid, and more!

Related: 10 Purple Flowers That Grow On Trees

8. Rosemary

If you’re interested in growing a plant that can also provide value rather than being just an insect repellent, you might want to consider rosemary for the job.

Rosemary is one of the popular evergreen herbs that are native to the Mediterranean region and is often used as a condiment in food.

The best thing about rosemary as a plant is that it’s remarkably easy to grow and has a pine-like odor that adds a lot of flavor to food. Yet, wasps, as well as many other critters like mosquitoes, simply can’t stand that scent.

9. Chamomile

Chamomile is one of the most beautiful additions to the list, as it originally belongs to the Daisy family of flowers that includes popular flowers like Sunflowers, Gerberas, Asters, and Chrysanthemums.

There are two prominent types of chamomiles out there, which are the German and Roman Chamomile.

Both of them are highly effective as insect repellents and will bloom beautiful flowers. Additionally, you can use them in herbal teas to enjoy their soothing effects.

10. Sage

Essential sage oil in a dark glass bottle decorated with a bunch of freshly gathered green sage leaves

Next up, we have another member of the insect repelling mint family that is highly effective in keeping these insects at bay, according to previously mentioned studies.

Sage is a perennial evergreen herb that has woody stems with purplish clusters of flowers and grayish leaves, so it’ll also look good in your garden during the blooming season from late spring to early summer.

Despite being a part of the mint family, sage doesn’t have a characteristic minty flavor. Instead, it has a mild herbaceous one.

11. Wormwood

Wormwood, also known as “Artemisia”, is one of the popular ornamental plants that is also known for its powerful insect repellent capabilities.

The plant is originally native to Europe and Asia and releases sabinene and sabinyl acetate among other chemicals that have excellent repellent features to insects like wasps.

With that said, you should know that wormwood typically has a negative impact on other plants that surround it, as it typically slows down their growth significantly.

12. Eucalyptus

Technically, eucalyptus is a tree, so it’s only suitable for those who have a large property with a big backyard.

The reason why eucalyptus is on the list is that it has one of the strongest essential oils out there that are known for their ability to linger in the air for a long time, which helps in keeping most insects and pests at bay.

13. Pennyroyal

Pennyroyal, also known as “mosquito plant” or scientifically as “Mentha pulegium”, is another species of the mint family that graces our list.

The leaves of the Pennyroyal plant may not look like anything special if you look at them. However, by crushing the leaves, you’ll get a very powerful scent that is similar to spearmint.

For that reason, the Pennyroyal plant is often used as an insect repellent with capabilities to deter wasps.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that Pennyroyal was also used as an abortifacient in the past, so it can be dangerous to pregnant women.

14. Basil

A gardener's gloved hand planting Basil with a small trowel in a herb garden with rich composted soil.

If you’re into culinary herbs, growing a few pots of basil in your garden will come with a variety of benefits.

On one hand, you can use basil to add a lot of flavor and aroma to food recipes. On the other hand, basil has a unique fragrance that will put off different species of stinging insects, such as wasps and bees.

If you’re planting basil, make sure that you pick its leaves rather than snipping them off to encourage the plant to grow quicker.

15. Thyme

If you’re planning to plant basil in your garden, you might as well grow some thyme pots nearby. 

In addition to being another tasty condiment to add to food, especially when fresh, it’s also a powerful wasp repellent that gives better results when combined with other pest control plants.

One thing to keep in mind here is that thyme requires rich soil, so make sure that you use a good potting mix or enrich your well drained soil with nutrients while keeping its pH neutral.

16. Fennel

Fennel, scientifically known as “Foeniculum vulgare”, is another perennial herb that can be added to your food while also keeping insects and wasps out of your garden.

The plant is also a flowering one, as it blooms small yellow flowers in the months of summer and continues to bloom until early frost.

The main active ingredient in fennel is anethole, which is an essential volatile oil that spreads in the air and has a scent that is hated by flying insects. 

Final Thoughts: Wasp Repellent Plants

There you have it! A brief guide that walks you through the top 16 wasp repellent plants that you can grow in your garden.

One thing you need to know here is that these plants are more effective in making your backyard a non-favorable spot for wasps to land. However, it won’t be enough to get rid of existing wasps.

In other words, if wasps have built a nest around your property, calling a professional wasp exterminator should be your best bet.