Poolside Flora: The 5 Best Plants to Keep the Bugs at Bay

As spring approaches here in San Antonio, you may be thinking about freshening up the planters and beds around your pool. A garden makeover is a perfect way to change the scenery without investing too much time or money. So how do you choose the right plants?

Function Meets Beauty

Naturally, you want plants that are beautiful, but it’s even better if they can serve a dual purpose by repelling insects that might otherwise be a nuisance both in the water and poolside. Luckily, many decorative plant species have their own built-in bug repellants that can help cut down on the number of insects that spend time around your pool.

Choosing the right plants for both aesthetics and function can be daunting if you don’t know where to start. To make your job that much easier, we’ve put together a list of a few plants that can work wonders at keeping the creepy crawlies away.

Top Five Bug-Repelling Plants for Your Pool

This selection of plants will give you a starting point from which to work — there are multitudes of other plants that can help keep insects away as well, but these are some of the easiest to find in most garden centers and also require minimal care.

1. Lavender

Lavender has been a wildly popular herb for centuries. Known for its deep, complex fragrance and bold purple spikes of flowers, it can be found in gardens around the world. Lavender oil is often used in natural bug repellents, as it is effective at chasing off flies, mosquitoes and gnats. It requires very little maintenance and can be used as a cut flower indoors as well.

2. Rosemary

Rosemary comes in many varieties, making finding one you like the appearance of easy. Most insects find the plant unsavory and will stay away from it. It can be grown as a tall border plant, in pots, cut into topiaries or as bushes.

3. Marigolds

The cheerful, bright faces of marigolds make a bold statement in any garden. They also have a trick hidden up their sleeves — they are excellent for repelling aphids and mosquitoes. They can be easily grown in beds or in planters for an added punch of color.

4. Petunias

Despite their delicate appearance, petunias have bug-repelling superpowers. They are credited with being able to keep aphids and leafhoppers, as well as other insects, away.

5. Chrysanthemums

Available in a multitude of colors, chrysanthemums are excellent for making ants, roaches, fleas and ticks run in the opposite direction. They contain powerful insecticidal compounds known as pyrethrins.

As you can see, even commonly available garden plants are able to pull double duty when it comes to protecting you from unwanted insects and keeping your poolside beautiful!

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