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11 Amazing Plants That Repel Bees and Wasps

11 Amazing Plants That Repel Bees and Wasps

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Since childhood, we’ve been taught that flowers and bees share a special relationship. In return for pollination, flowers provide bees with nectar and pollen, essential for their survival. 

But despite their crucial roles in nature, you might not want bees and wasps hanging out in your yard for a couple of reasons. For instance, some types of bees, like the buff-tailed bumblebee, are notorious for stealing nectar without pollinating the flowers. 

Buff-Tailed Bumblebee

These bees, known as nectar robbers, cause tissue damage to the plants and make them work twice as hard to replace the lost nectar for other bees. This takes a heavy toll on the plants and, in severe cases, may cause them to die.

Of course, there’s also the threat of bee and wasp stings, which can prevent you and your kids from enjoying time outdoors. This can be especially bad if someone in your family is allergic to bee stings. Fortunately, with the addition of a few plants to your garden, you can repel bees from the area and say hello to more fun in the sun!

Planting cucumber, mint, marigolds, basil, and eucalyptus, among others, is a natural and effective way to keep winged visitors at bay without harsh chemicals. As a bonus, they add a refreshing scent and a pop of color to your garden and can also be used in your salads.

Stick around as I’m about to highlight some of the many plants that can help repel bees and wasps from your garden the natural way!

1 – Cucumber

Cucumber Plant

The cool and refreshing cucumber is one of the most popular repellant plants that would make a fine addition to any garden.

In addition to keeping bees and wasps away from your property, cucumber is a low-maintenance plant and an excellent vegetable to use on your summer salads!

Both bees and wasps dislike the bitter and acidic substance in cucumber peels, so they usually steer clear of this plant. 

You can plant cucumber seeds in a bed to get fresh produce for your cocktails and snacks, or you can just spread the peels all over your garden.

One thing to note about these plants is that they’re tropical. To thrive, they need considerable moisture and a warm environment.

2 – Basil

Basil is another fantastic choice for your garden because it does a great job of repelling pests and insects while also being a valuable resource in the kitchen.

This versatile herb is a key ingredient in many dishes, and its rich aroma really livens things up when you mix it with your soups and sauces.

Humans love the basil plant’s natural fragrance, but the same can’t be said for wasps and bees! These tiny winged creatures don’t appreciate the smell and tend to fly far away.

Ideally, you should place the basil in a sunny spot that receives up to 8 hours of light a day. The minimum sunlight required by the basil plant’s deep green leaves is six hours.

Plus, basil needs the right environment to grow healthily and happily. Ensure the soil remains moist but well-drained to prevent the plant from getting infected with root rot.

3 – Marigolds


Herbs and vegetables aren’t the only plants that can repel bugs and bees! Now, let’s talk about the colorful marigold, an attractive flower that will fit easily into any garden space.

Marigolds aren’t the best at keeping honeybees at bay, but a considerable amount of anecdotal evidence from experienced gardeners shows that their strong, spicy scent is effective in repelling wasps, pests, and aphids. 

Marigold flowers are hardy, fast-growing, and easy to care for, making it an excellent option for beginners. They’re also inexpensive and readily available from almost any nursery. 

If your garden needs a wasp repellant, some curb appeal, and a dash of color, a bright bunch of marigolds might do the trick!

4 – Geraniums

Bright, bold, and beautiful geraniums, especially red ones, are incredibly helpful in repelling bees! 

Bees can’t see the color red. In fact, darker shades, like red, appear black to bees. Since black indicates the absence of color, bees aren’t naturally attracted to flowers with red or dark hues.

Geraniums also have an unmistakable fragrance that drives the stinging creatures away. Their pretty flowers contain little to no pollen, which further helps them repel bees and wasps. 

Sun-loving geraniums usually require at least 4 hours of sunlight a day, though 6 hours is highly recommended. In hot weather, outdoor geraniums may need daily watering.

You should transport them inside on cold nights to prevent exposure to extreme temperatures. Consider planting the geranium in pots and placing them around the garden.

5 – Mint

Potted Mint Plant

Humans just can’t get enough of mint. It’s a staple in cuisines worldwide and is frequently used in toothpaste, air fresheners, perfumes, and ice cream flavors—you name it! 

Mint also adds greenery and a cooling effect to your garden. Its leaves can be used in a refreshing glass of lemonade. 

However, bees and wasps aren’t fond of the minty fresh smell that we adore, making mint the perfect natural bee and bug repellent

The strongest and most effective varieties to grow are spearmint and peppermint. Note that mint plants like a bit of shade, so it’s not necessary for you to keep them out in direct sunlight. 

It’s also worth mentioning that mint tends to grow rapidly. When left unattended, the plant can quickly take over your entire garden. Consider growing them in large pots and containers and trimming them regularly to keep things under control.

6 – Eucalyptus

Koala bears are famous for their love of the eucalyptus plant. Meanwhile, stinging critters such as wasps and bees absolutely hate it. They can’t stand the overpowering aroma of its scented leaves, which have eucalyptus oil in them. 

