11 Natural Pest Fighting Flowers
Flowers have more purposes in your garden than looking beautiful. If you research companion planting, you quickly learn that flowers can fight pests. Using flowers planted amongst your vegetable garden is a creative and natural way to fight pests looking for a quick meal.
Years ago, flowers and herbs were known for their properties that were helpful or harmful. These properties could be medicinal, culinary or even beneficial for the garden. Some flowers invite helpful insects. Others repel harmful insects that could lay waste to all of your hard work.
Not all flowers fight pests! So, let’s take a look at what flowers you might want to include. You also need to consider what plants are native to your area. Some of these won’t work depending on where you live.
Pest Fight Flowers
First up is borage, which is an herb, not a flower. So, it has herbal and floral benefits. Many people in America don’t typically use borage. It is an annual herb that grows star-shaped flowers. You might enjoy it in a glass of herbal teas. You can use borage to repel hornworms and cabbage worms. Many gardeners believe that planting borage near your other plants helps to increase their resistance to pests and diseases that might kill them.
Who doesn’t love lavender? It has a beautiful scent and offers dozens of herbal and medicinal benefits you might enjoy. Some people even enjoy baking with lavender. It makes a lovely tasting frosting!
Lavender is considered a general pest repellant. It will ward off fleas and moths while protecting your plants from whiteflies. Everyone should have a few plants of lavender around in their garden as a general deterrent to pests.
Clovers are a common ground cover that grows as easily as grass. When planted intentionally, it will leave a layer of green over your garden bed and soil. You have over 300 varieties to pick. One of the most popular choices has tiny, pink flowers.
Clovers are most popularly known for repelling pests when you use it as a ground cover. A great way to use it is by planting it as a ground cover around cabbage. It will stop cabbage worms and aphids from destroying your cabbage crop.
Marigolds are well-known for being a pest-fighting flower, and it also happens to be one of the most commonly included flowers in gardens. There are different varieties, from different colors and sizes to some that are unscented!
Marigolds are useful to repel whiteflies, kill nematodes and repel many destructive insects. At the same time, marigolds can attract spider mites and snails.
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Petunias are also a common addition to most garden beds. You can find them in dozens of colors and sizes. Petunias fight off asparagus beetles, leafhoppers, aphids, tomato hornworms and other annoying pests. You should plan to plant several batches of these throughout your garden!
Peonies are a lovely, spring perennial that grows beautiful flowers. These flowers attract an insect called the Tiphia wasp, which eats the larvae of the Japanese beetles. Japanese beetles can cause a lot of damage to your garden. You might know these as grubs, and they are found underground eating the roots of your happy plants.
You might include sunflowers in your garden simply because you enjoy them. Everyone loves to snack on sunflower seeds and their size and color make them a beautiful addition. Sunflowers should be in your garden because they act as a beacon for pollinators. They want to come stop at your garden when they see a sunflower. Sunflowers also can draw aphids away from other plants.
Dahlias are a beautiful flower that is sold in a variety of colors and sizes. Chances are you’ve already included them in your flower garden. Dahlias repel nematodes, making them a useful addition to your vegetable garden along with your flower beds!
Also known as simply mums, you can purchase Chrysanthemums in white, yellow, pink, red and purple. Many gardeners like to include them in their garden. They are known to repel Japanese beetles, but you can also use them to kill off root nematodes.
Chrysanthemums have a chemical called pyrethrin, which is toxic for insects to ingest. Don’t worry! It is absolutely safe for humans and other animals, such as your dog, to consume, not that you wanted to eat them!
10. Four O’Clocks
Four O’Clocks aren’t a flower as common as some of the other choices on the list, but they are great for repelling Japanese beetles. Some people like to plant them in their garden to attract and then kill these annoying pests. However, you do need to be careful when planting these flowers. Four O’Clocks are poisonous to pets and humans. If you have curious pets or children, it is a good idea not to plant these!
If you plan to plant tomatoes and cucumbers, you should include some nasturtiums in your plan as well. Nasturtiums fight off aphids, whiteflies, squash bugs and cucumber beetles. The yellow flowers of the nasturtiums can act as a trap for aphids!