10 Outdoor Plants that Repel Flies

Flies are horrible pests in the warmer months, they drive us all crazy. Here are 10 outdoor plants that repel flies from your outdoor living spaces.

woman holding a fly swatter while sitting outdoors
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We all love being outdoors during spring, summer, and fall, but flies can quickly drive you back indoors when your spaces are overrun with them.

Although fly strips, fly swatters, and sprays are ways to deter and get rid of them, they aren’t always the best for outdoor living. Who wants to stare at a hanging strip full of dead flies while eating barbecue?

If you’re looking for natural ways to deter flies from your outdoor spaces, any of these 10 outdoor plants that repel flies will do the trick.

1. Basil

green leaves basil with purple stems outdoor plants that repel flies
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You may think basil is only for cooking, but it isn’t. It also makes a great natural repellant to keep flies away from your outdoor living spaces. Grow it strategically in pots around your deck, patio, or porch for fly-free living. As a bonus you’ll have fresh basil on hand for cooking!

2. Catnip

cat inhaling a catnip plant outdoor
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Catnip is loved by cats because of its strong smell and oils. Planting it around your porch, patio, or deck will repel flies and make outdoor living more enjoyable. It’s best to plant in pots to make it easy to move around, although you may get a few more feline visitors than normal.

3. Lavender

lavendar plant growing on the side of the road
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Lavender isn’t just a pretty purple flower to plant in your flower bed. Its amazing smell and oils repel flies, making your time outdoors fly-free. Plant it with other border plants around your porch, patio, or deck. You can also plant it in pots and place them around your outdoor living spaces.

4. Lemon Balm

fresh green lemon balm leaves
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Lemon balm is easy to grow and has a lemon-like smell that will keep the flies away from areas you frequent outside. As a bonus the leaves have a lemony flavor that is great to add to salads for refreshing flavor.

5. Marigolds

marigold plant in the garden
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Marigolds come in shades of red, yellow, and orange. They are great spring and summer flowers that can be planted in pots or used in a border to help repel flies.

6. Mint

fresh green mint leaves growing in a home clay pot
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Mint is an herb that has many uses, from making tea to helping aid in digestion. Growing mint gives you easy access when you need it; when grown outdoors, it will help repel flies. Grow it in pots and place them on your porch, patio, or deck.

7. Bay Laurel

bay laurel planted outdoors to repel flies
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Another plant that makes a great fly repellant is Bay Laurel. Grow it as a shrub and banish flies from your outdoor living spaces. Its leaves are also a great ingredient to add to your favorite pasta sauces.

8. Rosemary

rosemary planted in a white pot in the garden
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Rosemary is another herb that can do double duty as a fly repellant. Its strong aroma will have flies going the other way. If you have been thinking about growing it to use in your favorite recipes, do it now and live fly-free in the outdoor spaces you spend time in. You can also break off a few sprigs and place on a table next to you to repel flies.

9. Sage

sage plante planted in a pot in a kitchen garden to repel flies
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Planting sage with other plants in a flower bed or in pots on your porch, patio, or deck will repel flies and make spending time outdoors more enjoyable. The aroma of sage is strong enough to keep flies away, but burning (or smudging) it will do the job even quicker.

10. Wormwood

silver green wormwood leaves planted in the garden
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Growing wormwood ensures you have a ready supply of fly repellant on hand when you need it. You can pick it and rub its leaves on your skin or clothing to keep those pesky flies from driving you back indoors. Using wormwood as a topical repellent is okay, but do not injest it unless you consult with a doctor first.

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Colorful pool noodles in the swimming pool
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Anika Gandhi

Anika Gandhi is on a mission to declutter and organize all the things around her and is here to inspire and encourage you to do the same!

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