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Do Mums Deter Roaches? Plus Other Plants That Keep Them Away

A close-up of orange chrysanthemum blooms.

If you’re like most people, then you probably want to repel roaches before they ever get into your home. When it comes to dealing with household pests, however, most of us immediately think of chemical sprays or traps.

But did you know that the solution to your roach problem might be right in your garden?

Surprisingly, chrysanthemums–you know, those lovely fall-blooming flowers–can deter roaches without any harmful chemicals. If you’re looking for natural methods to repel pests, try turning to plants that deter roaches.

Can Mums Deter Roaches?

Mums placed by the entrance of a home.

Yes, they can! Chrysanthemums, commonly known as mums, are not just a colorful addition to your porch, patio, or garden. They’re a weapon in your quest to repel roaches.

Mums contain a natural insecticide called pyrethrins, a fascinating ingredient that is commonly added to many commercial pest control products. This chemical disrupts the nervous system of insects, drawing them through a journey of paralysis that ends with their death.

While the concentration of pyrethrum in mums may not be as potent as commercial sprays, mums repel roaches effectively when strategically placed around your home.

To get the maximum repellent effect from mums, consider placing them in pots or planting them near entry points to your house, such as doors and windows. Roaches are less likely to wander inside if they encounter the scent of mums.

Live Flowering Hardy Chrysanthemum

These blooming red mums will keep your garden looking beautiful while keeping it safe from roaches.

Do Other Plants Deter Roaches?

A person grabs a pot of basil that's sitting next to a pot of lavender.

Absolutely! Mums aren’t the only natural roach repellent out there. Here are three other plants that deter roaches that you can add to your natural pest control arsenal:


Lavender is full of benefits. It is known for its delightful fragrance and beautiful purple blooms, but it also serves as an effective roach repellent. Roaches are repelled by the strong scent of lavender, making it an excellent choice for planting around the exterior of your home.

To care for lavender, make sure it receives plenty of sunlight and well-drained soil. Trim the plant regularly to encourage bushier growth and maintain its aromatic qualities. You can also harvest the dried lavender flowers and place them in sachets around your home for added pest protection (and lovely scent enhancers).

Back to the Roots Lavender Organic Windowsill Planter Kit

Start your lavender plant right on your kitchen windowsill.


Mint is a versatile herb that is not only great for culinary purposes but also acts as a natural pest deterrent. That includes roach repellent.

To care for mint, plant it in a container or a designated area in your garden, as it can be highly invasive and spread out over your entire garden if you’re not careful. Ensure it receives partial to full sunlight and remember to keep the soil consistently moist.

Feel free to harvest mint leaves for culinary use while also enjoying its pest-repelling benefits.

Bonnie Plants Sweet Mint Live Edible Aromatic Herb Plant

This edible mint plant is perfect for homemade cocktails and natural pet repellent.


Basil, another popular culinary herb, can also help keep roaches away. It emits a strong aroma that roaches find unpleasant, deterring them from entering your home.

To care for basil, plant it in a sunny spot with well-drained soil and water it regularly. Make sure not to over-harvest if you want your plant to thrive. When you harvest, don’t just pinch off leaves–pinch off the stem right above another healthy leaf to encourage branching and growth.

Large Leaf Italian Basil Seeds for Planting

You can never have enough basil growing in your home garden.


Catnip is a fascinating plant that many gardeners already use for its deer resistance and pest-repelling qualities. This plant is great for anyone wanting to repel unwanted pests while encouraging the presence of butterflies–and, yes, cats. Your cats will love it.

Catnip prefers a place of full sun with well-draining soil. It can survive in areas of partial shade and badly draining soil, but it won’t be at its best. The fertility of your soil will greatly impact how large your catnip plant gets. Once it’s formed its roots, catnip is a very non-sensitive and drought-tolerant plant.

Bonnie Plants Catnip Live Herb Plants

Make your cat's happy while making the roaches unhappy. It's a win-win.

Mums repel roaches surprisingly well, but they’re not the only plants that repel roaches. Lavender, mint, basil, and catnip are excellent additions to your garden that not only enhance its beauty but also serve as effective barriers against roaches and other pests. By incorporating these plants into your landscaping, you can create a natural, eco-friendly pest defense.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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