Natural Snake Repelling Plants – Keep Snakes at Bay with These Greens

a snake in the garden

One effective solution for homeowners who want to deter snakes from slithering too close for comfort is strategically placing snake repelling plants. Certain plants contain strong scents, compounds, or natural oils that cause snakes to steer clear from the area and give it a stiff ignoring.

Using snake repellent plants is an organic, non-toxic method to reduce snakes around your homestead and keep them at bay from gardens, patios, play areas, or other spaces. Paired with other techniques like eliminating habitat cover, it can create an unwelcoming environment.

Read on to discover the top plants that repel snakes and how to use this greenery in your landscaping or gardens to naturally repel these unwelcome reptilian visitors!

Snake Repelling Plants

Whether you use these plants in your garden, patios, or even indoors, the following plants that repel snakes are easy to get hold of and have the added bonus of adding color and beautiful scents to your garden and home.


orange marigolds in the garden

With their bright, cheery blooms and distinctive aroma, marigolds are a classic flower that deter snakes. Studies show that the odor produced by the marigold’s foliage, flowers, and roots contains compounds that snakes find offensive and avoid.

For best results, plant clumps or beds of marigolds entirely surrounding the area you want to protect. Choose pungent varieties like African or French marigolds. Replant them annually for seasonal protection.

Onions & Garlic

onions growing in the garden

The strong sulfurous smells emitted from onion and garlic plants are perfect for deterring snakes. Alliums contain compounds that are irritating or toxic to snakes when inhaled, causing them to flee the area.

For repelling power, plant onion and garlic sets or bulbs densely around garden perimeters or vulnerable areas. Interplant them along with other vegetables. The sprouts, leaves, and bulbs will all deter snakes as the crops grow.

West Indian Lemongrass


This tropical grass features stiff, lemony-scented leaves that contain citronella oil. This powerful aroma masks the scent trails that snakes use to navigate spaces, confusing them. Strategically place large planters of lemongrass around patios, playsets, or yard edges.

For extra potency, bruise or crush lemongrass leaves to increase the released oils. Combine with other citronella plants for an intensely scented snake barrier. Just contain its invasive roots.


fresh mint growing in the garden

Mint’s brisk, menthol smell deters snakes that dislike its strong vapors. The oils interfere with snakes’ ability to smell and taste stimuli. Plant mint liberally in garden beds, borders, containers or crushed around vulnerable spaces.

Choose vigorous mints like peppermint or spearmint, but avoid overly aggressive types. Crush mint leaves now and then to emit more aroma. Keep mint contained as it spreads rapidly!


colourful chrysanthemums

Both the flowers and aromatic foliage of chrysanthemums contain compounds that naturally repel snakes due to their caustic irritation when inhaled. The plants act as a chemical deterrent surrounding areas where snakes aren’t wanted.

For full potency, use Yellow or Painted Daisy mums. Plant them densely around playsets, garden edges, or patio planters. Their vibrant blooms also enhance the landscape.


pine trees in a garden

Pine needles release a number of phenol compounds as they decompose. The acidic aroma deters snakes and interferes with their ability to pick up chemical cues. Pine straw makes an ideal mulch or can be used along with pine cones to repel snakes.

Scatter pine straw as mulch, being sure to reapply more as it breaks down. The decaying needles will emit repellent oils. Place pine cones around potted plants or garden beds for added protection.


fresh clove plant

The potent, spicy aroma of whole cloves or clove oil deter snakes from occupied areas due to their overwhelming nature. Scatter whole cloves or stud citrus fruits with the dried buds. The nails release stronger fumes when crushed or pounded first.

Grow clove plants in pots or garden beds and till parts of the leaves into surrounding soil once mature. This infuses the ground with snake-repelling power. Their tropical nature requires indoor growing in some zones.

Bay Laurel

a bay tree

All parts of the bay laurel plant, including leaves, berries and stems, contain alcohols, esters, pinenes, and other compounds that naturally repel snakes. Grow bay in pots or garden beds, crushing leaves now and then to boost emitted aroma.

Use bay leaves as a mulch around other plants or scatter crushed leaves and twigs along garden edges. Prune overgrown bay plants and work the trimmings into the surrounding soil. This fortifies the repellent border.


a eucalyptus tree at dusk

The potent smell of Eucalyptus oils naturally deters snakes from spaces due to its pungent, medicinal aroma. Grow eucalyptus in pots around outdoor living spaces. Or plant directly in garden beds in zones 8-11 where it thrives.

Prune mature plants to produce leaf litter containing snake-repelling oils. Crush the leaves or rub on hard surfaces to increase fumes. The blue-gray juvenile foliage of eucalyptus emits the strongest scent.

Lemon Thyme

lemon thyme in a garden

Lemon thyme contains thymol, carvacrol and other compounds that deter snakes due to its intense lemon verbena fragrance. Plant clumps of it around garden borders, patios or yard edges. Periodically crush its leaves to release more aromatic oils.

For the fullest scent, rub or brush against the plants to bruise leaves and stems. Lemon thyme grows well in rock gardens, as groundcover, and in planters or window boxes for snake control around the home.

Use Nature’s Solutions

Now that you know which plants naturally repel snakes, use this organic technique along with yard maintenance strategies to deter snakes around your property. Remove piles of debris and wood, trim overgrown vegetation, and seal any potential entries or hiding spots.

Pair pungent plantings with physical barriers like fencing for the most effective snake repellency. The strategic use of these strong-scented greens provides a natural, non-toxic means of telling snakes to slither elsewhere! Your garden will be safely protected and smelling fresh and fabulous.

Implementing a Snake-Repellent Garden

flowers planted along a fence

To effectively use these plants to repel snakes, consider the following tips:

  • Strategic Planting: Place the plants around the perimeter of your property or garden. This creates a natural barrier that snakes are less likely to cross.
  • Regular Maintenance: Keep your garden tidy. Overgrown areas provide hiding spots for snakes.
  • Companion Planting: Combine these plants with others that attract snake predators, like birds, to create a natural ecosystem balance.
  • Irrigation Management: Avoid overwatering, as snakes are attracted to cool, damp places.

Additional Natural Repellents

Apart from plants, there are other natural ways to keep snakes away:

  • Essential Oils: Certain essential oils like cinnamon, clove, and eucalyptus are believed to repel snakes when sprayed around the garden.
  • Natural Predators: Encouraging natural predators like hawks and owls can help control the snake population. Cats may help, but cats are genetically wired to stay away from snakes!
  • Rock Gardens: Snakes dislike moving over sharp or uneven surfaces. Creating a rock garden can act as a physical deterrent.

Safety Considerations

While using plants and natural methods to repel snakes, it’s important to consider safety:

  • Identify the Snake Species: Know the types of snakes common in your area, especially if they are venomous.
  • Avoid Direct Confrontation: If you encounter a snake, maintain a safe distance and avoid provoking it.
  • Professional Assistance: In case of frequent sightings of venomous snakes, seek professional help for removal.

Incorporating snake-repelling plants into your garden is a natural and environmentally friendly way to deter snakes. While no method guarantees a snake-free zone, combining these plants with good garden practices and natural repellents can significantly reduce the likelihood of these reptiles invading your space.

Remember, the goal is to create a harmonious environment where you can coexist with nature while keeping your living spaces safe.

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