Eucalyptus oil is a natural bug repellent that is also effective at warding off mosquitoes and other biting insects. 

You can take advantage of eucalyptus’ repelling powers by growing it in your sunporch, greenhouse, or garden during the summer. 

This evergreen plant needs lots of light and is well suited to southern climates. It’s easy to maintain and drought-tolerant, so you might want to let the soil dry a bit before you water it.

Another benefit of eucalyptus is that it can make your home smell amazing. Just cut up a couple of sprigs, position them on a vase indoors, and enjoy the lovely fragrance!

7 – Wormwood


The charming wormwood plant isn’t just popular for its lush silvery green leaves and signature scent. It also contains a special substance known as absinthe, which is toxic to most insects.

Wormwood’s pungent scent alerts all stinging critters of potential danger, like wasps and bees, so you won’t find them buzzing around these repellant plants at all!

Did you know that the wind mainly pollinates the wormwood plant? It has little to offer to hungry visitors, giving them no reason to stick around in your yard.

To ensure that your wormwood grows healthily, ensure that it has plenty of exposure to direct sunlight and well-draining soil.

You need to be a bit careful in planting wormwood because its absinthe content can kill nearby plants. It’s best to grow this plant on its own in a special pot in your garden.

8 – Pennyroyal

Pennyroyal may be a slightly unconventional choice for a garden, but it delivers on its purpose of keeping bees and wasps away. Its strong, minty aroma is a powerful insect repellent.

What’s special about the pennyroyal is that it’s one of the smaller plants you’ll come across. It only grows around 6 to 12 inches in height, making it perfect for container gardening!

You can keep your pots and planters in different parts of your garden to keep the bees at bay. Other options include growing pennyroyal in garden beds or on window baskets as ornaments.

If you have extra containers, pennyroyal is also beneficial to keep indoors to repel mosquitos. You can also rub its crushed leaves on your mosquito bites to soothe swelling and irritation.

Pennyroyal doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, and it’s easy to plant as well. Remember to water the plant regularly because it’s prone to drying out.

9 – Pitcher Plant

Pitcher Plant

On the outside, pitcher plants may look like regular garden flowers—but the way these plants work to control your bee and wasp population may surprise you!

Instead of using its scent to repel winged visitors, the pitcher plant is a carnivorous plant that traps and ingests insects inside its flowers and uses them as a source of nutrition. 

The pitcher plant lures different kinds of insects, including wasps, bees, ants, beetles, and flies. Its flowers have a slippery texture that causes critters to fall into a pool of water and drown.

Through enzymes, pitcher plants are able to ingest insects as a whole. This kind of plant is a bit tricky to care for—they need full and direct sunlight and only tolerate rainwater or distilled water.

Avoid watering your pitcher plant with bottled, filtered, or tap water. The excessive amount of minerals in these types of water can be harmful to the plant.

10 – Citronella

Citronella is primarily known for being a natural, safe, and fast-acting mosquito repellent, but it’s also capable of deterring yellow jackets and wasps from buzzing around your property!

This plant has a lovely lemony citrus fragrance to sweeten your home’s scent and luscious green leaves that’ll enhance your garden and look great in any pot or planter.

In addition to being a repellant, did you know that citronella is a culinary herb as well? You can use it in teas, desserts, and salads. You can also dry its leaves and use them as a potpourri.

Citronella’s cheerful scent also has mood-lifting effects that can help you fight fatigue. The oil from citronella is an essential oil with stress-relieving and relaxing properties.

The best part about growing citronella is that it thrives indoors and outdoors as long as you plant it in well-draining soil and provide at least 6 hours of bright sunshine daily.

11 – Lemongrass

You can add tall, green, and graceful lemongrass to your list of plants that turn off stinging bees and wasps. This versatile grass is a highly useful addition to your garden. 

It’s a tasty herb that adds a zing of flavor to your soups and salads. It’s also a low-maintenance garden ornament that adds appeal to your backyard. Plus, it’s a powerful insect repellant!

There are two ways to grow lemongrass: You can start with seeds or buy older and more mature plants at your local gardening center or nursery.

Lemongrass thrives year-round in tropical climates that are warm and sunny. Keep it in tip-top shape by watering to keep the soil moist yet well-draining.

Note that lemongrass can be toxic to your pets, and the oils in this plant can cause skin irritation or an upset stomach. 

Final Thoughts

Bees and wasps are nature’s excellent pollinators, helping plants grow, flourish, and multiply. 

However, the presence of these winged friends in your backyard can be potentially harmful to pets, little kids, and people who are allergic to bee stings.

By adding a few repellant plants to your garden, in hanging baskets, window planters, flower pots, or flowerbeds, you can have a safer and more enjoyable experience outdoors.

Unlike pest control solutions or chemical sprays, the plants on our list are a natural and effective way of keeping bees and wasps away—without harming the critters or the environment!

If you notice a beehive or a wasp nest developing in your home or garden, don’t try to remove it on your own. It’s best to call your local pest control services and let the experts take care of it.

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