14 Plants That Repel Spiders Indoors & Outdoors With Little Effort
Author: Jen Worst | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
We know spiders aren't only good for the environment but are necessary. Without them our entire ecosystem will go haywire. But there's two things none of us want indoors, in our houses or anywhere we go, and that's spiders and chemical treatments to keep them away.
Fortunately there are a lot of natural spider repellents and some of those include plants that repel spiders indoors and outdoors. The outdoors matter too because if we keep them away from the house then they won't find their way indoors.
Most of us already grow plants and flowers, so you'll be pleased to see how attractive many of these plants are, and extra happy to know that they smell great. It's usually these smells that we love that spiders find so repulsive.
Let's look at the list now and then I have a few extra tips for you that should help reduce how many arachnids you find crawling about.
14 Plants That Repel Spiders
Not only do these plants directly repel spiders, but many of them ward off other insects that spiders are attracted to. They're only in your house to build a web and catch other critters. If they aren't around, then that's even better.
Lavender is such a beautiful sight to behold, and it smells so good that we include it in many fragrances and air fresheners. Good thing that spiders hate the smell. It's easy to grow outside because with water and a lot of sunlight, it thrives easily.
What you can do is either grow any of the types of lavender around the house in flower beds, grow it in pots on the front patio and back deck, and grow it in pots indoors. A window sill is a great place for since that's a common spider entry point.
Mint is another pretty plant, but you'll definitely want to grow it in a pot or container. It's fairly invasive and can get out of hand otherwise. Again, it's the aromatic scent of this plant that repels spiders, and to us it smells wonderful. It's a double win for us.
People will even take mint and let it dry out in tiny satchels that they leave around the baseboards and on window sills to keep the spiders out. You can use any type of mint you want, from pennyroyal to spearmint or anything in between.
3. Lemon Balm
Like mint, don't plant lemon balm willy nilly because it'll take over your whole garden. It has a strong smell, one you'll enjoy, but two particular pests don't like it: spiders and fruit flies.
This can create an absence of not only spiders but one of their prey, removing an incentive for them being indoors anyways.
It's easy to grow. Just give it plenty of sunlight and make sure the soil can drain so you don't rot the roots, and that's pretty much it. It's pretty resilient too so if you don't have a green thumb, don't worry.
Not only is basil easy to grow but you can use it as a culinary herb if you get the inkling. Like the others, it has a scent that, while not particularly strong to us, keeps spiders at bay. These creepy crawlies have a weird sense of smell.
Like peppermint, you can dry out and crush your basil or let it dissolve in alcohol to create a spider repellent spray. And why not since you're already growing it? Spritz all of the suspect areas with it, especially in the times when spiders are most active.
Rosemary is a great choice because it's perennial most USDA Plant Hardiness Zones in the USA. Even where it's not, it thrives for the most part unless you have an exceptionally harsh season. You can grow it in a pot or container, meaning it's good for indoors and out.
It's an easy choice to grow indoors in small pots to place on a window sill, kitchen counter, and really any specific area where you think spiders are coming through. All you have to do is water it and replenish the soil occasionally and it'll last for a long time.
You aren't going to grow a giant eucalyptus tree, but you can grow a dwarf or buy a smaller but mature potted tree. The leaves and blooms of all types of eucalyptus emit a fairly strong scent that pushes spiders away, and look great while they're doing it.
Technically, you could start growing a tree. It'd be cool to do and watch it age and grow in size over the decades. You could even dedicate it to someone and add a small plaque near it. My parents are doing something similar recently.
This plant, also known as lemongrass, is where citronella oil comes from, an oil known for its spider repellent properties. It's not necessarily the most visually attractive plant (to me, anyways). But the oil and acids inside this grass that seep out keep spiders at bay big time.
You'll see this grass a lot in the south because it doesn't do that great in the winter. If you're up north and want to try it, just grow it in a container. When the weather cools you can bring it indoors and still get the benefit.
Marigolds, as you know, look fantastic. Growing them around the perimeter of your house, or even in pots inside or on the porch, not only make for a beautiful lawn but keep tons of insects away. Spiders, lice, and mosquitos, for example, hate them.
