Snakes can be a problem around the world. There are both venomous and nonvenomous types and both can be a nuisance. Even a nonvenomous snake can bite. There are chemical sprays for warding them off but they do not always work. Sometimes plants that repel snakes are a better option.
In general, snakes don’t like strong, nasty smelling plants. Not all of these plants are something that is wanted close to a patio or living space but planted around the edge they can offer a barrier. Most snakes will not crawl over or around them.
List of Plants That Repel Snakes
This plant has been in use since prehistory. It was mentioned by the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. One of its uses in those times was as a snake repellent. This can be used in several different ways. Planting them around the perimeter is one. They hate to crawl over the leaves. Garlic cloves, especially crushed garlic, can be spread around the edges of patios, pools and other outdoor areas. The oil released from the garlic disorients the snake when it crawls over it. It can be mixed with rock salt to increase the benefits.
Gardeners swear by the use of this pretty plant. It does give off a noxious odor when crushed and snakes do not like that. It is also possible that some of the astringent qualities of the flowers repel them. The juice from the flowers can sting slightly. These should be interspersed with other snake repellent plants as its properties are not as strong as garlic.
Skunk Cabbage is one of the plants that keep snakes away. Herbalists love this stinky plant. They usually use it for insomnia and anxiety among other things. It is also toxic to snakes. Not only do they hate the smell, but the plant will also cause them harm. If the snakes are in a region where it commonly grows this will probably be in their genetic memories so they will avoid it. The smell of this herb is very much like a skunk, so plant it well away from areas that might be occupied by people or pets.
Part of deterring snakes is keeping their food away from the area that needs protection. Strong aromatics, even the ones that smell pleasant to us, can do that. This will keep mice and other rodents from visiting… a benefit all its own. The nice thing about these is that they can be planted closer to areas that people or pets will be congregating.
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If you want to scare snakes away, this is the plant. It is also known as “Snake Plants” in some places. This plant has extremely sharp leaves, which is where it gets its name. These leaves will make a snake turn around and go elsewhere to hunt for food. They are also very pretty and easy to grow.
Another one of the plants that repel snakes is the Lemongrass. This favorite ingredient for many Asian cultures has other purposes. It is the source for citronella, the popular mosquito repellent. Because of the strong citrus smell, especially when crushed, snakes won’t want to cross it. The plus side is that mosquitoes and ticks don’t like it, either. Lemongrass can be interspersed with other plants that repel snakes to make the barrier stronger.
This plant is much maligned because of addiction problems. However, it does have properties that can be useful. It was one of the first asthma inhalers, though it caused further problems later in life. The nicotine makes an excellent ant repellent and snakes hate the smell. It is listed as toxic to them, though it is doubtful that it would kill them. As this is not the most potent plant it should be used with others to create the barrier.
This flowering perennial is also called sweet garlic. It is native to South Africa but can be planted elsewhere. It is also drought tolerant. Snakes don’t like the smell of these bulb plants. A lot of insects don’t like them, either. The plants can grow up to two feet tall and have pretty, pink flowers on them. The plant is a member of the onion family and can do the same things that garlic can do as regards snakes.
This plant is often used by herbalists for a variety of reasons. It is useful for an upset stomach, it may help get rid of intestinal parasites and it can be used to repel snakes. Wormwood has a strong, musky odor which snakes do not like. It can be planted around the outside of the area being used, made into a tea and sprayed around edges or the leaves can be dried, pounded in a mortar and pestle and then spread around the area. Adding garlic and rock salt could complete the barrier.
Burnt Leaves of Comfrey, Rue, and Bay
While the plants mentioned do have either culinary or herbal uses, burning them creates new chemicals. Once they are burned, spread the mixed ashes around the area snakes are likely to be. They will not crawl over them.
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Distilled witch hazel is often the base that many recipes for snake repellent use. That is because of its astringent nature as well as its distinct odor. It stings, so it will irritate the snakes.
While not a plant itself, vinegar can be made from a variety of plants. It is acidic, which irritates snakes. It will keep them out of the pool and off gravel or concrete areas. Rice wine vinegar or other white kinds of vinegar are best so that they don’t stain anything.
These are some of the snake repellent plants that you can plant in your home or garden. Therefore, to ensure that your home is free from snakes, it is highly recommended to plant two or more of these plants to increase the chance of repelling them. If you have some questions, don’t be shy to drop us your comment below.