scaredy cat plant

8 Plants to Help Keep Cats Away from Your Garden

Cats are cute and most of us like cats, right? No? Okay well, this is for you! Cats may find their way to your garden at some point, but we want to keep them out because they can cause problems when it comes to the health of your plants. So, let's talk about some plants that help deter cats away from your precious garden space.

Scaredy Cat Plant

The first obvious plant choice to discuss to help keep cats away from your garden is the Scaredy Cat Plant. Also known as Coleus canina, the Scaredy Cat Plant has a distinctive skunk-like odor that is said to deter cats. However, it seems that there are mixed reviews as to how much this plant work for keeping cats away from your garden. You will need to decide for yourself if you would like to use it. It is a beautiful plant, and I would plant it in my garden. This plant appreciates well-drained soil and partial shade.

Scaredy Cat Plant/ Succulent Stylist on Etsy

Scaredy Cat Plant/ Succulent stylist on Etsy


A more well-known plant, Rosemary, is said to be great at helping to keep cats away from your garden. Rosemary has a pungent fragrance, and most people tend to enjoy it. It is a wisely used herb in Italian and Mediterranean dishes. However, it seems that cats don't like it, and this plant would be a great choice. It is one of the more difficult herbs to grow. So planting Rosemary from a starter plant is a better choice than starting from seed. Rosemary enjoys well drained soil and prefers to be on the drier side of things. Water it once a week, and check for moisture levels and water as needed.

Rosemary plant

Rosemary Plant/Amazon

Common Rue

Common Rue is in the evergreen shrub family, has a bitter taste, and a stinky odor. Double-threat plant for cats! This would be a pretty, yet a defensive choice to help keep cats away from your garden. It has a bitter smell and cats dislike it. Common Rue will perform best with a well-drained soil and full sun exposure.

Common rue


For the same reason we love wondrous Lavender, cats find it repulsive! Yes! That beautiful Lavender fragrance we love to smell and have so many uses for, is a great plant to help keep cats away from your garden. However, Lavender can be a little more challenging to grow than other herbs. Starting Lavender from seed will take maybe a year to become well established. I suggest using a starter plant to provide more use for the current garden season. Lavender will flourish with a well draining soil and full sun.




Yes! The same good-smelling plant we love to repel mosquitoes, is also said to be an excellent cat repellent! Cats have an extremely strong sense of smell, and they are completely put-off with this plant. Citronella has a fresh citrus scent that is inviting to all, except the mosquitoes and the cats!! A pretty green busy-like plant, Citronella, grows well in full sun or partial shade. Citronella does best when soil is allowed to slightly dry before the next watering.


Pennyroyal is a small plant with a spearmint-like smell that cats hate. It is a great ground cover plant, as it latches onto the ground and grows abundantly. Pennyroyal can be grown in full sun or partial shade. Pennyroyals like moist soil at all times, so you should adhere to a watering schedule that accommodates its growing habits.

Photo Credit: Farmer Joe Plant Store on Etsy

Curry Plant

The Curry Plant, smells like curry! The Curry plant doubles as a cat and deer deterrent. This is not to be confused with the herb, this plant has no use in the kitchen. The Curry Plant grows to be about 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide. It prefers poor soil and drier conditions. Keep in mind, this plant can be a little difficult to remove, so if you decide on this plant for your garden, just be aware it isn't easy to get it out!

Curry Plant/

Curry Plant/


A sweet-citrusy smelling herbal grass, the Lemongrass scent we love so much can be a great addition to help keep cats away from your garden. Lemongrass can grow up to about 5 feet tall and grows in clumps. It will do great in loamy soil and full sun. Loamy soil is a mixture of clay and sand containing humus, it helps to absorb nutrients but is well-draining to prevent against root rot.

Lemongrass in my garden, I bought mine from Facebook Marketplace.

Start with some or all of these plants if cats are a nuisance to the health of your plants. If your garden is already established, lining the outside of your space. If you are just starting your garden, make room for some of these plants as your cat defense system! Happy gardening, and may you stay weed and stress free!

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