Beneficial Plants for Your Garden To Repel Pests and Animals

Last Updated on October 1, 2022 by Ellen Christian

Wondering about beneficial plants for your garden? I love gardening but I’ll be the first person to tell you that it’s a lot of work keeping my yard and garden the way I want it. Even if you ignore the raking, weeding, mowing and watering that comes along with owning a beautiful lawn or garden, you have to deal with all the pests too. 

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Nasturtiums are one of the beneficial plants for your garden

Beneficial Plants for Your Garden

Bugs, chipmunks, deer. You name it and it seems to want to enjoy (and eat) my plants just as much as I do. I live in the middle of the country so there is no way I can spend all day outside chasing the chipmunks away from my planters or picking bugs off my plants. Thankfully, these beneficial plants for your garden will help keep them away.

Beneficial plants for your garden will attract ladybugs

What is a beneficial plant?

A beneficial plant is a plant that has some benefit to your garden. It may repel insects or animals. Or, it may attract beneficial insects that will keep the garden pests away.

Alyssum is a beneficial garden plant

How can I attract beneficial insects to my garden?

Sweet alyssum is a low-growing annual that attracts flower flies. So, why do you want to attract flower flies? They eat aphids. This annual also works well to edge your borders and helps keep down weeds.


What flowers are beneficial to vegetable gardens?

Borage is an herb and is delicious added to fresh lemonade. As an added benefit, cabbage worms hate it. Plant it near your cabbage or Brussels sprouts.

Nasturtiums are delicious in a salad and they’re also gorgeous. So, plant some near your cucumbers or your squash and they will repel squash beetles and cucumber beetles.

Beneficial Plants for your Garden - Marigolds

Insectary plants

Insectary plants are plants that will attract, feed and shelter the beneficial insects that you want in your garden. A few examples of these plants are goldenrod, marigold, cornflower, Queen Anne’s lace, and sunflowers. We have marigolds in a planter in our front yard because they are easy to take care of. They are pretty and the chipmunks and deer leave them alone.

Beneficial Plants for your Garden - Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums are one of my favorite flowers. Not only are they pretty but you can use them as a pesticide to repel Japanese Beetles. Rabbits and deer don’t like the taste of these either.

Beneficial Plants for your Garden - Zinnias

Plants that deer won’t eat

We have a huge planting of zinnias in our garden each year because they are so colorful. They are one of my favorite beneficial plants in my garden. So, if deer are a problem for you, you’ll be glad to know that they don’t like zinnias.

Fall bulbs for spring color - daffodils

I love flower bulbs because they come back each year but the chipmunks eat my tulip bulbs. Thankfully, they do not like daffodil bulbs at all. So, if you have a problem with chipmunks or mice, try daffodils.

Beneficial plants for your garden - Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley

We have a grouping of Lily of the Valley in our shade garden. The deer don’t like them and they come back each year regularly. Beneficial plants in your garden will help repel animals that do damage.

Purple herbs for your garden - chives

Plants that attract ladybugs

So, ladybugs are not only cute but they are good for your garden because they remove parasites from your garden. They are attracted to cosmos, dill, caraway, chives, fennel, and angelica. You may also want to consider a ladybug house because housing can attract them to your yard.

Lettuce attracts crickets to your garden

How do I attract crickets to my garden?

Are you wondering why you’d want to attract crickets? It’s simple, they eat other insects and their eggs. That means that if you’re having a problem with insect pests, chances are that crickets may help. They also eat weed seeds which may help to control weeds in your garden.

Beneficial Plants for Your Garden To Repel Pests and Animals

Crickets love lettuce so if you hope to attract them, try planting a small edging of lettuce in your garden. Beneficial plants for your garden can only go so far. You’ll need insects too.

So, you’ll have to experiment and see which of these beneficial plants for your garden work best for you given your zone and soil type. I live in zone 4 and have very good luck with them all. Love to garden? Learn how to divide plants and read more easy gardening tips.

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