The cockroach is one of the nastiest insects to discover in your home. It spreads germs wherever it goes, and has a way of eluding your attempts to eliminate it. Fortunately, many plants that repel roaches, keeping them out of your vegetable garden, yard, and house.
There are various forms of pest control that work well to get rid of cockroaches, from commercial insecticides to diatomaceous earth. However, we do not always have the time to treat the area for pests, and some products spread harmful chemicals. This is when nature comes in handy with plants that repel bugs.
While we usually grow veggies and herbs for the kitchen and flowers for their beauty, some plants repel cockroaches. These insect-repellent plants are perfect for growing in the garden or as a house plant, and they deter everything from flying insects and spider mites to palmetto bugs and cockroaches.
- Keeping Roaches at Bay with Bug-Repelling Plants
- What are Cockroach Repellent Plants?
- Are Plants that Deter Roaches Easy to Grow?
- Do Roach Deterrent Plants Keep Other Pests Away?
- Where is the Best Place to Grow Insect Repellent Plants?
- Citronella (Pelargonium graveolens Citrosa)
- Mint (Mentha) – Minty Plants That Repel Roaches
- Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus)
- Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum) – Flowers that Deter Cockroaches
- Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
- Garlic (Allium sativum) – Edible Plants that Keep Roaches Away
- Bay Leaf Plant (Laurus nobilis)
- Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) – Indoor Plant that Eliminates Roaches
- Osage Orange Tree (Maclura pomifera)
- Lavender (Lavandula) – Aromatic Herb that Repels Cockroaches
- Lemongrass (Cymbopogon)
- Nasturtium (Tropaeolum) – Repelling Roaches with Colorful Blooms
- Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus)
- Pyrethrum (Pyrethrum) – Daisy-Like Flower that Keeps Roaches at Bay
- Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes)
Keeping Roaches at Bay with Bug-Repelling Plants
A natural way to keep your home and yard safe from a roach infestation is with plants that deter roaches. Not only that, but they keep other harmful pests away while drawing beneficial insects. Learn about different cockroach repellent plants and their growing habits to help you choose the perfect plant for your area.
If you have a persistent roach problem, make a cockroach killer with vinegar and use along with your roach-repellent plants for even more effectiveness. Vinegar is a great way to get rid of roaches overnight or on the spot.
What are Cockroach Repellent Plants?
Many plants keep cockroaches away, and they work by emitting a scent that this common pest hates. While herbal plants like mint and rosemary, and flowers, such as lavender, chrysanthemums, and nasturtiums, are attractive to us, roaches avoid areas where they grow.
Are Plants that Deter Roaches Easy to Grow?
Once you know what plants repel roaches, it’s time to start planting. Fortunately, most of these plants are simple to grow, as long as you plant them in the proper soil type and provide them with the right amount of sunshine. However, it’s essential to understand which plants thrive in your hardiness zone since some varieties do not tolerate cold temperatures.
Do Roach Deterrent Plants Keep Other Pests Away?
Cockroaches are not the only troublesome insect that we wish to deter. Luckily, plants that deter roaches keep other yard and home pests away from the area. For example, citronella is famous for repelling everything from the roach to the mosquito, while garlic deters cockroaches, flies, aphids, armyworms, slugs, and beetles.
Where is the Best Place to Grow Insect Repellent Plants?
There are many good places to grow cockroach repellent plants. Pick an area that provides the plants with adequate sunshine throughout the growing season. Plant them near outdoor seating areas and gardens and around the perimeter of your house to keep the pests from heading inside, or consider growing them as a houseplant indoors.
Citronella (Pelargonium graveolens Citrosa)
Citronella is one of the more popular plants for repelling roaches and other insects. The plant releases a citrus scent the many bugs hate. Plant it in an outdoor setting, crush the foliage to emit the smell, or process them for the essential oils.
This fast-growing annual is a member of the geranium family and is a vigorous grower in part shade and rich soil that drains well. It flourishes in warm, humid areas.
Mint (Mentha) – Minty Plants That Repel Roaches
Mint is a well-loved herb with many uses, and roaches cannot tolerate the strong menthol smell of the leaves. There are many mint types, from peppermint and spearmint to chocolate mint, and they are all good choices for growing in a bed, containers, or a kitchen windowsill.
This perennial herb grows 12 to 18 inches tall, with an 18 to 24-inch spread, depending on the variety. It thrives in light partial shade or full sun and loamy, moist, well-drained soil.
Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus)
Rosemary has a strong herbal fragrance that drives cockroaches away, and it’s easy to grow in the herb garden or indoors in a container. Run your hands over the delicate, pine needle-like leaves to release the scent to repel insects, or use them in your favorite recipe.
This herb is perennial in hardiness zones 8 through 10 and annual in colder regions. It prefers full sun and acidic to neutral soil and grows 2 to 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide, depending on the type.
Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum) – Flowers that Deter Cockroaches
For a flowering plant with vibrant blooms that is also a roach repellent plant, chrysanthemums are an excellent choice. They produce Pyrethrin that kills and deters harmful insects while attracting the butterfly, a beneficial insect.
This herbaceous perennial grows 2 to 3 feet tall in hardiness zones 3 through 9. It grows ideally in sunny areas and enjoys rich, moist soil, producing colorful flowers late summer through fall.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
While this plant is an all-time favorite among cats, it deters various pests from the area, including cockroaches, ants, weevils, fleas, and mosquitoes. Catnip has a strong smell, and it produces a chemical called nepetalactone, which has potent bug-repelling qualities.
Catnip is one of the simplest herbs to grow, and its clump-forming growth reaches 2 to 3 feet tall. This perennial herb flourishes in hardiness zones 3 through 7, and it spreads quickly if not kept in check.
