11 Bug-Repellent Plants For Your Balcony

As summer arrives, we all look forward to enjoying more time on our balconies. However, with the warm weather comes unwelcome pests that can dampen the mood.

While artificial repellents are an option, we at Our Country Garden advocate for a planting solution to keeps pests at bay which has the added benefit of enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your balcony. We’ve also made sure that all of these plants are dog safe, meaning that you and your furry friend can enjoy a bug-free balcony.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the best plants to buy for pest control and provide tips on how to care for them to ensure a thriving, pest-free balcony garden.

Best Bug-Repellent Plants

Bug Repellent Herbs


Repels: Flies and mosquitoes

While basil is widely recognised as a great herb for the kitchen, few realise that it’s a plant that mosquitos and flies hate.

When we first moved into our flat, we were often bothered by flies and mosquitoes buzzing around our balcony. That all changed when we planted a small herb garden in a railing planter, and suddenly the pests disappeared. From that moment on, we’ve become massive promoters for using basil and other herbs for naturally repelling insects.

What’s more, basil’s incredibly easy to grow on your balcony. Simply plant it in a well-draining pot and keep it well-watered. You can also combine it with other herbs to make a beautiful and practical display. If you’re interested in growing some herbs on your balcony, click here to see our recommendations.


Repels: Aphids

If you’re growing vegetables on your balcony, such as kale, broccoli or cauliflower, then aphids might be a problem for you. If so, then chives are your solution, deterring aphids and adding flavour to your kitchen dishes.

We’d recommend that you plant your chives in direct sunlight. They need well-draining soil and regular watering, to really thrive and provide the best natural bug control.


Repels: Aphids, slugs and snails

Fennel is a tall, feathery herb that adds a touch of elegance to your balcony. It’s great at repelling aphids, slugs and snails, so if you’re having problems with these pests, then it’s definitely a plant that you should consider buying.

Fennel grows best in full sunlight and in well-draining soil, but it can be a big of a space hog, so we’d recommend that you plant it in its own pot away from other herbs.

Lemon Balm

Repels: Mosquitoes

Lemon balm is a fragrant herb that repels mosquitoes and has a great scent when you rub its leaves. Lemon balm is also known for its calming properties when used in tea, making it a great addition to your balcony if you want to use your space for calming down after a long day at work.

The plant thrives in full sun to partial shade and prefers well-drained soil, making it a versatile addition to your balcony no matter what conditions you have.

Lemon Thyme

Repels: Mosquitoes

Lemon thyme is a delightful herb with a citrusy fragrance that is great at repelling mosquitoes. It is a hardy plant that requires very little maintenance, making it an ideal plant if you live a hectic life. Simply plant it in a pot with well draining soil and leave it in a sunny spot.


Repels: Ants, mosquitoes, and spiders

Peppermint is a refreshing herb that is an excellent pest repellent. We’ve found it quite difficult to get hold of compared to other mints, however it is by far one of the best pest repelling plants that we’ve found for flies and mosquitoes.

If you choose to buy a peppermint plant, make sure to water it very frequently. We’ve found leaving the plant without water for 2 or more days can make the leaves start to wilt, reducing it’s amazing bug repellent properties.

Bug Repellent Flowers


Repels: Mosquitoes, cockroaches, and ants

Catnip is famously known for its effect on cats, but it’s also incredibly good at repelling pests: especially mosquitoes, cockroaches and ants. With its slender stems and bright purple flowers it can also be used to add some colour to your outdoor space, making it the perfect addition to your balcony. You can see some other beautiful flowering plants here if you’re looking to add even more colour to your apartment.


Repels: Mosquitos and ticks

Chrysanthemums are beautiful flowering plants that come in various colours including yellows, pinks and oranges. With their beautiful petal structure, they’re a great sun-loving flower to add to your balcony. What’s more, they’re also well known plant for bug control, repelling mosquitos and ticks from entering your space.

Bug Repellent Grasses

Citronella Grass

Repels: Mosquitoes, flies, gnats

Citronella candles are a popular method of repelling insects, but why have only have the effect when the candle is lit? Citronella grass offers a continuous and natural solution for keeping mosquitoes at bay, so is an incredibly valuable addition to your balcony garden.

It thrives in full sun and needs a big pot as it can grow quite tall. For optimal growth, ensure the soil is rich, moist, and well-drained. Regular trimming will keep the plant bushy and healthy, helping protect you from the troublesome pests.

Lemon Grass

Repels: Mosquitoes and gnats

Lemon grass is another mosquito-repelling powerhouse. While it does need to be positioned in a sunny spot, it’s a great plant for repelling insects and adding privacy to your balcony making it a worthwhile purchase in our opinion.

Bug Repellent Vegetable – Garlic

Repels: Aphids, mosquitoes, moths and beetles

Garlic, with its distinctive smell, is not only a culinary staple but is also an excellent pest repellent. Its strong scent deters aphids, mosquitoes, moths, and beetles, making it an essential addition to your garden if you appreciate its smell and want to protect your plants from pests.

Garlic thrives in full sunlight and well-drained soil. If you’re looking to harvest your garlic in the summer, we’d recommend planting it in late autumn.

List of Insect Repellent Plants

Incase you’d like a printable list, here’s our checklist of our 11 bug-repellent plants list for your balcony.

The best insect-repelling herbs are: basil, chives, fennel, lemon balm, thyme and pepper mint
The best insect-repelling plants are: catnip, chrysanthemums, citronella grass, lemon grass and garlic


Incorporating these pest-repellent plants into your balcony garden will not only help keep unwanted bugs at bay but also create an inviting space for you to enjoy. So if you’ve been wondering what plants repel bugs, you should be sorted.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your balcony space, take a look at our 3 steps to creating the perfect balcony garden. Alternatively, check out our 10 favourite perennial flowers so that you can have blooms year-after-year on your balcony.

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