The 13 Plants That Repel Lizards (Without Harming Them!)

Although the common house lizard is not harmful or aggressive, many don’t like seeing lizards around the garden—especially if you don’t want them coming into the house! Luckily though, I’ve made a list containing all the effective lizard-repelling plants that you can grow!

The 13 plants that help repel unwanted lizards are:

  1. Rosemary
  2. Sage
  3. Autumn mums
  4. Painted daisies
  5. Lavender
  6. Thyme
  7. Laurel
  8. Chamomile
  9. Peppermint
  10. Eucalyptus
  11. Venus fly trap
  12. Lemongrass
  13. Ornamental onions

Lizards can be quite helpful in gardens and homes by eating unwanted bugs. If you’d rather have a lizard-free home, however, keep reading to see what plants can help repel them!

1. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary’s powerful scent is effective in repelling lizards. Grow rosemary in containers to protect them from frost and ensure house lizards do not enter. For higher potency, use the essential oils of rosemary to more effectively repel lizards.

Repelling Mechanism: Oil and fragrance

Best Grown in: Ground or containers

Origin: Europe

A delicious herb commonly found in steaks, soups, and more, rosemary is a fantastic herb you can use to keep lizards away.

The smell of rosemary may be appealing to us but not to lizards. Rosemary essential oil is even more potent in smell and a great ingredient to use in lizard-deterrent sprays.

Rosemary Flowers
Larry Lohr (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Rosmarinus Officinalis Flowers

You can plant rosemary in the ground outdoors but keep in mind it will not survive temperatures consistently below 10°F or -12°C. Because of this, it’s best to grow rosemary in containers where its fragrance can be best utilized.

2. Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Sage is strongly scented and can assist in repelling house lizards. Grow sage in pots or use it in sprays to reduce insect populations and dissuade hungry lizards from staying in gardens and homes.

Repelling Mechanism: Oil and fragrance

Best Grown in: Containers

Origin: Europe

This popular cooking herb is also grown as an ornamental houseplant due to its lush and aromatic foliage. Lizards will find the rich fragrance of sage overwhelming.

Sage Flowers
Andrea Deepwater (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Salvia Officinalis Flowers

Sage can be placed in convenient hanging pots by walls where lizards commonly climb and are more likely to encounter the plant.

Water infused with sage and other mixtures with sage oil can also be sprayed in the corner of walls, on plants, or even directly on potential insects that lizards may consume.

Either way, sage will help keep lizards away and also control the presence of insects in your home, limiting what the lizards have to eat and preventing them from staying.

3. Autumn Mums (Chrysanthemum morifolium)

Autumn mums are aromatic and highly effective plants in repelling lizards. This chrysanthemum is one of the main producers of pyrethrin, a natural insecticide, and will help control lizards and reduce the number of insects for them to feed on.

Repelling Mechanism: Fragrance and insecticide

Best Grown in: Ground or containers

Origin: Asia

Remember, lizards are mainly insectivores and often come into our homes to eat flies and ants. With fewer insects present in your home, lizards will have less food available to eat.

These warm, autumn mum flowers produce a large amount of a natural compound, called pyrethrin, that acts as an insecticide

Autumn Mum Flowers
Stacey A (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Chrysanthemum Morifolium Flowers

Pyrethrin is a major compound used in many readily available insecticides to help eradicate insects by targeting their nervous systems.

Both insects and lizards will detect the smell of the autumn mums and pyrethrin it contains and be immediately repelled by it. So you can enjoy these lovely flowers while reaping the benefits of a lizard-free home!

4. Painted Daisies (Tanacetum coccineum)

Prevent lizards from entering homes by growing painted daisies. Painted daisies contain potent a natural insecticide known as pyrethrin. Lizards find this compound unpleasant. Hence, this can be grown outside or in containers to effectively repel lizards.

Repelling Mechanism: Fragrance and insecticide

Best Grown in: Ground or containers

Origin: Europe

Similar to autumn mums, painted daisies produce a great majority of the world’s supply of pyrethrin.

Depending on where you see lizards the most, you can grow these colorful flowers in pots indoors or plant them in flowerbeds to prevent lizards.

Painted Daisies Flower
Daria Vonbee (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Tanacetum Coccineum Flowers

Keep hungry pets and little ones away from this though, as the consumption of pyrethrin can poison them and cause vomiting.

Because pyrethrins are toxic, common house lizards and geckos will easily detect the smell of painted daisies and stay away.

This Daisy Isn't Only Beautiful, It's a Natural Insecticide Too | GARDEN | Great Home Ideas
YouTube Video – This Daisy is a Natural Insecticide

5. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lavender blossoms emit powerful aromas that lizards seldom enjoy. Plant lavenders in pots or flowerbeds to help repel lizards and the insects they eat.

Repelling Mechanism: Oil and fragrance

Best Grown in: Ground or containers

Origin: Mediterranean

Most people enjoy the smell of lavender. Lizards, though, do not.

