Flowers that Deter Pest Insects from Your Vegetable Garden

Raised garden beds with vegetables and flowers

Last Updated April 11, 2023

If you’re looking for a natural way to keep insects away from your vegetable garden, try planting flowers! Studies have shown that planting certain kinds of plants near other plants – or companion planting – can help keep unwanted pests away from your garden without the need for chemicals. In fact, some of our favorite flowers repel insects through fragrance, oils, or even colors. Read on to learn about the best flowers for a vegetable garden that deter pests!


Aster flowers.

The aster is a pretty perennial that works well as a border for vegetable gardens. That’s because asters repel almost all insects. You can plant asters with sunflowers for a colorful effect, or on their own as an effective insect repellent. With the right garden placement, you could keep those unwanted pests far away from your vegetable plants.


Calendula Flowers.

If you want pretty flowers that deter garden pests, you can’t do better than calendula. Calendula flowers may resemble the marigold, but this flower is actually an herb known for its antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Calendula is especially helpful at repelling asparagus beetles and tomato hornworms, and can be planted near almost any kind of vegetable or herb.


Chrysanthemum flowers.

If your garden has an issue with spider mites or nematodes, consider planting chrysanthemums to drive them away. Chrysanthemums are a top choice among flowers that deter pests because they are both colorful and easy to grow. They work best when planted near tomato plants, but avoid planting chrysanthemums near lettuce.


Geranium flowers.

One of the best flowers to protect your cabbage or other leafy greens is geraniums. Geraniums are a favorite flower for their attractive blooms, but they also repel cabbageworms, corn earworms, Japanese beetles, and more. You can plant geraniums among your vegetables or cabbage patch for maximum insect-repelling results.


Lavender field.

To humans, lavender gives off a pleasant aroma that is a favorite for many of us, but most animals and insects won’t come near it. This is good news for gardeners, who can plant lavender to help keep mosquitos and other insects at bay. Lavender can be planted with roses and herbs like rosemary, but does not get along well with mint or impatiens.


Marigold flowers.

Marigolds are more pretty flowers that help a vegetable garden avoid insects. Marigolds are a great all-around insect-repelling flower that works near a variety of different vegetables. These flowers are especially helpful at repelling Mexican bean beetles and nematodes, making them a great companion to tomato, pepper, potato, and eggplant


Nasturtium flowers.

If aphids are chewing up your garden, it’s time to plant some nasturtiums. Easy to grow and pretty in bloom, nasturtiums repel aphids, squash bugs, striped pumpkin beetles, and whiteflies. Plant nasturtiums near beans, cabbages, and cucumbers to ensure an insect-free growing season.

Related Topic: Selecting the Best Organic Fertilizer for Your Vegetable Garden


Petunia flowers.

For gardens that feature beans, squash, or potatoes, another great insect-repelling flower you should consider is petunias. Petunias naturally repel a range of insects that target bean plants, squash, and potato plants. They also attract hummingbirds! Plant petunias near tomato plants for optimum results.


Tansy in a garden.

Tansy is an herbaceous perennial that can keep ants, flying insects, and several kinds of beetles away from your vegetable garden. Tansy works well when planted near potato and squash plants, but avoid planting it near collard greens.

Next Up: Use Mulch to Deter Insects

Now that you know about some of the best insect-repelling flowers for your garden, you can make real progress toward reducing unwanted pests, naturally. But did you also know that mulch can help keep insects away from your garden as well? There are many benefits of using mulch in your garden.

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