Spiders can make your skin crawl, especially if they’re inside the house. Spiders are necessary for the environment, but that doesn’t mean that you have to live side-by-side with them, and there are plants that repel spiders that you can have to keep them at bay. It’s a great alternative to using chemicals to keep them out of your home, and you can even mix and match these plants to update your landscape or brighten up the interior.
You can plant them outside, in pots, in hanging baskets, or inside as part of your herb garden. A lot of these plants come with a stronger odor because aromatic plants are more effective when it comes to repelling insects. However, strong scents don’t necessarily have to be unpleasant, and we’re going round up 19 great plants that repel spiders for you below.
Basil is arguably one of the most beautiful herbal plants that repel spiders and a host of other pests, and it also has a beneficial use in the kitchen. As a bonus, basil works to get rid of mosquitoes and houseflies too. A lot of people find it useful to put one or two pots of basil by the backdoor because this is a plant that keeps flies away and discourages them from getting inside. It also allows you to grab a little fresh basil to season your dishes when you need it.
Basil is a plant that requires full sun, and it likes soil that is neutral or slightly acidic. If you plant basil outside, you should do so after the first frost recedes and the soil has a chance to warm up. Sweet basil is the most common herbal plant used to repel spiders, but there are other varieties that work too. It does well in raised beds and containers that allow for ample drainage.
Chives are an excellent addition to any herb garden you have, and they are one of the easiest to maintain and grow herbs available. One great thing about chives is that they’re hardy enough to grow virtually anywhere. The secret to keep your chives healthy and thriving is that they need the correct amount of sunlight and adequate water.
It’s easy to use chives in cooking because all you have to do is snip off what you need and leave the stem in the dirt. It’ll keep growing. Chives also grow blossoms on separate stems from normal stems, and the blossom stems are much sturdier and less prone to breaking. You can eat the purple flowers, and you’ll get a very mild garlic or onion flavoring. They have natural insect repelling properties that make them a welcome addition to most homes or gardens.
If you’re looking for a plant that repels spiders and almost any other insect, try Chrysanthemums. They were previously called Pyrethrum. Some of the insects that these plants can help ward off include silverfish, Japanese beetles, roaches, ticks, spider mites, ants, spiders, and bed bugs. Some insect repellents feature this plant as an active ingredient because it’s so effective at pest deterrent.
Also known as mums, they are very easy to grow outdoors and indoors once you get the care basics down. When you pick out one of these plants that repel spiders, you should consider where you live as they do better in certain environments. No matter which ones you pick, they need well-draining soil. They can adapt to different soil types. They do okay when you place them in partial shade, but they like a bright, sunny location.
Another name for this plant that repels spiders is lemongrass, and it’s a plant that is the main source of citronella oil. You find this in a huge range of insect repellent sprays. Citronella is very easy to grow, but it won’t survive harsh winter weather very well. You should plant this option in a pot if at all possible because this allows you to easily bring it inside when the temperatures start to dip. No matter if you choose to plant it in a pot or directly in the ground, this plant requires a well-draining soil and full sun to do well.
For the best growth possible, this plant needs a steady water source. The roots should never dry out. When you grow it indoors, you want to put it in a south-facing window and cut back on how much you water it during the winter months. Brushing by the leaves or crushing a few in your hand will release the fragrance and keep the bugs away. You can make a natural pest spray by using the crushed leaves in water.
Most people know that dill is very popular for use in the kitchen, and it’s not an overpowering herb. So, a lot of people don’t know that dill is a plant that repels spiders very well. Dill works best to repel pests directly around the area where you plant it, so you should put it directly into the garden or containers that you put along your window sills for the best results. If you’re growing dill indoors, make sure to put it in a place that gets plenty of light because it needs several hours of light a day to do well.
Dill is like a lot of other herbs that can withstand cold and hot weather without an issue, and it’s a very beginner-friendly plant. It has the ability to self-seed, and you won’t need to baby it along. Each plant will live for two years. However, if you leave it alone and allow it to self-seed, it’ll come back year after year. Dill does great in a huge range of soil types, but you’ll get the best flavor by putting it in poor but well-draining soil.
