10 Ant Repellent Plants You Need To Know About

Ants are always seen as harmless creatures because of their small size, but they can often create havoc when raided in thousands at a single time.

They never roam alone and are always accompanied by a long stream of other ants to our disadvantage.

Farmers and gardeners always welcome ants as they work excellent to aerate the soil, but their innocuous behavior can ruin your garden once they start having more than one colony in your garden.

Apart from the usual damage, they can attract other pests and insects who then take their turn to eat, suck the plants’ nutrition out and ruin your garden.

Once their presence increases, they usually find their way into your basements and homes; their invasive behavior gets rampant during the summer season.

There are innumerable powders and sprays readily available in the market; but, they are usually crammed with harmful chemicals that have a great chance of ruining your plants, fruits, vegetables, and the soil’s nutritional properties.

Fortunately, there are few naturals ways you can keep these pesky ants at bay while keeping your outdoor garden or home garden safe. The following list includes 10 ant repellent plants that will deter the ants from coming to your turf.

#1 Mint


  • Botanical name: Mentha spp
  • Type: Perennial herb
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil pH: 6.5 to 7.0 – slightly acidic to neutral

Apart from the medicinal value, this plant provides excellent protection against ants. These ants will stay miles away after smelling the bitter menthol scent in the air. We won’t smell them from afar, but even a single little branch from this plant can be powerful to keep these ants away.

You can plant various varieties like spearmint, peppermint or search your local nursery for chocolate mint, apple mint, or pineapple mint seeds. These species would provide a good base for some soothing tea.

To grow mint as your houseplant, you need to have a pot of well-draining soil. Consider adding perlite or peat if necessary. Keep the mint plant at a spot where it receives good indirect sunlight of 6-7 hours. Keep turning the pot as they grow because mint has a high tendency to bend towards sunlight.

#2 Rosemary


  • Botanical Name: Rosmarinus officinalis
  • Type: Herb; perennial evergreen shrub
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil pH: 5.0 to 8.0 – acidic to alkaline

Rosemary is an excellent herb plant that can easily keep ants away. They have a wonderful aroma which many cooking enthusiasts are fond of, so apart from keeping the ants away, they serve as a great ingredient to add to your dressings.

If you are new to gardening, this plant might be a little tough to take care of. If you are in for a bit of trial and error phase, then spot a nice sunny place and keep the plant there.

If you feel the light isn’t ample, try using a small grow light to help them grow. They will grow excellent in outdoor gardens.

#3 Tansy


  • Botanical Name: Tanacetum vulgare
  • Type: Herbaceous perennial flowering plant
  • Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil pH: 4.8 to 7.5

Tansy is popularly called golden buttons because of their beautiful and enchanting clusters of golden blossoms. The magic of deterrent properties lies in its oils that work great to deter all types of ants from your outdoor or indoor garden.

Avoid going on its looks, it might seem a beautiful harmless plant, but it can indeed turn into a mega deterrent that averts the ants from coming and forming colonies. This plant has an aggressive growth, and it can reach four feet high and a 2 foot wide, so be careful if you wish to grow them indoors.

These plants will provide you with a great base with fungicidal and antibacterial properties embedded into the plants. If you want to plant these hardy perennials, we highly recommend giving them extreme sun for ample growth.

#4 Garlic


  • Botanical Name: Allium sativum
  • Type: Bulb
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.0 – Slightly acidic to neutral

This spicy yet highly flavorful plant is one of the most popular ingredients to use in pest control because of its prominent deterrent properties. The pungent aroma discourages the ants from living on the lands near the garlic plant.

Make sure to plant plenty of them to deter a lot of ants. This famous member of the onion family is extremely popular with its immune-boosting properties.

The roots will also discourage the ants from building their colony under the soil. Apart from the anti-deterrent properties, this plant can be harvested to use garlic in many cuisines and dishes.

#5 Thyme


  • Botanical Name: Thymus vulgaris
  • Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil pH: 6.0 to 8.0 – Acidic to alkaline

This flavorful herb is one of the most loved herbs in the kitchen and provides excellent taste to your chicken stuffing and salads, but they are equally essential and potent to scare away the ants. These plants are incredibly slow-growing and require extreme sunlight to grow abundantly.

They have a habit of growing into cracks and crevices and spreading perennially. Thyme grows a tiny white and purple flower during spring and summer. They might not smell as strong as garlic but indeed works to keep the ants away.

You can use loamy and sandy soil to help them grow, but these plants thrive well in rocky paths too. Thyme doesn’t require a lot of tending and caring. The more wild and unattended it is, the greater it thrives.

#6 Lavender

field of lavander

  • Botanical Name: Lavandula spp.
  • Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil pH: Neutral to acidic

Lavender is the most medicinal plant you can plant in your indoor or outdoor garden. This sweet-smelling and beautiful-looking plant might make humans attracted to it, but ants detest the aroma and the oils of these plants.

If you wish to have a soothing plant that keeps the ants away, then this is the plant you should grow without thinking twice. These plants can quickly rise to the height of your waist. You can use their dried purple flowers to make a potpourri that will liven up your entire home.

Lavender requires lean soil; this type of soil will also encourage the plant to produce a highly concentrated oil which adds to the potency towards ants. Avoid using excess fertilizers and organic matter as it weakens the oil collection.

#7 Marigold


  • Botanical Name: Tagetes spp.
  • Type: Perennial
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.0

Marigold is not a medicinal plant or kitchen herb that you can use for your cooking; nonetheless, it will add a nice splash of ripe orange color to your home.

You will have cute flowers that might smell a little intense to the human nose. These marigolds work excellent to drive away ants without using harmful chemicals.

One thing to note is these plants need warm temperatures, so we recommend you grow them for your outdoor gardens. If you pot these plants in a single detached pot, move them indoors in the winter to keep them safe.

#8 Chrysanthemum


  • Botanical Name: Chrysanthemum spp.
  • Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil pH: 6.5 to 6.7

These classic flowering plants are trendy and potent insect deterrents in the world of repellents. Apart from repelling insects like fleas, Japanese beetles, spider mites, they can easily keep ants away.

This plant produces pyrethrum, which is the primary strain that keeps the ants away. You will find lots of garden insecticides with pyrethrum as their main ingredient. So using Chrysanthemum as a natural ant deterrent is an excellent option.

#9 Catnip


  • Botanical Name: Nepeta cataria
  • Type: Herbaceous perennial herb
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil pH: 6.1 to 7.8 -Acidic to alkaline

Catnip is another excellent plant that you can grow to get rid of ants. We are sure your cat will surely give a green single to this plant. Your cat will love this plant and will play around with it for hours, and you can be relieved of your ant infestation problem.

They are straightforward to grow indoors but if you have a playful cat, try to plant them outdoors to avoid ‘catcidents.’

#10 Lemongrass

lemongras bush

  • Botanical Name: Cymbopogon citratus
  • Type: Ornamental grass
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil pH: 6.8 to 7.2 – Neutral

You must have seen many deterrents having an active ingredient called citronella. This citronella is a natural oil from lemongrass. This plant is highly effective against ants too.

You can plant the grass and watch it grow, keeping the ants away from your property. These aren’t just grass that you can use for keeping ants away; you can use them to add a subtle herbaceous flavor to your camomile tea too.


We hope this list of ant repellent plants keeps your ant infestation at bay.

We highly recommend every plant from this list but make sure to take rapid measures if your home or garden is infested with carpenter ants. These ants are very robust and can chew through your foundation within days.

During such times, you won’t have time to grow and wait for the plants to work; consider pest control or take matters into your own hands and use chemical pesticides to eliminate those ants.

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