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15 Plants That Keep Gnats Away: A Guide to Natural Gnat Repellents


plants that keep gnats away
Table of Contents

Gnats are tiny flying insects that can be a nuisance both indoors and outdoors. They are attracted to moisture, so areas with standing water or damp soil are often hotspots for gnat activity. While there are several chemical insecticides available to combat gnats, natural remedies like using plants to deter them have gained popularity in recent years. In this article, we will explore 15 different types of plants that can help keep gnats away.

Marigolds

Description and Characteristics

Marigolds are bright, colorful flowers that are easy to grow and care for. They are known for their pungent smell, which repels gnats and other insects. Marigolds come in a variety of sizes and colors, from small French marigolds to large African marigolds.

How to Use Them

Plant marigolds in pots or directly in the ground around your home or garden. They are versatile and can be used as borders, in hanging baskets, or mixed with other plants. To maximize their gnat-repelling properties, place marigolds near doors and windows, or in areas where you notice high gnat activity.

Basil

Description and Characteristics

Basil is an herb that is commonly used in cooking, but it also has insect-repelling properties. It has a strong scent that gnats find unpleasant, making it an effective natural repellent.

How to Use Them

Grow basil in pots or in a garden bed in full sun. It can be used to deter gnats both indoors and outdoors. Place potted basil near windows or on your kitchen counter to help keep gnats away from your food.

Lavender

Description and Characteristics

Lavender is a fragrant purple flower that is known for its calming properties. It also has insect-repelling qualities, making it an ideal plant to have around your home.

How to Use Them

Plant lavender in a sunny spot with well-draining soil. It can be grown in pots or directly in the ground. To repel gnats, place dried lavender sachets in areas where you notice high gnat activity, such as near doors and windows.

Pennyroyal

Description and Characteristics

Pennyroyal is a member of the mint family and has a strong, pungent odor that gnats find unpleasant. It is often used as a natural insecticide in gardens and homes.

How to Use Them

Plant pennyroyal in a pot or directly in the ground in a sunny spot with well-draining soil. It can also be hung in bunches to dry and used as a natural insect repellent indoors.

Citronella Grass

Description and Characteristics

Citronella grass is a tall, lemon-scented plant that is commonly used in candles and other insect-repelling products. It contains citronella oil, which is known for its ability to repel gnats and other insects.

How to Use Them

Plant citronella grass in a pot or directly in the ground in a sunny location with well-draining soil. It can also be used as a patio plant or grown in hanging baskets near outdoor seating areas.

Lemon Balm

Description and Characteristics

Lemon balm is a fragrant herb that is often used in teas and other beverages. It has a strong, lemony scent that gnats find unpleasant.

How to Use Them

Plant lemon balm in a pot or garden bed in a sunny location with well-draining soil. It can be used to repel gnats both indoors and outdoors. Place potted lemon balm near windows or on your kitchen counter to help keep gnats away from your food.

Rosemary

Description and Characteristics

Rosemary is an herb that is often used in cooking. It has a strong, woody scent that gnats find unpleasant.

How to Use Them

Grow rosemary in pots or in a garden bed in full sun. It can be used to deter gnats both indoors and outdoors. Place potted rosemary near windows or on your kitchen counter to help keep gnats away from your food.

Catnip

Description and Characteristics

Catnip is a member of the mint family and has a strong, pungent odor that gnats find unpleasant. It is often used as a natural insecticide in gardens and homes.

How to Use Them

Grow catnip in pots or in a garden bed in full sun. It can also be hung in bunches to dry and used as a natural insect repellent indoors.

Chrysanthemums

Description and Characteristics

Chrysanthemums are colorful flowers that come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They contain a chemical called pyrethrin, which is often used in commercial insecticides.

How to Use Them

Plant chrysanthemums in pots or directly in the ground around your home or garden. They are versatile and can be used as borders, in hanging baskets, or mixed with other plants. To maximize their gnat-repelling properties, place chrysanthemums near doors and windows, or in areas where you notice high gnat activity.

Citrus Trees

Description and Characteristics

Citrus trees, such as lemon, lime, and orange trees, contain a compound called limonene that gnats find unpleasant. They also produce fragrant flowers that can help repel gnats.

How to Use Them

Plant citrus trees in a sunny location with well-draining soil. They can be grown in pots or directly in the ground. Place potted citrus trees near windows or on your patio to help keep gnats away from outdoor seating areas.

Mint

Description and Characteristics

Mint is an herb that is often used in cooking and beverages. It has a strong, refreshing scent that gnats find unpleasant.

How to Use Them

Grow mint in pots or in a garden bed in full sun. It can be used to deter gnats both indoors and outdoors. Place potted mint near windows or on your kitchen counter to help keep gnats away from your food.

Eucalyptus

Description and Characteristics

Eucalyptus is a tall tree with fragrant leaves that contain a compound called eucalyptol. This compound has insect-repelling properties and is often used in commercial insecticides.

How to Use Them

Plant eucalyptus in a sunny location with well-draining soil. It can also be used as a patio plant or grown in hanging baskets near outdoor seating areas.

Garlic

Description and Characteristics

Garlic is a bulbous plant that is often used in cooking. It has a strong, pungent odor that gnats find unpleasant.

How to Use Them

Plant garlic in a garden bed in full sun. It can be used to deter gnats both indoors and outdoors. Place potted garlic near windows or on your kitchen counter to help keep gnats away from your food.

Rue

Description and Characteristics

Rue is a herb that has a bitter, pungent smell that gnats find unpleasant. It is often used as a natural insecticide in gardens and homes.

How to Use Them

Plant rue in a pot or directly in the ground in a sunny spot with well-draining soil. It can also be hung in bunches to dry and used as a natural insect repellent indoors.

Cedar Trees

Description and Characteristics

Cedar trees have a strong, woody scent that gnats find unpleasant. They are often used in commercial insecticides and other products.

How to Use Them

Plant cedar trees in a sunny location with well-draining soil. They can also be used as a patio plant or grown in hanging baskets near outdoor seating areas.


In summary, there are many different types of plants that can help repel gnats naturally. From fragrant herbs like basil and lavender to colorful flowers like marigolds and chrysanthemums, there are options for every gardener. By incorporating these plants into your garden or home, you can enjoy the benefits of natural gnat repellents without the use of harsh chemicals.

FAQs

Q: Do these plants only repel gnats?

A: No, many of these plants have insect-repelling properties that can deter a variety of pests, including mosquitoes and flies.

Q: Can I use essential oils from these plants as a gnat repellent?

A: Yes, many of these plants have oils that can be extracted and used as a natural insect repellent. However, it is important to dilute the oils properly and test on a small area before using them on a larger scale.

Q: Are these plants safe for pets?

A: While many of these plants are safe for pets, some can be toxic if ingested in large quantities. It is important to research each plant before adding it to your home or garden, and to keep them out of reach of pets.

Q: Can I use these plants indoors?

A: Yes, many of these plants can be grown indoors and used to repel gnats and other pests. Be sure to place them near windows or in areas where you notice high gnat activity.

Q: Do these plants require special care?

A: While each plant has its own specific needs, most of these plants are easy to grow and care for. They require regular watering and sunlight, and some may benefit from occasional fertilization.


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