Thursday, March 22, 2012
Plants that are natural pest repellents Part II
LavenderLavender plants repel moths. While moths do not tend to bother humans, they do lay their eggs on broadleaf plants such as perennials and vegetables. The hatching larvae then feed on the leaves. Severe infestations can defoliate and kill the plants. Lavender has a pleasant fragrance that lingers even after the flowers are dried. In fact, the dried flowers can be used to make sachets that will also repel moths.
Nasturtiums are also valued for their ability to repel insect pests. They are often planted with squash, according to the College of Agriculture and Life Science at Cornell University. Nasturtiums will equally protect tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers and radishes from insect pests such as aphids, beetles and whiteflies.
Petunias come in a wide range of colors and have the added advantages of being hardy and easy to grow. These flowers are often planted with or near bean plants due to their ability to repel insect pests such as aphids, Mexican bean beetles and leafhoppers.
Catnip is a favorite of hummingbirds, butterflies and, naturally, cats. Catnip is a repellent to many insects, including cockroaches and mosquitoes. Catnip does well in full sun and grows from 2 to 5 feet tall; it has small white or lilac flowers.
Geraniums repel cabbage worms and leafhoppers. One variety of geranium actually contains the mosquito repellent citronella. Geraniums are easily recognizable for their distinctive five-petaled flowers and deeply forked leaves.