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Plants that Repel Cockroaches

While you may enjoy stopping to smell the roses, there are bugs who would disagree. Some plants have fragrances that naturally repel bugs. Adding these to your garden or in containers in your house could help keep your home free of cockroaches. We’ve made a list of plants that repel cockroaches.


Peppermint plant

Image by TheCozyCoffee

If you’ve ever been around peppermint, you know it has a strong scent. This plant is great at repelling bugs. Cockroaches as well as aphids, moths, fleas, and beetles avoid this plant. Peppermint plants have green leaves and white or pink flowers can bloom. It likes having plenty of water, and it’s often found near streams. This means you’ll want to water it regularly. Peppermint does best when it has full sun exposure. However, it can survive with partial sun. This plant is known to spread quickly, so planting it in a container will prevent it from taking over your garden.


Catnip plant

Cockroaches will stay away, and your cats will love you if you add this to your garden. Catnip is a member of the mint family and is known to also repel ants and weevils. This perennial plant can be kept in your home or outside as long as it receives plenty of light. Every few weeks you’ll want to move the plant outside for a little while. It’s best to plant catnip in areas with well-drained soil. When the top layer of soil becomes dry, you’ll want to water your catnip plant. Make sure to plant catnip after the chance of frost has passed. You’ll begin seeing white flowers in July, but blooming can continue into October.


Rosemary plant

Rosemary is great for adding flavor to your meals, but it can help keep cockroaches from bothering you too. This herb has grayish-green, needle-like leaves with blue flowers. Cockroaches tend to avoid its pine-like scent. Rosemary doesn’t do well in the winter. Planting it in a container will allow you to bring it inside when temperatures start to drop. It needs 6-8 hours of sunlight and does best in well-drained soil. While the plant needs water, you’ll need to give it a chance to dry out before watering. If the soil feels dry when you touch it, then you know it’s safe to water it.

Bay Leaves

Bay leaves

Bay leaves are another great option for repelling cockroaches. The plant contains eucalyptol, which is a natural bug repellent. Bay leaves grow on trees that can reach heights of 40-50 feet. However, if you plant trees in a container, they will be smaller and more manageable. This plant is native to the Mediterranean area, so it prefers warmer temperatures and doesn't handle frost well. Keeping this plant in areas with well-drained soil and full sun exposure will help keep it healthy. These trees bloom in the spring and summer and should be planted in early spring. You can also try placing a few of these leaves in areas where cockroaches like to visit.



These flowers are known for their vibrant colors including white, purple, yellow, and burgundy. Chrysanthemums can help repel cockroaches, bed bugs, mites, ticks, and fleas. It contains pyrethrum, which is a natural insect repellent. Planting these in the spring will allow them to bloom throughout the summer. However, they can bloom as late as October, which gives your home protection in the fall. Choose a sunny spot without shrubs and trees to plant these flowers. Place a layer of mulch around the plant and keep it well hydrated to help it survive the winter season.  

Adding a few of these plants to your garden can help keep cockroaches away. You can also use plant-based pesticides to help fight an infestation. When natural plant essential oils are correctly combined, they make potent and effective pesticides. Since they are formulated with natural ingredients, they are a more environmentally and family-friendly solution. If bugs are giving you a fit, check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Pest Control products


  • I use the essential peppermint oil to keep them away in a diffuser…works great!

  • Never had a problem with cockroaches before and have tried everything to get rid of them. On a very fixed income and can’t afford an exterminator . I’m desperately trying anything. Used all kinds of sprays, traps, etc .. I have these herbs and plants and will try right away. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks so much.

    Robin Lemons
  • I have always used these herbs You can also buy the oils and put a few drops on it and place around

  • Thanks for this, it’s very helpful. Just moved to a new house, and it is cockroach infested. Never had cockroaches in all my former (3) houses but looks like previous tenant in my current had them. Will try the plants and see if they’ll keep them roaches away!

    Winnie Wanzetse
  • Cant wait for the weather to permit planting,

    Martha Wallace

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