You need to get rough with insect-repelling plants to bring out their repelling power! These special plants are ineffective when they're just sitting in a pot or merely growing in the soil next to a patio. The leaves must be crushed to release their volatile oils, which ward off stinging and biting invaders.
Don't hesitate to crush a few leaves between your fingers as you pass by insect-repelling plants. You can also rub the broken leaves on your skin for extended bug repellent.
Special note: Be sure to test for any allergy first by rubbing the leaves on a quarter-size patch of skin on your inner forearm for a day or so; if there's no irritating skin reaction, it's likely safe for you to rub away.
A creeping herb with a bright citrus fragrance, lemon thyme releases oils that repel many kinds of bugs. Use lemon thyme as a groundcover and enjoy its insect-repelling properties every time you tread on it. Lemon thyme grows well in full sun and well-drained soil. It is drought-tolerant and easy to grow from transplants purchased at the garden center.
A popular culinary herb, lemon thyme has the best flavor before the plant flowers.
Borers commonly feed on trees and shrubs, and although you don't always see them, they can cause significant damage. See how to get rid of them while saving your plants.