Plants to Keep Spiders Away: Herbs, Flowers, and More

Few people enjoy finding a spider in their house; the pesky 8-legged fiends make many run for cover.

Most house spiders are harmless; they are a necessity in the food chain. They feed on flies, aphids, and bugs that could otherwise infest our homes.

That doesn’t make us like them more; if you’re looking for a non-chemical, safe way to keep spiders at bay, you’re in the right place.

Several plants keep spiders away. Effective sowing of both indoor and outdoor plants repels spiders and other bugs, including harmful spider mites. Spiders hate strong scents; aromatic herbs ensure they keep their distance. The same goes for some members of the allium family, onions, leek, and garlic. Some flowers emit strong perfumes into the air that spiders avoid; marigolds and chrysanthemums are primary examples.

Herbs to Plant to Keep Spiders Away

Most herbs are suitable to plant in containers for the kitchen window ledge or a patio; they also thrive in vegetable patches.Growing them near problematic areas where spiders intrude should prevent their invasion.

Best of all, they leave the area beautifully scented and have multiple culinary uses.

Basil

basil plant

Basil is an easy-to-grow herb with an aromatic, volatile essential oil within its leaves. It needs little attention, just plenty of sunlight and occasional water.

All basil varieties ward off spiders; they grow as successfully in pots as in the ground.

Mint

kitchen mint

Mint is an invasive plant that quickly spreads and, left unchecked, will stifle other surrounding plants. We suggest you grow it separately in the ground or a container.

Almost all mint varieties are a deterrent to spiders; their odor is so strong. Peppermint often sees the best results; however, Pennyroyal, catmint, catnip enjoy much success.

Rosemary

rosemary plant

Rosemary is not known for having the most overpowering smell, but spiders cannot stand being near it.

It is a perennial plant that doesn’t fair well in cold climates. Plant it in a pot to bring indoors when temperatures dip. That way, it is easier to move around and place in the troublesome areas that spiders break-in.

Lemon Thyme

lemon thyme plant

Lemon thyme not only has that citrus smell that spiders hate, but it also deters many other bug species.

It attracts bees, which in turn pollinate surrounding plants, encouraging healthy growth.

Lemongrass (Citronella)

lemongrass plant

If you have ever lit yellow citronella candles to ward bugs off to allow you to dine al fresco; you will already be aware of the benefits of lemongrass.

Essential oils and acids in the grass stem release an odor that spiders and other insects find abhorrent.

Although a hardy plant, lemongrass should be taken inside in cold climates.

Chives

chive plant

Chives are a tasty member of the onion family that grows just as successfully indoors or outside. Position them on a window ledge to stop spiders in their tracks.

Lemon balm

lemon balm plant

Lemon balm is a must for previously unsuccessful gardeners that claim to be unable to keep anything alive. They are hardy herbs that are almost impossible to kill; as long as the soil is well-drained and receive plenty of sunlight.

They are part of the mint family and, similarly, grow wildly; take care where to plant them. Spider-haters are rewarded as they ward off the creatures and deter fruit flies and other pesky insects.

Flowers to Plant that Keep Spiders Away

Certain flowers we plant for their vivid colors and heady aromas have the bonus attraction of repelling spiders.

Chrysanthemum

chrysanthemum plant

The flower of the chrysanthemum contains a neurotoxin called Pyrethrin. It is a natural compound found in many pesticides and dog shampoos. It kills ticks, fleas, spider mites, and therefore, house spiders steer clear of the plant. The flower presents no danger to animals or children.

They need a warm, sunny location and plenty of water to flourish. Always remove the dead heads as they appear; this encourages new growth and longer protection from spiders.

Marigolds

marigold plant

These small, brightly colored border plants repel spiders with their unique scent.

They have other uses, including planting near tomato, potato, and strawberry crops. They protect the roots from attacks by the harmful white worm.

Lavender

lavender plant

Lavender plants look stunning as they sway in the wind that carries their gorgeous aroma.

As much as humans love the scent, spiders hate it and avoid the area like the plague.

Lavender is notoriously difficult to grow indoors as it needs so much sunshine to thrive. It is easier to plant in large containers and moved around to problem areas, such as on the patio, by doors and windows.

Petunias

petunia flower

When colorful petunias are in bloom, their aroma keeps spiders away. Bear in mind they flower for just a few weeks a year, so alone, they don’t deter spiders year-round. They do offer protection for a short while and fill your garden with color and beautiful scents.

Geraniums

geranium plant

These easy-to-grow, hardy plants emit a pleasant aroma that spiders hate.

The plant secretes many natural oils, one of which is citronella, the enemy of many bugs, insects, and spiders.

Things to Consider Planting to Repel Spiders

Lemon Verbena

Native to South America, the lemon verbena is a perennial shrub. It gives off a heady, almost over-powering lemon scent should you brush past it or bruise a leaf.

It grows to between 6 and 9-feet making it an ideal landscaping plant to frame a doorway and deter spiders and other bugs from gaining entrance.

Lemon verbena leaves make mouth-watering lemon tea and is regularly used in Mediterranean cooking.

Onions

The pungent smell of growing onions is enough to repel spiders and troublesome spider mites.

The mites attack the roots of healthy plants to feed off their nutrients, causing them to wither or suffer from stunted growth.

Onions keep them at bay in much the same way as garlic plants do. Although it is possible to grow them in pots indoors, sow them outdoors or on balconies to avoid their overpowering aroma.

Eucalyptus

Spiders stay away from anywhere the smell of eucalyptus hangs in the air.

Although not always practical to plant in smaller gardens, some of the varieties are giant. Dwarf eucalyptus’ grow in containers both in and outdoors.

Eucalyptus trees keep the surrounding area free of spiders without harming the creatures. Ensure the plants are kept near open doorways to prevent spiders from heading indoors for sanctuary.

Citrus Fruit Bushes

You might think you need a subtropical climate to grow orange and lemon trees; although true, dwarf varieties happily grow indoors in all temperatures.

The bushes are beautifully decorative, fruit for long periods, and give off the citrus aroma that spiders hate.

A sunny window ledge is a perfect spot for a dwarf citrus tree, where the citrus oil in the peel of the fruit is a natural repellent to arachnids.

Other Organic Ways to Keep a Home Spider-Free

Effective use of certain plants helps keep spiders away; other natural methods avoid the use of chemicals.

We know that house spiders have keen olfactory senses and pungent smells repel them. White vinegar has little scent to humans, but its acidic aroma deters spiders. It is an effective household cleaner. Wipe surfaces, window and door frames with a diluted vinegar solution, and the spiders will find elsewhere to build their nests.

Cedar blocks and chippings look attractive when added to any landscaping around the perimeter of a home. Their rich and sweet scent is often found in perfumes and colognes; that is enough to make spiders walk by.

Leave orange and lemon peel in the places that spiders most frequent. Their hatred of all things citrus should drive them away.

Keep the exterior of your property free from debris, leaves, and grass cuttings. These are the perfect hideouts for nuisance spiders, just waiting for a window to crack open so they can find their way inside to the warmth.

Final Thoughts

There are a wide variety of herbs and plants to keep spiders away.

Unlike some pesticides, they aren’t detrimental to the environment or hazardous to children and pets.

Instead, they brighten up our landscape and homes, add flavor to our diet, and garnish to our cocktails, all while preventing spiders residency.

Anthony Marsh
Anthony Marsh is a writer with deep roots in the soil of western New Hampshire. His first experiences with gardening were at the age of 10 where his parents allowed him to plant and cultivate his first vegetable garden. Twenty years later he’s continued with his passion for gardening and actively rescues abandoned plant life.