15 Plants That Repel Ants You Can Grow

ants on peonies

By Jennifer Poindexter

Do you have an ant problem? These pests can invade your house, greenhouse, or even areas of your garden.

Whether you’d like to grow plants in the ground or in pots to keep these pests away, there are many options out there.

In fact, if you plant items that are either very aromatic or give off a “spicy” scent, you should have what you need to keep the ants away.

Ants talk to each other through scent. When you plant things which produce odors this confuses the ants’ conversation and they flee.

If this sounds like a plan to you, here are the plants which help repel ants:

Chrysanthemum flowers

1. Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums are vibrant flowers that are a great way to add color to your home in the later part of summer or in fall. These flowers also put off a nice fragrance.

If you’d like to use these flowers to repel ants, be sure to provide a growing location with well-draining soil and full sunlight. Chrysanthemums are hardy plants in zones five through nine.

mint plant

2. Mint

Mint is a beautiful herb with a nice fragrance. It also has a delicious flavor when used for making herbal teas or for culinary use. In this case, if you’d like to use it to keep ants at bay, be mindful of how you plant it. This herb is known for taking over.

Therefore, we recommend growing mint in a container. This plant should be happy as long as it’s given a growing location with quick draining soil and bright sunlight. Mint should remain hardy in planting zones three through eight.

basil plant

3. Basil

Basil is one of the most common herbs found in the garden. The herb is beautiful with its lush, green foliage and its flavor is amazing. Though basil isn’t known for producing a pungent scent, it does have a sweet fragrance to it.

Not only is this nice for those enjoying your garden, but it’s helpful in keeping ants away. Should you wish to grow basil, be sure to provide a growing location with nutrient-dense, well-draining soil and full morning sunlight. Basil is usually grown as an annual as it’s only hardy in planting zones ten and eleven.

lavender plant flowering

4. Lavender

Lavender is a gorgeous plant that produces vibrant green leaves and purple blooms. You may harvest this plant to add fresh fragrances around your home or for use in a bouquet.

However, when growing lavender, the fragrance is thought to repel ants. Keep this plant thriving by providing a growing location with at least six hours of sunlight and adequately draining soil. Lavender should remain hardy in planting zones five through nine.

anise plant

5. Anise

Anise is a flowering herb which produces ample foliage and small white blooms. This plant is thought to grow best in areas with adequately draining soil and full sunlight.

Plus, anise is considered a perennial in planting zones four through eleven. Though this plant produces a sweet fragrance, many consider it potent which is why it’s recommended when trying to deter ants.

6. Catnip

Catnip makes a great outdoor plant or may be grown indoors in a container. The lush foliage of the herb is great for adding life and subtle beauty no matter where it’s grown.

Should you wish to grow catnip, be sure to supply a growing area with adequately draining soil and full sun. Expect this plant to return each year in planting zones three through nine.

sage in container

7. Sage

Sage has a magnificent fragrance but also one that can disrupt ants’ receptors. Therefore, should you choose to grow this plant for the purpose of repelling them, be sure to supply what the herb needs.

In most cases, sage does best in areas with full to partial sunlight. The plant doesn’t like consistently soggy roots, so ensure the soil drains quickly as well. Sage is considered a perennial in planting zones four through eleven.

8. Lemongrass

Would you like to add natural lemon fragrance around your home? You should consider growing lemongrass. This plant is commonly used to add natural lemon flavoring to dishes and beverages.

If you want lemongrass to thrive under your care, be sure to provide full sun and rich soil that drains quickly. In most cases, lemongrass is grown as an annual. However, it remains hardy in planting zones nine and ten.

thyme in container

9. Thyme

If you’ve ever cooked with thyme, you know it doesn’t take much for the flavor and fragrance of this plant to go a long way.

Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that it’s used as a way to repel ants. When growing thyme, be sure to provide a location that drains adequately and has full sunlight. This plant is hardy in zones five through nine.

10. Garlic

Garlic is a great crop to incorporate into your garden. It’s low-maintenance, takes up only a small amount of space, and has a great smell and flavor.

If you’d like to use garlic to keep ants away, be sure to select a growing location with soil that drains quickly and remains evenly damp. Expect garlic to remain hardy in zones one and higher. You can plant it after the first hard frost has occurred and harvest in late spring once the foliage dies back.

pennyroyal flower

11. Pennyroyal

Pennyroyal is a beautiful herb which produces small purple blooms. Some people use it in the kitchen but many use the herb for floral designs. This plant is recommended to deter ants because it produces a strong fragrance of mint.

If you’d like to grow pennyroyal around your home, it should remain hardy if you’re in planting zones six through nine. This herb needs a growing location with well-draining soil and partial sunlight.

marigold in garden

12. Marigolds

Marigolds are gorgeous, brightly colored flowers which are frequently grown with the purpose of keeping unwanted pests at bay. These flowers have a distinctive scent that does the trick.

Therefore, when growing marigolds, be sure to supply an area with full sunlight and well-draining soil. You should also provide adequate spacing between plants to avoid fungal issues. There are many varieties of marigolds, some of which are perennial, and some are annual. In most cases, marigolds are grown as annuals.

chili pepper growing

13. Hot Peppers

Hot peppers are one of the plants recommended on this list which produces a strong, spicy fragrance. When growing any type of hot pepper, it’s best to select a growing location with warm temperatures, full sunlight, and well-draining soil.

Peppers are considered annuals in most areas as they don’t handle frost well. Plus, they provide a harvest along with keeping ants away.

14. Tansy

Tansy is a unique plant that produces bright yellow blooms. It produces a distinct odor that’s wonderful for keeping ants away. Yet, it must be mentioned that this plant shouldn’t be used for consumption as it produces a toxin that is poisonous to both people and livestock.

Should you wish to grow this plant, pick a location with fluffy, well-draining soil. This flower grows best in full sun as well. Tansy is hardy in planting zones three through eight.

rosemary plant

15. Rosemary

Rosemary is a gorgeous herb which produces a lovely fragrance. This smell is also what makes it a charm for keeping ants away. If you’d like to add rosemary to your landscape, be sure to provide a growing space with full sunlight and well-draining soil.

Expect rosemary to remain hardy in planting zones seven through ten. In turn, you could have a gorgeous addition to your landscape, added flavor for your recipes, and a great way to keep ants away all from one plant.

You now have fifteen different options for keeping ants away from your home and garden. These plants all produce an odor that’s thought to be disliked by these creatures.

Therefore, pick the plants which work best for your particular needs, ensure you provide the right growing conditions, and you should be one step closer to keep ants away.

More About Repelling Ants




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