Natural Fly Repellent Plants

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Some plants offer a natural way to repel pesky flies from your garden. Flies do not like the fragrant smells of certain plants, and when the plants are in bloom, can discourage flies from coming around.

Close up of a fly.
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The shoofly plant is an annual plant that blooms for two to three months in the summer. The plant grows to be 2 to 5 feet tall, occasionally branching out, but for the most part, growing upward. The leaves on the plant are an oval shape and measure about 8 inches long and 4 inches wide. When in bloom, the flowers often point downward. The 5-lobed flowers are light blue or lavender with a white center. When fully open, the flowers measure about an inch across. The shoofly plant repels flies with it's smell and has the ability to thrive in most environments. When the plant is not in bloom, grind up the leaves and roots, mix the juice with a little bit of milk and set it out on a dish--flies will eat the mixture and then die.

Shoofly plant in Autumn.
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The lemon basil plant, whose leaves are often used in cooking, is an herb that has a lemony scent. It is a bushy plant that grows to be about 2 feet tall. The plant has bright green, glossy, jagged leaves that measure about 2 inches long. Its lemony scent deters flies. Lemon basil is frequently planted near tomatoes, as it improves the taste of the tomatoes and deters the whiteflies that are pests to tomato plants.

Sprig of Basil.
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True lavender, also known as English lavender, is a fragrant perennial shrub. It can grow 2 to 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide. The plant has very narrow, grayish-green leaves that are about 1-1/2 inches long. Lavender blooms in the summertime. The flowers are blueish-purple in color and individually are about 1/2 inch long, but together, they grow up and down a stem to create a stalk of flowers that can measure 12 to 24 inches. Lavender is a fragrant flower that is commonly used in perfumes, oils and soaps. The fragrance of lavender detracts many garden insects and pests, such as flies, snails and slugs.

Lavender plant.
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Mountain tobacco is a flowering plant that grows to be around 6 to 12 inches high. The flowers on the plant are daisy-like, with large yellow or orange petals around a prominent, dark center. The leaves are egg-shaped and greenish-gray in color. Add some crushed, dried leaves and a tsp. of dish soap to a gallon of water. Spray the mixture on your garden plants to keep flies and other garden pests away.

Tobacco plants.
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The Kentucky coffee tree is an ornamental tree that can grow to be 60 to 75 feet tall and 45 feet wide. The tree requires full sun. The leaves on the tree begin budding in mid to late spring, as an almost pinkish color. Then as the buds form smooth oval leaves, the color changes to a dark green or blueish-green. The tree flowers in late spring, with purple, rose-scented flowers that measure an inch to 1-1/2 inches wide. When mature, the flowers develop brown seed pods that contain bean-shaped seeds. The raw seeds are toxic to humans. Kentucky coffee tree leaves can be crumpled up and placed in a dish with sugar water to attract flies. Once the flies eat the mixture, they will die.

Coffee trees.
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