Linalool, a natural compound, is responsible for lavender’s strong scent and can also help deter other irritating pests that lizards may be attracted to, like wasps.

Lavender Flowers
Pierre Kurzenne (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Lavandula Angustifolia Flowers

Lavender oil is even more potent in smell and is great to use in sprays, which I will share later on in this article.

Grow lavender in containers indoors or in your garden to enjoy its purple blooms and soothing lizard-repellent fragrance.

6. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

Thyme can aid in repelling lizards by overpowering them with its strong aroma. Additionally, thyme can be grown as a companion plant to protect gardens and beneficial insects like bees from unwanted lizards, such as skinks.

Repelling Mechanism: Fragrance

Best Grown in: Containers

Origin: Southwestern Europe

Thyme is another strong aromatic herb that can be grown in the kitchen to help deter common house geckos and lizards.

Lizards are commonly seen on walls indoors, so consider keeping thyme in convenient hanging pots or wall planters to help discourage lizards.

Thyme Flowers
Estelle Ranchin (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Thymus Vulgaris Flowers

Additionally, if you’d rather keep lizards away from your garden, thyme is a great companion plant.

Most lizards in America rarely ever eat plants but they can be a danger to the beneficial bugs you have outdoors.

>> Learn more in our article on the best and worst companion plants for thyme.

Skinks, more specifically, are a type of lizard known to eat bees and butterfly eggs and can be difficult to control. Ensure they keep their distance by growing plenty of thyme.

7. Laurel (Laurus nobilis)

Laurel plants are powerful lizard repellents due to their smell and leaves containing chemicals like linalool, eucalyptol, and methyl eugenol. Such compounds will help combat insects and deprive lizards of their food source. Grow laurel in a pot or in the ground to create an unappealing environment for lizards.

Repelling Mechanism: Fragrance and insecticide

Best Grown in: Ground or containers

Origin: Mediterranean

The idea of using dried bay leaves to repel unwanted critters has been shared for decades. Because of how aromatic bay leaves are, it serves as an excellent repellent for lizards.

More importantly, research also shows that the leaves of laurel, or sweet bay, also contain oils concentrated with eucalyptol, methyl eugenol, and even linalool.

Laurel Leaves
Krzysztof Golucki (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Laurus Nobilis Leaves

All of these components are highly effective in deterring insects as well! This will help discourage lizards from staying in your home to eat if you have laurel around at home.

Laurel is an easy plant to care for and can easily be grown in containers. Plus, you can use its leaves for cooking, too!

>> To help keep lizards at bay, check out our article on how to grow laurel in pots.

8. Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

Lizards find the aroma of chamomile plants unpleasant. Chamomile produces a heavy fragrance and can be grown in gardens or pots to repel lizards. Ensure its fragrance is released and prevent the plant from spreading seeds by trimming it often.

Repelling Mechanism: Oil and fragrance

Best Grown in: Ground or containers

Origin: Europe or Western Asia

Chamomile has a strong but relaxing fragrance that many people like but lizards dislike.

A member of the daisy family, these charming flowers can easily be grown in a container or a flowerbed. Bruising the foliage of this plant will help release its pleasant smell, so don’t feel bad for disturbing it.

Chamomile Flowers
Audrey Gouzil (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Chamaemelum Nobile Flowers

Chamomile is self-seeding and will quickly spread its seeds after blooming, so keep an eye on it. Otherwise, this pretty flower can potentially take over your garden.

Just be careful in planting chamomile if you or your loved ones have any pollen allergies, as this will be extremely irritating to the nose.

9. Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

The smell of peppermint is overwhelming and cannot be tolerated by lizards. Grow peppermint in pots to avoid invasive growth and trim it regularly to repel nearby lizards with its smell. Peppermint oil can also be used as an effective spray.

Repelling Mechanism: Oil and fragrance

Best Grown in: Containers

Origin: Europe

Peppermint is a beloved pest-repellent plant for a reason. Its rich and overpowering fragrance is highly effective in dissuading lizards.

If you thought the smell of peppermint plants alone was strong, peppermint oil is even more potent and works exceptionally well in repelling unwelcomed house lizards and geckos.

Mint Leaves
Kate Burnite (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Mentha X Piperita Leaves

Bruise the foliage of your peppermint plants often to release its minty aroma or scatter its leaves wherever lizards are often found. But as always, I’d advise you to only grow it in containers to prevent it from spreading too wildly.

Natural DIY Lizard Repellent

Lizards are generally not harmful and can actually help protect our homes and gardens by consuming many unwanted bugs.

However, there are some lizards, like skinks, that can be more problematic than helpful around your garden since they eat helpful butterflies and earthworms. This can quickly become an issue.

You might not even like seeing lizards and this is completely valid!

To make an easy and natural lizard repellent, use the following ingredients:

  1. 20 drops of peppermint oil
  2. 20 drops of lavender oil
  3. 10 drops of chamomile oil
  4. 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid

Combine all of this in a spray bottle and fill the remaining space in the bottle with warm water. Then, shake well to ensure everything is mixed.

