The Best Plants That Repel Snakes

Table of Contents
No header found

Are you living in an environment where snakes thrive? It can be an anxiety-inducing situation for any gardener, landscaper, and homeowner.

If you’ve got a family, it’s even more concerning for children that may unwittingly come across a venomous snake.

If you worry that both venomous and non-venomous species of snakes can slither into your garden or yard, don’t harm them. Instead, use plants that naturally repel snakes.

This article will help you. Read on to learn how to keep snakes away using the following plants!

The Top 10 Best Plants That Repel Snakes

Instead of putting snakes in harm’s way, we provide an organic solution.

This article contains the following list of the best plants that repel snakes you can add to your garden or yard at any time.

#1 Lemongrass

Usually found in tropical countries like Sri Lanka, China, and Malaysia, the lemongrass plant is a good addition to many dishes.

You may have also heard of the benefits of lemon grass as one of the best essential oils or its usage in tea. Aromatherapists also use its famous smell. 

However, it’s also a natural mosquito and snake repellent.

Lemongrass produces a strong citrus smell that is repellent to snakes. It can even repel mosquitoes and ticks because of its by-product, citronella. Besides, lemongrass is also drought-resistant!

The West Indian lemongrass is one variant you can look into for repellent purposes.

#2 Marigold

These bright, lovely flowers look innocent, but marigolds’ roots grow deeply and aggressively.

These sturdy roots are the snake repellents. They emit a strong odor that repels snakes, gophers, and moles.

Beautification is one of the several advantages of planting marigolds in gardens.

They can also reach wherever a snake might be burrowing and hiding in, so the smell will reach deep into the soil.

However, do keep in mind that the roots of marigold can make a good hiding place for a snake’s prey.

#3 Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

The mother-in-law’s tongue boasts long, sharp, evergreen leaves.

While we may find it striking, snakes find them frightening! Plants that repel snakes can also do so just by sight. It’s fitting that another nickname for them is “snake plant.”

It’s a lovely plant to have around indoors or outdoors. It’s also low-maintenance compared to other plants.

Another advantage of having this plant on your property would be its fast oxygen production. It also converts carbon dioxide to oxygen at night and absorbs pollutants and toxins in the air.

If you live in a city with a lot of traffic or want a rejuvenating plant around, then the mother-in-law’s tongue plant is a good option.

#4 Yucca

Yucca is another plant that’s known for its sharp, pointy leaves. Like the mother-in-law’s tongue, it will repel snakes just by sight!

Mature yuccas need plenty of room to grow, so make sure to give them as much space as possible on your property.

If you plant it in your home, keep it away from the sidewalk. Avoid putting it nearby any paths on your garden or yard as well! All the sharp leaves can hurt someone passing by.

This plant is also best cared for in warmer climates, where its’ white flowers can bloom under the full sun.

#5 Mugwort

Mugwort may be a weed, but it’s still a beneficial herb! Its leaves emit a pungent scent that’s used to flavor beer and prevent snakes from lingering in your home.

These plants spread and sprawl. It may be hard to control them once they’re in your garden. Keep manual or chemical weeding in mind if you find them more trouble than what they’re worth!

#6 Onion

We’ve all cried when chopping onions. While we might have cursed whatever it was in onions that makes us cry, it’s also the reason why onion is a natural snake repellent!

It’s called sulfenic acid and is also present in garlic.

If you want added beauty to your garden, you can choose to plant alliums. They’re related to the onion family. They will function as snake repellent plants and add pink and lavender flowers to your property.

#7 Garlic

Like West Indian lemongrass, marigolds, and mugwort, the smells that garlic emits repel snakes. It can also disorient them! At first, the scent of garlic may smell like prey.

You can plant garlic along with onions in your garden, but if you want to use quick solutions, there’s another solution.

Find these kitchen staples in your house or buy some at the local grocery. After peeling and quartering, you can make your own DIY snake repellent.

Put garlic and onion into a food processor, pulse, let the mixture sit, then strain after 24 hours. Put the garlic and onion mixture into a garden sprayer and use it as you wish.

#8 Snakeroot

You may know snakeroot as devil pepper or serpentina. Commonly found in Asia, this plant is famous for its medicinal properties.

