Keeping your curb appeal doesn't have to be just for cosmetic reasons. Why not use your curb appeal to also repel unwanted guests. There are many varieties of plants that can repel all sorts of bugs and other animals like cats, dogs, and squirrels and won't cause your lawn or garden to look like a sore.
Plants That Repel Bugs:
Basil- Is a delicious additive to any meal and growing some fresh basil will not only enhance your meal. Basi is a great way to repel house flies and mosquitos. Basil is also hard to grow outside because of its sensitivity to temperature. Did you know that harvesting basil will help it grow and reproduce? Every time you harvest basil, two more stems sprout.
Mint- Planting Mint can repel mosquitoes. If you do decide to grow Mint, I would suggest growing it in a pot because they will spread and cover your whole garden. Mint are hardy plants and can take the cold, but it is best to replant your Mint every few years to keep your harvest the best of quality.
Chrysanthemums- It is not just a great tasting tea! This plant is known to repel roaches, ants, ticks, silverfish, lice, fleas, bedbugs, spider mites. What makes chrysanthemum so effective is something called pyrethrum. Many common insecticides use Pyrethrum in them. WARNING! It can be harmful to humans, so do your research before deciding on these beautiful flowers.
Marigolds- The smell of marigolds repels aphids, mosquitoes, and rabbits. Marigolds can help the growth of other plants in your garden so planting them sporadically is a good choice. Marigolds are easy to grow, but only if you have high temperatures and sunny skies where you live.
Petunias- Such beautiful and colorful flowers can be found almost everywhere and anywhere. The variety of colors available will add color and life to your garden while repelling aphids, tomato hornworms, asparagus beetles, leafhoppers and squash bugs. Petunias are low maintenance plants so no green thumb required as long as you place them in a sunny location.
Plants That Repel Cats
Lavender- These beautiful looking and smelling plants are just not attractive to cats. Cats can not take the smell of these plants. Not only does the smell keep them away, but also because of how tall they grow. Cats usually will not jump over something if they can not see what is on the other side. Because lavender grows taller than most plants, it is best to plant them behind your other flowers so they don't cover the rest of your garden.
Eucalyptus- Cats have a very high sensitivity when it comes to smell. Eucalyptus is just one of those scents they tend to avoid. A problem with this natural repellent is that it is known to be toxic to animals because eucalyptus has a very powerful disinfectant naturally. If cats do ingest this plant it can lead to salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and seizures. So think twice before considering to plant this.
Coeus Canina- Is a great plant to grow in sunny or shady places, but won't survive in the cold. They are great plants that are low maintenance. The con to having this plant around is that they aren't the best smelling plants to keep near your window or doors. Cats hate the smell of this plant.
Rue Graveolens- Like the other plants the smell of this plant can repel cats. However, these plants can grow 2-3 feet tall. Pulling them behind your shorter flowers is the best thing to do. Not only can they grow and cover your other flowers, but touching them is a bad idea. If you do come into contact with this plant, it can cause your skin to blister. If you have young children, I would avoid placing them in easy to reach places.
Lemon Balm- Cats avoid this citrus smelling plant. They can be placed anywhere to deter cats from using your garden as a litter box. Lemon balm is also great to make tea and summer time drinks with. However, there is a downside. Lemon Balm can keep cats away but attracts bees.
Plants That Repel Dogs
Lemon Grass- Some dogs will avoid this and others will eat your lemon grass. If you notice that some of your lemon grass is gone, chances are the dog ate it. Dogs aren't made to digest plants and eating too much lemon grass can cause lemon grass poisoning. If you notice abdominal pain, fever, vomiting in your canine you should consult your vet.
Thorny plants- For example Roses, Cactus, Aloe vera. These thorny plants will keep your dogs away because they won't want to be poked by the thorns on the plants. However, having these plants around means that you should tread carefully around your garden as well. If you have young children this might not be the best option because they could hurt themselves if they touch the plant. Another problem is during the colder months these plants will not survive because they need a lot of sunlight to thrive.
Citrus Plants- Lemons and Oranges, for example, give off a smell that is unpleasant to dogs. Sometimes this is a hit or miss because some dogs enjoy eating these acidic fruits. So if you see your dog indulging on something acidic, you will have to keep your dog away from the plant because it is known to be harmful to dogs. Some symptoms you might notice after your dog eats too many acidic fruits are diarrhea, throwing up and light sensitivity.
Mustard Plant- Dogs try to avoid the smell of the Mustard plant. This plant, if consumed by your dog can be toxic. If you notice your dog vomiting or having diarrhea you should consult your vet because they may have consumed mustard seeds.
Rosemary- Dogs try to stay away from rosemary and if they do eat it, it is not toxic if digested in small amounts. Rosemary is known to help a dog's digestive system. Again small amounts because if it is consumed in large amounts it can cause your dog to vomit or have diarrhea. So if your dog gets a little taste of your rosemary, he will surely be cleaning out his system that day.
Plants that repel Squirrels
Daffodils- Not only will they keep away squirrels, they keep away rabbits and deer. What keeps them away is the smell. Daffodils come in 3 different colors, yellow, orange, and white. To grow these beautiful flowers they need a sufficient amount of sunlight and warm temperatures.
Alliums- These flowers come in five different colors which are purple, white, yellow, pink, and blue. They produce a strong smell and taste that repels squirrels because they are part of the onion family. There are different types of alliums, which means you can have beautiful flowers throughout the seasons.
Galanthus- These beautiful raindrop shaped flowers are a great addition to your garden and will keep the squirrels away with their smell. They are best plants under trees because they dry out quickly. So make sure you water them frequently.
Fritillaries- They have patterns that include the colors maroon, red, purple and white. Squirrels avoid the smell of these plants and whats great is that these plants do great in rock gardens. These cute flowers grow in an upside down manner and look like a drooping flower.
Geraniums- These flowers need six to eight hours of sunlight. They grow well in summer temperatures. They look like pom poms made out of flowers. They stand no chance against the frost so make sure to plant them after the cold months have ended.
Although these plants are known to repel, they are not fool proof. They might not eliminate your pests, but they can surely lessen the amount you have in your garden. Tom Crimmins Realty hopes that this information was useful to you. If you ever have any questions about selling, buying or renting we hope you call us at (718) 370-3200.