Potted Plants That Keep Bees Away: Reduce Bees in Your Yard

It’s no secret that bees play a vital role in the ecosystem, but they’re a nuisance to have around the home, especially if someone in your family is allergic to them. The good news is that potted plants that keep bees away won’t contribute to the approximately 60% decline in bee population from harsh removal methods.

Potted Plants That Keep Bees Away

Below are nine excellent potted plant choices.

1. Basil

Potted Plants That Keep Bees Away

Basil gives off a strong odor that humans love and bees hate. These fast-growing plants excel in pots as long as they have the right growing conditions. 

So, keep your potted basil in an area where it’ll receive six to eight hours of sun per day. To prevent root rot, ensure the pot offers excellent drainage and keeps the soil moist but not soggy.

2. Geraniums

Potted Plants That Keep Bees Away

Geraniums are excellent potted plants to deter bees, but you must choose the red variety. That’s because bees are partially color blind and can’t see the color red.

Furthermore, geraniums contain little pollen, so they’re not a favorite choice among bees anyway. So, whether you put your red geraniums in pots or hanging baskets, you can feel confident that they won’t attract many bees.  

3. Marigolds

Admittedly, marigolds are often more effective at deterring wasps than bees. But since people often use the word “bee” when referring to wasps, we think it’s worth including marigolds on this list.

Of course, choosing marigolds with primarily red colors is an excellent option for helping deter wasps and bees. Marigolds are a great fit for pots and are among the most popular autumn flowers.

4. Wormwood


Wormwood is a container-friendly plant that contains the toxic compound absinthe, which people consume as a liqueur. Bees and most other insects can’t handle absinthe, though, so they stay clear of this plant.

Planting wormwood in pots is ideal, given that it’s so toxic it can kill certain other nearby plant species. Be sure to place wormwood in an area that receives lots of direct sunlight.

5. Pitcher Plant

What’s better than a potted plant that deters bees? A potted plant that eats them.

Pitchers are carnivorous plants that lure bees and insects with a sweet scent. If the unlucky bee slips into the pitcher plant’s tube, it’ll land in water and won’t be able to escape. The bee will then die as the plant uses special enzymes to extract its nutrition.

6. Mint

Peppermint Plant

Mint is another strong-smelling herb that bees detest, so you won’t have to worry about them congregating around this plant when it flowers.

You should place your potted mint plants in areas with partial shade. Since these plants spread so quickly, many gardeners prefer to contain mint in pots even when they have garden space to plant them.

7. Pennyroyal

Pennyroyal turns bees off for the same reasons as mint plants, given its strong minty scent. They also don’t have bright flowers to attract a bee’s attention.

The easy-going pennyroyal is ideal for small pots, given that it only grows 6 to 12 inches high. As a bonus, you can use this plant to keep mosquitos away in addition to bees.

8. Lemon Balm

Lemon balm gives off a strong, lemony scent that bees don’t like. Many other insects don’t like it either, so it’s great for helping control wasps, ticks, and fleas.

Pots are excellent for lemon balm, as these low-maintenance plants can grow in many conditions. In fact, you shouldn’t fertilize this plant. Otherwise, it’ll lose some of its smell and may attract bees.

9. Lemongrass

Rounding off this list is another lemon-scented plant that bees hate. Lemongrass is a fast-growing grass that grows in clumps; planting a single bulb in a pot will result in a plant that spreads and grows up to five feet tall.

So, lemongrass is an excellent potted plant for addressing your bee problem higher in the air. It also makes for an attractive potted hedge.

Reduce the Bees Around Your Home 

Using potted plants that keep bees away is an excellent choice for reducing the chances of your kids and pets getting stung. So, the more anti-bee potted plants you keep near your home, the fewer bees you can expect to encounter.