6. Dwarf Citrus Fruit Trees
Dwarf citrus fruit trees are a great alternative if you simply don’t have the room for full-sized citrus trees or if you don’t live in a subtropical planting zone. A dwarf lemon tree will only get an average of 10 feet tall at full maturity, but they’ll produce just as much fruit as a standard-sized tree without compromising the quality of the fruit. A lot of people claim that the dwarf trees actually produce more fruit than the full-sized counterparts. You can grow these trees indoors or in gardens that are on the smaller side.
The secret to growing these plants that repel spiders in containers successfully is to ensure that they have enough sunlight. They need a minimum of eight hours of sun every day. You should keep the soil moist but not soaking wet, and you should get fertilizer for citrus trees and feed them according to the instructions. During cold snaps or in colder climates, you want to bring them inside or insulate them with a piece of plastic, burlap, or a blanket.
There is a very distinct smell to this plant that repels spiders, and they can get to impressive heights in zones 8 to 10. The scent of the leaves can work to deter spiders and other pests. Also, most gardeners aren’t looking to have a full-grown eucalyptus tree, and the dwarf varieties are an excellent compromise. When you grow it indoors as a shrub or a plant, they have to be trimmed constantly. For protection when the temperature drops, you should bring it inside as an annual.
You’ll have to feed it a lot and put it in a location with full sun indoors to keep it happy, so put it in a south-facing window. It can adapt to moist soil types, but it needs a lot more care than you’d give more indoor plants. You want to feed it a liquid fertilizer once a week, and try to avoid over or under-watering it. They need a well-draining soil, and it won’t transplant well. So, when it outgrows the pot, the best thing to do is start over with a new plant instead of trying to transplant the old one.
Geraniums are a very popular plant among gardeners because they’re very easy to grow, emit a pleasant scent, and they come in a huge range of colors. To make geraniums more popular, they are one plant that repels spiders. They work very well outdoors when the weather is warm, but you do need to bring them inside during the winter months to keep them healthy. If you give them enough light inside, they will bloom all year-round.
They need between four and six hours of sunlight every day to flourish, but they do better when you let them go dormant during the winter months. You want to purchase healthy plants when you’re buying them for your home. Pay close attention to the size and color of your plant, especially the leaves. Look for plants that have sturdy stems and no discoloration. You should plant them in containers or pots that have drainage holes to stop them from having issues with root rot. Get a potting soil that drains well, and avoid heavy or clay-based soil. You want to water them thoroughly but let the soil dry between watering sessions.
Lavender is a very popular flowering herbal plant that emits a strong floral scent, and it’s strong enough to keep mosquitoes, gnats, and spiders away. Just like a host of other herbal plants that repel spiders, lavender is easy to grow as well as being tolerant to drought conditions. Once you establish them, they need very little care to do well. You should put them in the ground or in containers by windows or doorways to keep the pests outside.
It’s possible to grow lavender indoors, but they do need more work and attention than if you had them outside. When you plant them inside, you want a location that gets six to eight hours of sunlight a day. The soil’s pH levels should be between seven and eight, so you need an alkaline soil instead of an acidic one. To lower your soil’s acidity, add lime. Lavender likes dry conditions, so you should have well-draining soil. You’ll prune any bushes once a year to encourage new blooms and stop the plant from getting too woody.
10. Lemon Balm
If you want to banish fruit flies from the space as well as spiders, try to incorporate a few lemon balm plants throughout the house. They’re a part of the mint family, so it shouldn’t be surprising that people use it to enhance drinks and food. It has lemon-scented leaves that you can use to create excellent drinks and add flavor to meat and salads.
Lemon balm won’t do well if you live in a humid and hot climate, and it does best in cooler conditions. When you plant it outside in climates that freeze for part of the year, it’ll die back to the ground before re emerging in the spring. It does okay in shade, but it does best in full sun. You’ll want to have it in a well-draining soil with a pH between 6.7 and 7.3. This plant that repels spiders also needs to be watered regularly, and it needs slightly moist soil around the clock. You’ll overwinter it in a protected area.
11. Lemon Thyme
Lemon thyme is a wonderful addition to your flower or herb garden. It’s a very versatile herb that you can use to cook with, and it has attractive foliage. Even though it’s known to be a plant that repels spiders, it also attracts bees. The bees will help pollinate the surrounding plants, so you want to choose your plant carefully. When it’s growing, this plant looks like an evergreen shrub with a very distinct lemon scent. It has a very straightforward care regimen.