Garlic (Allium sativum) – Edible Plants that Keep Roaches Away
While we enjoy adding garlic to soups and dressings, it has a pungent smell that is excellent for repelling cockroaches, cabbage moths, Japanese beetles, and other annoying insects, as well as being plants to keep moles away. Grow garlic plants as a border around the home and garden, or use them to make a bug spray.
Garlic plants are close relatives to onions. They grow a firm bulb of fragrant cloves beneath the ground and grass-like leaves above ground, reaching 12 to 18 inches tall. This sun-loving veggie grows well in slightly acidic to neutral soil, and it is toxic to animals, so caution is necessary.
Bay Leaf Plant (Laurus nobilis)
The bay leaf plant, or Bay Laurel, grows nicely as an outdoor plant or house plant. While we love using it as a spice, roaches cannot tolerate the scent of its foliage and its bitter-tasting leaves. They are plants that repel ants and termites, too. It grows quite large outdoors, but a potted plant only reaches 4 to 6 feet tall.
This broadleaf evergreen tree tolerates full sun or partial shade and many soil types. It is a slow grower and hardy in zones 8 through 10, producing pale yellow flowers from late spring to early summer and attracting pollinators and beneficial insects.
Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) – Indoor Plant that Eliminates Roaches
The Venus fly trap is an excellent indoor plant for killing various insect pests, including cockroaches. However, the bug must be small enough to fit inside the trap. This carnivorous plant is a fun plant to grow; the modified leaves form a lure and trap for capturing pests.
Venus fly traps are perennial, and they grow ideally indoors, although they are hardy in zones 5 through 8. Depending on the container size, they grow 6 to 12 inches tall and 6 to 9 inches wide and produce white flowers in the spring and summer.
Osage Orange Tree (Maclura pomifera)
The osage orange, or hedge apple, is an odd-looking shrub, producing a rotten smell that lures roaches. The green and bumpy, inedible fruit contains natural pesticide juices. Once the insects bite into the fruit’s flesh, it emits a citrus scent that drives them away.
This deciduous tree or shrub grows 35 to 70 feet tall and is hardy in zones 4 through 9. It has dense, rot-resistant wood with bark that excretes a milk-like sap, and its branches are armed with thorns.
Lavender (Lavandula) – Aromatic Herb that Repels Cockroaches
This flowering herb is famous for its long stems of purple flowers and delicate, calming fragrance. However, it has other uses, and that’s keeping the roach, tomato hornworm, asparagus beetle, and other pests at bay with its essential oil. The lavender flowers that keep cats away serve as a natural insect repellent. While it needs some TLC, it’s relatively straightforward to grow in a bed or patio pot.
Lavender is a herbaceous perennial that grows 2 to 3 feet tall and wide in hardiness zones 5 through 9. It prefers alkaline, well-draining soil and full sun and produces flowers throughout the summer. As a bonus, lavender makes up a group of plants chipmunks hate. Rabbits don’t like it much either.
Lemongrass contains high levels of citronella, making it one of the most effective plants for repelling roaches, as well as being the best plants to repel yellow jackets. Grow it around the outside of your home to keep insects away, or hang it in kitchen pots as an herb for cooking.
This ornamental plant is perennial in zones 10 and 11 and annual everywhere else. Lemongrass grows 2 to 4 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide in an outdoor setting and thrives in full sun. However, it is toxic to pets, and caution is required.
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum) – Repelling Roaches with Colorful Blooms
Nasturtiums are your best option if you love growing bright and colorful blossoms while keeping roaches, whiteflies, beetles, cabbage loopers, aphids, and squash bugs away. These flowering plants produce stunning red, orange, white, yellow, and pink flowers from spring through fall and are ideal for edging and containers.
These annual plants are perennial in zones 9 through 11, and they trail 1 to 10 feet, with a 1 to 3-foot spread. They are tolerant of all soil types and prefer growing in sunny areas.
Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus)
Believe it or not, cucumbers are another great plant for deterring cockroaches. Something about the smell of these veggies causes the insects to search for better places to scavenge and planting them rewards you with a bountiful harvest at the end of the season.
There are many cucumber types, from slicing and pickling to burpless and seedless, and they all enjoy growing in part shade to full sun in acidic to neutral soil. Plant them after the last frost and watch as they fill a trellis with yellow flowers and fruits while keeping the roach population in check.
Pyrethrum (Pyrethrum) – Daisy-Like Flower that Keeps Roaches at Bay
Pyrethrums look almost identical to daisies, and they are considered the deadliest plant in the insect world. The oil of this plant is a common insecticide that shuts down an insect’s nervous system, and it keeps roaches and other bugs away. The flowers bloom in white, pink, and red shades with a yellow center from late spring through early summer.
This perennial flourishes in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 7, and it requires well-drained, rich soil for healthy development. They grow 1 to three feet tall, bloom best during the second and third years, and often need replacing after the fifth year.
Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes)
Pitcher plants are carnivorous like the Venus fly trap, devouring whatever bugs they capture. The pitcher plant traps the insect in a slippery pitcher-shaped flower, where they drown and become plant food, and they are not as easy to grow as the common fly trap.
There are many pitcher plant types, ranging in color, size, and shape. They are perennial and hardy in zones 3 through 11, depending on the variety. Some like part to full shade, while others prefer full sun, and they eat everything from ants and wasps to cockroaches.
As strange as it seems, the very same plants that we find appealing deter the German cockroach, mosquito, carrot fly, flea beetle, and other nasty bugs and are perfect for growing around the house. Some of these plants provide beauty with their colorful blooms, while others add flavor to your favorite dishes, and they are all fairly simple to grow.
Now that you know how to create a roach-free barrier around your home with plants that repel roaches, why not share our cockroach repellent plants with your family and friends on Facebook and Pinterest?