What type of flower keeps bugs out of the garden?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Angela in Kentucky: Insect control can be a tough battle during the growing season. Knowing which insects are harmful and those that are actually helpful is the first step to preventing harmful infestations. There are some plants that can repel unwanted insects but there are also plants that attract beneficial insects. These beneficial insects prey on pests that can potentially harm our plants. I am not sure what you are trying to deter but here are a few suggestions: marigolds and nasturtium both repel Colorado potato beetles, which tend to be a problem with, of course, potatoes but also eggplant and tomatoes. Marigolds are good for deterring other beetles as well as aphids, which can affect a wide range of plants in the garden. Cornflowers attract ladybugs and beneficial wasps, citronella-scented geraniums repel mosquitoes, and garlic or chives are great for keeping unwanted insects out of the vegetable garden. Dill, fennel, and zinnias are all good for attracting beneficial insects, as well as borage and rue. In general, most herbs have repelling qualities because of their fragrance. Using plant material to deter harmful insects is a great alternative to potentially harmful sprays. Good cultural practices are essential for maintaining a healthy garden. Be sure to weed and keep your beds free of fallen plant litter. Good air circulation is also important for insect control.