plants that repel wasps but not bees
Kristina Davis

Do you have a garden where you grow wasps? If so, it’s time to learn about plants that repel wasps but not bees. 

Not all wasps benefit a gardener. It’s better to have many pollinators in your garden than just one or two.

This article discusses plants that repel wasps but not bees in the garden or house.

Whether you’re looking for a plant for your garden, or a houseplant, here’s a list of plants that repel wasps but don’t hurt bees.

But there are several herbs, such as mint, rosemary, catnip, lavender, and dill, that repel wasps but not bees.

Here Are Some Plants That Repel Wasps But Not Bees

You’ve probably heard that plants that deter wasps but not bees are an effective way to keep your yard from being overrun by pests. 

Here are some of them:

Option #1: Chamomile

chamomile flowers

This plant is more commonly known as “Chaparral,” and it will work wonders for you.

It’s a great choice if you want to keep the wasps out of your garden, but it’s also perfect for attracting bees to your garden. 

The existence of chamomile in the garden encourages the presence of beneficial insects and pollinators.

Chamomile is attractive to a wide variety of insects, including honey bees, hoverflies, and helpful wasps.

Tip: It's a nice bonus that chamomile can keep mosquitoes away, but that's not all it can do!

Option #2: Catnip 

catnip plant

This plant is a perennial herb, so you can plant it anywhere in your garden and expect it to grow well!

It’s also known for its powerful scent, which repels both wasps and bees.

It is a low, rounded plant with gray-green leaves that look nice. It has many blue flowers that bloom at the beginning of summer and again during the monsoon season. 

Once it is established, it can handle both drought and heat. Thus many gardeners think it’s a good perennial plant for a border.

Catnip normally only blooms once per season, but when it does, bees and other insects that feed on nectar are drawn to it.

Tip: Both catmint and catnip bring in bees as well as other good insects.

Option #3: Garlic 

garlic bulb and stems

This is another perennial herb that can be used to deter wasps from your garden! The smell of garlic will keep away most insects, including wasps. 

You can even add some garlic cloves to a pot of water to create a spray. And this will definitely keep them away from other plants in your yard as well!

It is possible to successfully disperse pollen using garlic and other plants in the onion family. They bring in bees and other pollen-spreading insects like flies and butterflies. 

Garlic and other attractive alliums can assist pollinate food crops if they are planted close to grapevines, fruit trees, and vegetable gardens.

Note: Garlic also protects against many diseases and eliminates a large number of "bad" bugs, particularly Japanese beetles!

Option #4: Rosemary

rosemary herb

Rosemary is a shrub that grows up to 3 feet tall with aromatic leaves and green flowers.

Several different kinds of bees enjoy rosemary, including honey bees, bumble bees, mining bees, and Mason bees. 

It is also beneficial for other types of pollinators, such as flies and butterflies, who consume nectar as a food source.

Option #5: Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is one of the most popular plants for repelling wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets.

It’s also great for repelling yellow jacket adults as well as larvae and eggs.

Lemon balm attracts beneficial insects, so it can also help control aphids and whiteflies.

Option #6: Mints

mint leaves

You may have heard that Mints are another plant that can be used to repel different types of insects.

This includes wasps and hornets, but did you know it’s also good for attracting bees? 

They have a pleasant scent that attracts beneficial insects like bees and hoverflies (which help pollinate plants). 

Tip: There are many varieties of mints—including spearmint and peppermint—so feel free to experiment with different flavors!

Option #7: Marigold

Marigold is an exceptionally popular garden plant that has a wide variety of benefits. In addition to being very effective in repelling pests like wasps, hornets, spiders, and many insects.

Marigold is also great for improving soil quality and keeping away rabbits!

Option #8: Marjoram 

marjoram plant

Marjoram is a great herb to use in the garden because it attracts beneficial insects, like bees, ladybugs, and hoverflies.

It’s also another plant that can be used to repel different types of insects including ants, aphids, whiteflies, and more.

Additionally, it is well known that they promote the growth of other plants. This is another reason why you should maintain it with another plant together. 

If you disperse them around your vegetable garden, not only will you be able to ward off pests, but rabbits will also be less likely to enter your garden.

However, make sure they are always exposed to a lot of sunlight. 

Note: If they are stored in moist conditions, they may be susceptible to a variety of ailments.

Option #9: Dill 

dill herbs

This is a great herb to have in your garden because it attracts beneficial insects, like bees and ladybugs.

It’s also another plant that can be used to repel different types of pests including ants, aphids, whiteflies, and more! 

In spite of the fact that it can live for up to four years, most gardeners treat dill as a hardy annual plant.

The species has a slender stem and typically grows to a height of between two and three feet.

However, it can occasionally be even shorter. It looks like fennel.

Option #10: Lavender  

This is an aromatic plant that can be used for both culinary purposes as well as repelling pests like mice or rats!

Lavender has a strong scent that insects dislike and it’s also edible so it can be used as a seasoning in cooking! 

Option #11: Tarragon 

tarragon plant

Tarragons are perennials that can reach a maximum size of 2 feet, 7 inches in height, and 1 foot, 4 inches in width.

The tall, sturdy plants look great alongside other autumn bloomers like pineapple sage. 

They thrive in warm, dry climates and don’t mind being watered sometimes.

If you want to bring more insects and animals into your yard, tarragon is a fantastic choice. The plant’s relationship to marigolds may help explain why it drives away pests.

It’s a herb that can be used in cooking and has a strong scent that bugs don’t like.

It’s another great plant to use in order to repel different types of insects including ants, aphids, whiteflies, and more

Option #12: Basil 

fresh basil

Basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow; they’re beautiful flowers with fragrant leaves that are perfect for adding flavor.

It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like this aromatic herb, which is great in salads and pasta.

Basil is a favorite of bees because the pollen and nectar it produces are a tasty treat for the insects. The bees will like it if you let your basil bloom. 

Note: Although bees enjoy herbs, you must supply them with flowers to pollinate and feed on nectar and pollen.

Option #13: Bay Leaves

bay leaves

Bay trees bloom in the spring. Male and female flowers are made on separate trees (bay trees are dioecious plants).

Their flowers have a star shape, are yellow-green, and are arranged in pairs. 

They smell nice and are full of nectar, which is what brings bees, which are responsible for pollinating this plant.


Above are some lists of plants that repel wasps but not bees.

According to what we’ve found, you can keep both wasps and bees at bay using their respective natural enemies. But, is there really a best plant for that purpose? 

Well, it depends on your situation.

If you are looking for an organic way to repel wasps without harming bees, then the answer seems to be in the Scrophularia genus.