Its bitter foliage and roots make snakeroot an ideal plant used to repel snakes. Besides its ability to naturally repel snakes, it can also heal humans’ snake bites!

It also contains reserpine, which causes dizziness and slows down one’s heart rate.

#9 Pink Agapanthus

The pink agapanthus also goes by the name Tulbaghia violacea or society garlic. Their lovely pink blooms are a great sight in anyone’s garden!

While they may be pretty, snakes hate the way they smell. Even the foliage, while edible for humans, irritate snakes.

Some other advantages to this particular species are its medicinal purposes. They can help with your headaches or sinus infections.

#10 Andrographis paniculata

Aside from the bitterness of its foliage and roots that repel snakes, this plant is also used as traditional medicine.

It’s commonly found in Asian countries. Like other plants mentioned on this list, it can treat sinus infections and the common cold.


What Makes These Plants Repel Snakes?

Have you noticed a recurring theme yet in the plants that repel snakes on this list?

You’ve guessed right – most of them repel snakes because of their strong odor! Just by the way these plants smell, snakes are already deterred from pushing into a garden any further.

Generally, snakes do not like strong, bitter, or foreign smells. Keep in mind the “foreign odor” part.

If newborn snakes were already in your garden when you first put in plants that repel snakes, they may associate it with safety and home.

So, if this is the case, in the end, even the strongest smelling plants wouldn’t deter them at all.

Another factor is how your plant looks. No one would assume this, but “dangerous-looking” plants with sharp leaves can repel snakes!

Do you want to add another barrier of protection, or are you simply unsure if the smell of the snake repellent plants are working?

Add plants we’ve mentioned like the mother-in-law’s tongue and yucca. Just the sight of them will terrify snakes away.

Why Should You Keep Snakes Out of the Garden?

Snakes would be great for your garden! If we’re strictly talking about ecological value, they’re great for keeping pests at bay.

These pests are more dangerous to your yard or garden. They can destroy all the hours of work, healthy crops, and invade your home.

However, we have to consider our safety. While some snakes may be friendly and even harmless, not all of us have the knowledge or information to distinguish the venomous from non-venomous snakes.

You want to safeguard yourself, your family, and your house.

What Are Other Ways to Keep A Garden Snake-Free?

If for some reason, you can’t take the time to get these plants into your garden, there are some other quick ways.

A fish emulsion spray and the onion-garlic spray we mentioned above can help.

Remember, snakes hate foul smells. Even if it’s just sprayed along the perimeters of your garden, it will help in repelling snakes.

Strong smells are key. You can even use essential oils if you don’t feel like creating pungent mixtures like fish emulsion or onion and garlic.

For example, lemongrass essential oil and citronella are always available. You can also consider a strong cinnamon essential oil as a substitute.

Are There Any Precautions for Keeping Snakes Away?

If you don’t want to reach the point that you’re putting in all this work for plants that repel snakes, here are some tips to keep snakes at bay.

Keep the Grass Mowed

Make sure snakes don’t have a chance to slither around and hide!

Mow regularly to prevent overgrowth and maintain overgrown plants and shrubbery. Weed regularly. While it’s time-consuming, the benefits are more worth it.

This practice will prevent the grass from becoming a cover for snakes, especially small, newborn ones.

Clear Your Yard or Garden of Debris

Clearing your yard or garden of debris is a good precaution for the same reason as above. You never know where in your garden snakes might be burrowing in as a habitat. Anything can be a cover!

Prevent Pests

Snakes shouldn’t have anything close to a food source in your garden. Mice, rats, and other small animals are prey to snakes.

Make sure to get rid of these pests, or take more precautions for your home not to have them in the first place.

Build a Snake Fence

For keeping both snakes and pests away, a snake fence may be necessary.

A wire mesh fence should have holes small enough that even a pencil will not go through. If it’s that small, then you’re safe from even newborn snakes invading your garden.

Fix Any Holes or Crannies

Any openings will tempt rodents. Fix any displaced bricks and make sure all shed doors can be shut closed. Seal all holes with steel wool or silicone caulking.



Plants that repel snakes are abundant and can easily be found.

If you’ve been struggling with a snake problem, we hope that this information of snake repellant plants has been of help! We’d love to see your comments and similar experiences.