You'll have a lot of color added to your yard, and you'll also attract some sweet insects that won't cause you problems, like butterflies and bees. I suspect many of you are already growing various types of marigolds. Add more!
Spiders (and spider mites, technically not spiders) hate onions and their smells as much as people do.
That makes these a great choice to plant in a vegetable garden, especially if you want to actually eat what you grow. They help keep all kinds of pests off of your other vegetables.
Spiders will keep other flying pests off of your garden plants, but the mites are especially good to keep away because they'll actively eat the plants, causing them to yellow and become sick. You don't want to eat anything like that.
10. Lemon Verbena
This is another plant you want to watch out for. If you plant these types of verbena in a garden, you can expect it to get as tall as 10 feet at the extreme, so I recommend trimming it or placing it in a smaller container so it has to contain its own size.
It's another aromatic plant that runs off not only spiders but other bugs that spiders seek out. Lots of people use this as a seasoning for seafood, too. It's not necessarily an attractive plant, but the benefits outweigh the "ugliness."
Chrysanthemums run off all kinds of insects, including spiders, due to a chemical compound known as pyrethrin. You find it included in tons of pesticides, especially those marketed as natural.
Called "mums," these pretty flowers need a medium amount of sun. Too much and they won't produce their flowers, which is the best secondary benefit you'll get out of any of these plants. They're absolutely gorgeous.
I'm exactly sure why, but spiders don't like dill. It looks pretty cool and makes for a nice bushy plant to fill in the gaps in your flower gardens or garden containers. Dill, despite not being obvious, is an aromatic herb that you can use during cooking.
I didn't realize this, but dill is a member of the celery family of plants. I'm not saying there's any implications to knowing that fact. I just thought it was a cool one to know!
13. Citrus Fruit Trees
Lemon and orange trees, among other similar citrus trees, keep spiders at bay. Plus you can enjoy their fruits and then leave the peels around the areas you're having spider problems and know you have a long lasting deterrent. Just make sure you clean them up before they rot.
These typically thrive the best in the south, but you can grow a small tree in a container and drag it indoors during the winter. Just make sure they get plenty of light or they'll suffer. If you want to do this, consult our best time to plant fruit trees article for more information.
I know I already mentioned mint, but peppermint deserves its own slot on the list. Spiders hate mint but really don't like peppermint.
The reason it's mentioned so often with this topic is you can easily find peppermint oil either as a spray or even as an essential oil to let evaporate.
You can make your own DIY spider repellent spray by adding about 10 drops of peppermint oil to a quarter teaspoon of dish soap and 12 ounces of water.
You'll want to stir the solution lightly but don't shake it until it bubbles or you won't be able to spray it. Spray it at the bottom of your doors, around the baseboards, and around your windows.
More Tips For Repelling Spiders
There's a few more things you can do to reduce the number of spiders inside your house and around in your yard.
Here are some simple and easy tasks you can knock out in one afternoon.
Seal the Gaps at Ground Level
Spiders don't knock to come in. They squish themselves down and slide through the cracks in your windows, under your doors, and in your walls and out through your baseboards.
You can get clear silicone sealant and close off many of these gaps, and otherwise use weathering strips to close the gaps off.
If You See Webs & Sacs, Clean Them
It's easy to ignore spider webs and sacs around your porch light or even in the top corners of your rooms, but that means you have spiders around that are getting ready to multiply.
You need to get rid of these sacs as soon as possible and give the spiders a reason to find a new home.
Clean Up Around Breeding Grounds
We're all guilty of stacking stuff and leaving it, or not even inspecting our plants and garbage cans, for instance. You should go move your firewood around, push your bushes around with a rake, and tend to anything else that's been sitting around without any interaction for a while.
If you disrupt their breeding grounds, spiders will move on and at least not be multiplying.
Who Knew Plants That Repel Spiders Are So Nice?
As you scrolled through the list and images above, I'm sure you thought "wow, these plants all look so nice. I'd sure like to grow them!" You'd think that even if it wasn't about deterring spiders from using your house and yard as a nesting ground.
Not only are these plants beautiful, but they smell great too. Unlike me, your sense of smell is probably intact and you can enjoy their scent on a windy day out on your patio.
You can pot them and surround yourself with these plants that repel spiders right on the porch and have one less insect to worry about.