Plants that can save your garden from pests like slugs and chinch bugs


There are few things as rewarding as watching your garden thrive after hours and hours of hard work. But also, seeing your precious plants attacked by nasty insects can be a demoralizing experience.

UK gardeners need to know that there is an environmentally friendly way to get rid of pests without adding toxins to their crops. The method involves adding plants that attract pests away from the main plants you are growing. They are called trap plants or sacrificial plants.

Experts at have advised gardeners on which plants they can grow to prevent the rest of their garden from being eaten up by an invasion of insects. The list includes easy-to-grow herbs and flowers like chervil, sunflower, and nasturtium.

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A spokesperson for said: “The traditional method of getting rid of destructive insects would be to use pesticides which could potentially bring toxins into your garden. We prefer to use deterrent plants instead, adding a food source for insects while keeping them away from your favorite flowers.

“The plants you hope to protect will determine how far apart you should plant the decoy sacrificial plants. For some insects, it is best to plant the decoys around the border of flowers or crops. For others, the sacrificial plants may be placed further.

Nettles and nasturtiums

Ladybugs feast on aphids sheltering among nettles

They are easy to grow and effective at attracting aphids and sap-sucking insects that feed on nutrient-rich plant fluids. For this reason, they will work as a distraction for nuisance aphids congregating in large groups and keeping them away from your most prized crops and flowers.

Nasturtium or tropaeolum edible flower close-up
Nasturtium plants are easy to grow

Nasturtiums will need to be pruned and maintained over time as they are a spreading plant that drops seeds all over the area where they grow.


White flowers on cow parsley plant (wild chervil Anthriscus sylvestris)
Wild chervil is none other than the well-known cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris)

Gardeners frustrated with the number of slugs in their garden should stock up on chervil. The delicate grass attracts slugs and will prevent them from leaving unsightly holes in your favorite flowers.


Sunflower field as summer turns into autumn.
Bedbugs love sunflowers

These summer favorites are great for attracting stink bugs, which often attack crops like sweet corn and okra. Keep these vegetables pest-free by planting sunflowers at least 70 days before your vegetables. Once sunflowers have fully matured, they will do their best to deter insects no matter how far they are from your most valuable crops.


A vintage shabby chic tub planted with marigolds.
Marigold is one of the best known insect repellent plants

Flying insects and nematodes eat away the roots of crops like cucumbers, beans and tomatoes. Marigolds are an excellent deterrent to these pesky insects and should be planted before vegetables to ensure crops are not disturbed.


lavender and bee
Lavender has a strong scent that can repel moths, flies, fleas and mosquitoes

Although loved by many, the strong scent of lavender is known to repel many insects from crops and flowers. The strong smell will repel stinging insects and instead attract nectar-feeding bees and butterflies to your garden.


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