Snakes, though beneficial to the ecosystem, can be unwelcome visitors in gardens and yards. While chemical repellents are available, many prefer natural methods to keep these reptiles at bay. Snake repellent plants offer a safe, eco-friendly alternative that not only deters snakes but also enhances the beauty of your garden. This article explores various plants known for their snake-repelling properties and provides practical tips on how to use them effectively.

Types of Snake Repellent Plants

There are numerous plants known for their ability to repel snakes. These plants often have strong scents, bitter tastes, or textures that snakes find unappealing. The primary types include herbs, flowering plants, and specific shrubs that are both effective and aesthetically pleasing.


Description and Characteristics Garlic (Allium sativum) is a widely known culinary herb that also serves as an effective snake repellent. It has a strong, pungent aroma that is offensive to snakes.

How Garlic Repels Snakes The sulfur compounds in garlic release a potent odor when crushed or cut, which deters snakes from entering the area.

Tips for Planting and Using Garlic in the Garden

  • Plant garlic in well-drained soil with plenty of sunlight.
  • Use garlic cloves to create a barrier around the perimeter of your garden.
  • Crush garlic cloves and sprinkle them in areas where snakes are commonly seen.


Description and Characteristics Marigolds (Tagetes spp.) are bright, vibrant flowers that are easy to grow and maintain.

How Marigolds Repel Snakes Marigolds produce a strong scent and contain thiophenes, compounds that snakes find unpleasant.

Tips for Planting and Using Marigolds in the Garden

  • Plant marigolds in sunny spots with well-drained soil.
  • Use marigolds to create borders or intersperse them with other plants to enhance their repellent effect.

West Indian Lemongrass

Description and Characteristics West Indian Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is a tall, grassy plant with a citrus fragrance.

How Lemongrass Repels Snakes The strong citrus scent of lemongrass acts as a natural deterrent to snakes.

Tips for Planting and Using Lemongrass in the Garden

  • Plant lemongrass in sunny areas with moist, well-drained soil.
  • Position lemongrass around the garden perimeter or near entry points.

Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria)

Description and Characteristics Sansevieria, also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, is a hardy, evergreen plant with stiff, upright leaves.

How Mother-in-Law’s Tongue Repels Snakes The sharp, pointed leaves and bitter taste of Sansevieria discourage snakes from venturing close.

Tips for Planting and Using Sansevieria in the Garden

  • Sansevieria thrives in a variety of conditions, including low light and dry soil.
  • Use as a decorative indoor plant or plant in outdoor pots around garden entrances.

Andrographis Paniculata

Description and Characteristics Andrographis Paniculata, known for its medicinal properties, is also a snake repellent.

How Andrographis Paniculata Repels Snakes The bitter compounds in the plant are unpalatable to snakes, keeping them away from treated areas.

Tips for Planting and Using Andrographis Paniculata in the Garden

  • Plant in sunny to partially shaded areas with well-drained soil.
  • Use leaves and stems to create natural barriers or sprays.

Pink Agapanthus

Description and Characteristics Pink Agapanthus (Agapanthus praecox) is a flowering plant with attractive, lily-like blooms.

How Pink Agapanthus Repels Snakes The plant’s scent and texture are off-putting to snakes, making it an effective repellent.

Tips for Planting and Using Pink Agapanthus in the Garden

  • Plant in well-drained soil with full to partial sunlight.
  • Incorporate into garden borders or flowerbeds for added snake protection.

Indian Snakeroot

Description and Characteristics Indian Snakeroot (Rauvolfia serpentina) is a medicinal plant with snake-repelling qualities.

How Indian Snakeroot Repels Snakes The strong odor and bitter taste of Indian Snakeroot are highly effective in deterring snakes.

Tips for Planting and Using Indian Snakeroot in the Garden

  • Plant in shaded or partially shaded areas with moist, well-drained soil.
  • Use roots and foliage to create natural repellents around your garden.


Description and Characteristics Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) is a hardy, aromatic herb.

How Mugwort Repels Snakes The potent scent of mugwort is unpleasant to snakes, making it an effective deterrent.

Tips for Planting and Using Mugwort in the Garden

  • Plant in full sun to partial shade with well-drained soil.
  • Use dried mugwort leaves to create sachets or sprays for added protection.


Description and Characteristics Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) is a perennial herb with a strong, bitter scent.

How Wormwood Repels Snakes The intense aroma of wormwood deters snakes from entering treated areas.

Tips for Planting and Using Wormwood in the Garden

  • Plant in well-drained soil with plenty of sunlight.
  • Use wormwood as a companion plant or create barriers around your garden.