This plant does best in zones five to nine, and it grows as an evergreen when you plant it in zones eight or nine. You should plant it in an area that gets full sun during the early spring months in a well-drained soil that gets little water. It’s a low-maintenance plant that repels spiders, and it does very well in poor conditions. It’s a very hardy drought-resistant plant, but root rot is a problem if you leave it in an overly wet or soggy soul.
12. Lemon Verbena
Lemon verbena is a nice plant that repels spiders. When you plant it, either outdoors or in pots, you want to put it into an organically-rich but well-draining soil. The secret to keeping this plant healthy is how well the soil drains. If the roots are soggy and wet, the plant will quickly die off due to root rot. To plant them in containers, you’ll need a 12-inch pot at a minimum with a premium-quality potting mix.
It needs full sun to grow the best and produce full-flavor leaves. In northern planting zones, you should put it near a white fence or wall to ensure that it can take advantage of the reflected light to help enhance the growth. If it gets too much shade, you’ll get spindly leaves instead of full ones with essential oil levels. This is one of the few herbal plants that needs more frequently fertilizer applications. You can overwinter it, but it’s better to let it go dormant until the weather warms back up.
Planting marigolds and putting them in pots along your patio and outside of your doors or near your vegetable garden are a great way to keep spiders away, and they’re also great for keeping rabbits from getting at the rest of your plants. They work to repel gnats too, and this plant that repels spiders is an annual flower. They are very easy to grow, and they bring bright colors to the area.
If you go from tall American Marigolds, you should note that they’re slower to mature and you plant them right after the final frost of the season. You should start the seeds inside, and the seeds will germinate quickly. When you pick out the location for your plants that repel spiders, you should find one that is full sun with a moderately fertile soil. They need a soil that drains well, and if you plant them in a container, you should get a soil-based mix. Let the dirt dry out between watering sessions and water more when the heat and humidity rise.
Mint plants, including catnip, peppermint, and spearmint all work as plants that repel spiders. They are also ant, aphids, and mosquito repelling. You’ll find mint oil as a big ingredient in aphid killer recipes. You do have to keep an eye on this plant as it spreads rapidly. The big benefit of planting mint is that it is very low maintenance. If you plant them outside, they need a light layer of mulch to keep the plants moist. Indoor plants need routine watering sessions to keep the soil moist. However, don’t saturate the soil.
If you keep the soil overly damp, you’ll have issues getting rid of gnats. Mint plants are a nice kitchen plant, and they’re also popular to use in herbal medicines, as air fresheners, ground covers, and more. They thrive in full sun to partial shade with little input from you. When you plant them, you want to make sure that you’re using a lighter soil. In colder climates, you’ll have to protect your mint in the winter. Planting them in pots and bringing them inside is the best way to keep them thriving.
Planting onions in your vegetable garden can keep spiders out, but they’re also one of the plants that keep spider mites away. They’re a cold season crop, and onions are relatively easy to grow because they’re an extremely hardy plant. You should plant them in the spring months and harvest in the fall when the tops start to dye back. You’ll have good luck planting them in rows that are raised four inches high or in raised beds.
You should plant this plant that repels spiders as soon as you can start working the ground in the spring. When you’re deciding on a planting location, you should pick one that offers full sun. Never put this plant in an area where other plants will shade it out. The soil requirements are well-draining and loose soil that has a higher nitrogen content. The bulbs won’t develop correctly if you have compact soil. Add compost into the soil before you plant anything and regularly feed the plants as they need constant nutrients to grow big.
16. Osage Orange
This plant that repels spiders is actually a hedge, and you may hear it called the hedge apple tree. It’s a medium-sized tree or larger shrub that is excellent for any area where you have a larger spider population versus a few in the house. The most interesting point about this plant is the fruit it’ll produce. The fruit skin has an oily compound that smells very similar to citrus.
The tree itself won’t repel any spiders or other insects, but the fruit will do all of the work. The fruit blooms in April and goes until June. Once the fruit is ripe, you can cut it in half and put it along your window sills and around your flower beds to keep the pests out. The shrub is best planted in full sun with regular watering, and you want to let the soil between watering sessions. The soil can be anything from medium loam to clay.