Once mixed, you should have a solution that lizards will be repulsed by and should eagerly attempt to avoid.

This can be sprayed around your home or plants to prevent lizards, geckos, and skinks. Reapply it when the smell starts to disappear.

10. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus camaldulensis)

Because of its unique aroma, eucalyptus plants are extremely useful in repelling lizards. Eucalyptus leaves are covered with oil glands that both lizards and insects find unattractive, further preventing the presence of lizards.

Repelling Mechanism: Oil and fragrance

Best Grown in: Ground or containers

Origin: Asia

The fragrance of eucalyptus is another soothing smell for humans that can be used to help shoo off pesky lizards.

Eucalyptus plants typically grow as flowering trees, so you can grow a dwarf eucalyptus tree at home to take advantage of its pest-repellent qualities.

Eucalyptus Leaves
Pazzaglia Aron (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Eucalyptus Camaldulensis Leaves

Its evergreen leaves are covered with oil glands, which is where much of its oils come from. These oils also serve as an active ingredient in many deterrents for their insect-repellent properties.

By keeping your home bug-free and depriving lizards of their usual food, you get to hit two birds with one stone!

11. Venus Fly Trap (Dionaea muscipula)

Venus fly traps are carnivorous plants that will aid in repelling lizards by consuming much of the insects that lizards find appealing. These plants must be used carefully, however, as they may eat lizards and helpful pollinators.

Repelling Mechanism: Consumption of insects attractive to lizards

Best Grown in: Containers

Origin: North Carolina

[Quote] If there’s a regular supply of insects available for lizards to consume, it’s pretty unlikely that the lizards will leave anytime soon.

To help combat this, consider growing a collection of Venus fly traps!

Venus fly traps are one of the most popular carnivorous plants and will help discourage lizards by eating much of the bugs that the lizard would otherwise consume.

Venus Fly Trap Leaves
Mateusz Wachowicz (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Dionaea Muscipula Leaves

Consider growing these fascinating plants in containers, where it’s easier to provide them with the ideal humidity and wet soil they need.

Pitcher plants are another carnivorous plant that is great in reducing bug populations, but I do not recommend using them.

Unsuspecting lizards may fall into large pitcher plants and will either be slowly digested by the plant or damage the pitcher plant as it tries to escape.

12. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)

Lemongrass emits heavy fragrances that lizards will be repelled by. Grow in containers or keep confined in controlled areas. Trim regularly to gather the freshly scented clippings and use as a fragrant mulch that lizards will find unappealing.

Repelling Mechanism: Oil and fragrance

Best Grown in: Containers or confined spaces in the ground

Origin: India

For a natural lizard-repellent plant, consider growing lemongrass. As the name suggests, this grassy plant is rich in citrusy scents that lizards find repulsive to smell.

It’s also best to grow lemongrass in containers due to how aggressively it spreads, so keep that in mind.

Lemongrass Leaves
Angelina Caussé (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Cymbopogon Citratus Leaves

To maximize your use of this plant, trim lemongrass frequently to release its lemony perfumes, and then gather the clippings to use as mulch.

Due to how fragrant lemongrass is, this mulch will be highly effective in keeping lizards and skinks away from other parts of your garden and potentially disturbing them!

13. Ornamental Onions (Allium spp.)

Ornamental onions contain pungent odors that lizards find intolerable. Grow allium as a natural deterrent or place its petals around the perimeter to repel lizards.

Repelling Mechanism: Fragrance

Best Grown in: Ground or containers

Origin: North America

There’s a reason these peculiar plants are called ornamental onions.

Although pretty to look at, these plants grow purple clusters of flowers that smell incredibly pungent and smell similar to onions.

Ornamental Onion Flowers
Jan Jakub (cc-by-sa) PlantNet – Allium Flowers

Few pests enjoy this smell, and lizards are not one of them.

If you can’t stand the odor either, you can harvest its flower petals and scatter them around your garden to ensure lizards do not attempt to hide there.


Do lizards bite?

Common house geckos and lizards rarely bite but will do so if distressed. These bites can sometimes pierce the skin. Although the bites are not dangerous, these bites must be cleaned immediately and seen by a competent medical practitioner.

Are lizards venomous?

While there are some species of lizards able to produce venom, like the Komodo dragon, most lizards are not venomous. House lizards commonly found in urban environments cannot produce venom and are not aggressive.

Summary of Plants That Repel Lizards

Lizards are not harmful and the presence of common house lizards and geckos can help control bug infestations around the house. However, there are some instances where lizards may be problematic or may not be safe in man-made establishments.

Plants that can repel lizards include rosemary, sage, autumn mums, painted daisies, lavender, thyme, laurel, chamomile, peppermint, eucalyptus, Venus fly traps, lemongrass, and ornamental onions.


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