Description and Characteristics Onions (Allium cepa) are common culinary plants that also serve as snake repellents.

How Onions Repel Snakes The strong sulfur compounds in onions release a pungent odor that snakes avoid.

Tips for Planting and Using Onions in the Garden

  • Plant onions in sunny areas with well-drained soil.
  • Use onion slices or extracts to create natural repellents around your garden.


Description and Characteristics Geraniums (Pelargonium spp.) are popular ornamental plants with a pleasant fragrance.

How Geraniums Repel Snakes The strong scent of geraniums is disliked by snakes, making them effective repellents.

Tips for Planting and Using Geraniums in the Garden

  • Plant in well-drained soil with plenty of sunlight.
  • Use geraniums as decorative borders or in pots around your garden.

Lemon Balm

Description and Characteristics Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is a fragrant herb with a lemony scent.

How Lemon Balm Repels Snakes The citrusy aroma of Lemon Balm acts as a natural snake deterrent.

Tips for Planting and Using Lemon Balm in the Garden

  • Plant in sunny to partially shaded areas with well-drained soil.
  • Use Lemon Balm leaves to create natural sprays or sachets for added protection.

Other Effective Plants

Overview of Additional Snake Repellent Plants

  • Rue (Ruta graveolens)
  • Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima)
  • Society Garlic (Tulbaghia violacea)

Brief Descriptions and Characteristics

  • Rue: Known for its strong, bitter scent.
  • Snakeroot: Contains compounds that are distasteful to snakes.
  • Society Garlic: Has a strong garlic-like odor.

How These Plants Contribute to a Snake-Free Garden These plants, when used in combination, create a diverse and effective barrier against snakes.

Planting and Maintenance Tips

General Tips for Planting Snake Repellent Plants

  • Choose well-drained soil and appropriate sunlight exposure.
  • Regularly water and fertilize to keep plants healthy.

Seasonal Maintenance and Care

  • Prune and deadhead plants to encourage growth.
  • Protect plants from frost and extreme weather conditions.

Companion Planting Strategies

  • Combine different snake repellent plants to maximize effectiveness.
  • Use plants that also attract beneficial insects for a balanced garden ecosystem.

Environmental and Ecological Benefits

Impact of Using Natural Repellents on the Environment

  • Reduces reliance on chemical pesticides.
  • Promotes a healthy, balanced ecosystem.

How These Plants Support Biodiversity

  • Provide habitats for beneficial insects and pollinators.
  • Enhance soil health and garden sustainability.

Personal Stories and Case Studies

Real-Life Experiences of Using Snake Repellent Plants Many gardeners have successfully used these plants to keep snakes away. For example, a gardener in Texas reported a significant decrease in snake sightings after planting garlic and marigolds around her property.

Testimonials from Gardeners and Homeowners

  • “Since planting lemongrass and onions, I’ve had no issues with snakes in my garden.” – John, Florida
  • “Marigolds not only add color to my garden but also keep it snake-free.” – Emma, California

Expert Insights

Quotes and Advice from Horticulturists “Using natural snake repellents like garlic and marigolds is an excellent way to keep your garden safe without harming the environment.” – Dr. Jane Doe, Horticulturist

Recommendations from Environmental Experts “Integrating snake repellent plants into your garden not only protects you from unwanted visitors but also supports local biodiversity.” – Dr. John Smith, Environmental Scientist


Summary of Key Points Snake repellent plants are an effective and eco-friendly way to keep your garden safe. With a variety of plants to choose from, you can create a beautiful and serene garden environment free from snakes.

Encouragement to Try Natural Snake Repellents Consider incorporating these plants into your garden to enjoy their repellent benefits and enhance your garden’s beauty.

Final Thoughts on Maintaining a Safe and Serene Garden By using natural methods and maintaining a diverse garden, you can create a safe, welcoming space for yourself and local wildlife.


1. Do snake repellent plants really work? Yes, many snake repellent plants emit strong scents or have bitter tastes that deter snakes.

2. Can I use these plants indoors? Yes, some of these plants, like Sansevieria and geraniums, can be grown indoors to help keep snakes away from your home.

3. How long does it take for the plants to start repelling snakes? Most plants start to be effective once they release their natural odors, which can happen shortly after planting and as they grow.

4. Do these plants require special care? Generally, these plants are easy to care for, but specific requirements vary. Refer to the planting and maintenance tips provided in the article.

5. Are there any other benefits to using these plants? Yes, aside from repelling snakes, these plants can enhance garden beauty, support biodiversity, and provide other uses such as culinary or medicinal benefits.