Even though we already touched on mint, peppermint deserves its own spot on the list of plants that repel spiders. Spiders may hate mint but they detest peppermint. The reason peppermint is so popular is because it’s easily found as an essential oil that you let evaporate or as a spray.
You can easily make your own spider repellent by adding 12 ounces of water to a spray bottle and adding a quarter teaspoon of dish soap and 10 to 12 drops of peppermint essential oil. You’ll want to stir your mixture until it bubbles but don’t shake it. Spray it around the bottom of your doors, windows, and in your basement.
One of the most popular annual flowers is petunias, and it’s a bonus that it’s a plant that repels spiders. If you live in zones 9 to 11, you’ll consider this annual flower a tender perennial. They bloom in a range of colors from red and purple to pink, white, or yellow during the spring to the fall months. If you plan it out, you can keep the spiders away while enjoying bright pops of color well into the fall months.
Grandiflora petunias give you a bigger flower head, and they do the best when you plant them in hanging baskets or containers because you’ll have to protect them from the rain to stop any flower damage. Multiflora petunias offer smaller but more abundant flowers. They make a great addition to any flower bed or border because the wetter weather won’t damage them. They only need weekly watering, and they’re drought-tolerant.
Rosemary has a reputation for being a plant that repels spiders, but it won’t keep whiteflies or spider mites out. However, it’s also a plant that cats tend to avoid, so you can use it to keep both cats and spiders out. When you grow this plant in colder climates, you should put it in containers or pots because they don’t tolerate colder temperatures. Containers or pots let you move them inside to protect them when it freezes.
If you want to plant this plant that repels spiders outside in zones north of seven, you’ll want to put it near a south-facing wall, preferably a brick wall. This will give them a more protected and warmer spot to grow while keeping it out of the wind. It needs full direct sunlight to grow well, and the soil should be well-draining with a pH that is between six and seven.
If you want to improve your soil’s quality, you can add a light layer of compost in. In containers, you want to use a lightweight soil mixture and make a point to keep the soil evenly moist. Allow your soil to dry out between watering sessions. Finally, you can apply a layer of mulch to help retain moisture and insulate the plants during the colder temperatures.
Five Tips for Keeping Spiders Away
No one wants to think about having spiders in or around their homes, so you should do a few more things outside of having plants that repel spiders around and in your home. We’ve picked out five things below you want to consider doing.
1. Clean with White Vinegar
Cleaning your home using white vinegar works like an organic pest control solution. It has a decent amount of acetic acid, and this has a sour odor and taste that spiders are very sensitive too. So, they tend to stay away from it. You can spread the white vinegar around your home in areas where you see spiders, like at the entrances or in the kitchen.
You also want to keep a look out for spider sacs or webs around your porch or in the upper corners of your room, but this means that you have spiders that are ready to multiply. You need to get rid of the webs and sacs as soon as you spot them to give the spiders a reason to move on.
2. Keep Landscaping Clean
Try to make a point to keep your home’s exterior free of any debris. You want to routinely pick up grass clippings, leaves, and wood piles as they make great spider hangouts. If you keep the spiders away in the first place, you won’t be shooing them out of your home later.
3. Seal the Gaps at Ground Level
Spiders won’t knock on your door to come inside. Instead, they squish themselves down and slide through any cracks they can find under your doors, in your windows, and in the walls through your baseboards. You can buy a clear silicone sealant and close off as many of these gaps as possible and use weatherstripping strips to seal everything.
4. Spread Cedar Chips
Were you aware that cedar chips and blocks can go outside and inside of your home to help get rid of a host of pests, including spiders? Also, adding cedar chips will give you a woody scent in the area.
5. Use Diatomaceous Earth
Finally, you can use diatomaceous earth, and this is made out of fossilized remains. It’s a white powder that is relatively inexpensive and effective. Also, it’s non-toxic, so you can use it around kids and pets without a problem. Sprinkle it around any area where you notice bugs, like your home’s foundation.
We’ve outlined 19 plants that repel spiders in this list, and you can easily mix and match them to find the perfect combination for your home. Doing so will make the space unpleasant for any pests while adding touches of green and pretty smells for you to enjoy.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.