Best Plants that Keep Snakes Away & Work as Snake Repellent

Plants That Keep Snakes AwayWe know that snakes, especially the non-poisonous ones, aren’t as harmful as some other creatures.

We love to see them in virtual reality but hate their actual sight in our garden or yard.

The reason is that they cause panic and threaten our and our family members’ safety – especially when a person unwittingly steps foot near them.

Wildlife conservationists will advise you against killing them as they keep the population of rodents and pests under control.

They give you a win-win solution for the problem.

Use plants that are known for pushing snakes away either with their unsettling scent or frightening appearance. Nobody gets hurt, and you get a snake-free territory.

We’ve shared several plants famous for naturally deterring serpents, both venomous and non-venomous. Grow some of them in your garden to get the desired effect.

Why Use of Snake Repelling Plants is Better than Chemically Formulated Repellents?

The world is fast turning back towards organic products because it is scientifically proven that chemically composed products do more harm than good. Using anti-snake plants is also one such organic way to keep the slithering creatures away without harming them.

Secondly, chemical repellents work only on a limited number of species, while it is universally proven that organic solutions effectively shun all species of snakes.

Thirdly, they’re non-lethal both for humans and snakes. Fourth, they’ve other medical and environmental benefits too.

Finally, they’ve ornamental purposes as well.

Best Plants that Work as Snake Repellent & Keep Snakes Away

You cannot find a single plant that can unanimously deter all species of snakes. However, when used in combination correctly according to your natural ecosystem, they promise to deliver incredible results.

Some of the plants that are famous worldwide for effectively driving snakes away are:

  • Marigold

Marigold has strong roots that grow aggressively and penetrate deeper into the soil. These roots emit a pungent smell that is repulsive to snakes, gophers, moles and many pests and critters.

Another advantage is that its bright flowers add colour and beauty to your garden.

However, they provide shelter to mice; but the strong smell prevents the pests from taking a permanent foothold.


  • West Indian Lemongrass Plant

West Indian Lemongrass is another plant commonly used as a repellent for snakes. It emits a citrus odour that snakes loathe. A by-product, citronella, of lemongrass is a natural mosquito repellent.

Beautification, drought resistance and easy maintenance are some of its other benefits.


  • Onion & Garlic

These are old – known since our grandma’s and great grandma’s times – and tested snake repellent plants.

They contain sulphonic acid, the thing responsible for wreaking havoc on our tear ducts, that has a powerful odour capable of repelling and disorienting snakes.

The oily residue of a garlic clove sticks to a snake’s body and irritates its skin, shooing it away.

For beautification, use the “Pink Agapanthus” plant of the onion family. Its pink and lavender flowers will make your garden look vibrant.


  • Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

The sight of this plant scares the living daylights out of snakes because of its spiky and vibrant-looking leaves.

It’s a low-maintenance plant that can grow both in warmer outdoor and cooler indoor climates.

Another advantage of this plant is its fast oxygen production and filtration – it absorbs toxins and pollutants from the atmosphere to rejuvenate it.


  • Yucca

Like Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, Yucca is also famous for frightening snakes because of its pointy leaves. Adult Yucca claims a lot of space to fully mature.

Make sure to plant them away from sidewalks and walking passages near the garden and yard because the razor-sharp leaves can nick a passerby’s skin.


  • Mugwort

Mugwort, also known as Wormwood, is a weed that spreads faster on a property. The plant has woody roots and produces a strong scent that snakes cannot tolerate.

Because of its rapid growth and slow withering process, its maintenance is challenging. Keep in mind chemical weeding to keep its growth under control.


  • Indian Snakeroot

Also known as Serpentina, Sarpagandha, Insanity Herb or Devil Pepper, this plant is common in South Asian countries, like Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka. It acts as a natural repellent because the serpents detest its scent. It has many medicinal benefits, including healing properties for snakebites and slowing down a person’s heart rate.


Some Other Key Tips

A barrier of one kind of snake repellent plant will not be enough, especially if you want to get a near 100% result. You need to keep the lawn mowed and debris-free to take away snakes’ favourite hiding places.

Don’t let creatures that act as snakes’ meals settle in your lawn/yard.

Erect a snake barrier; we usually call it snakeproof fencing made of mesh. Snakes aren’t harmful to your garden as they prey on pests that destroy the greenery and crops.

That’s why gardeners prefer these plants instead of murdering them. Use a combination of the above-listed plants to form rows of barriers to bar snakes from making appearances.

Keep in mind that snakes don’t like pungent and foreign odours. If a snake was already residing on your property when you first planted repellent plants, the “foreign” element will be lost.

You will have to add a new snake repellent plant to the landscape or use other tactics to drive that reptile away.


Snakes are frightening, but they’re less harmful than some other creatures. So, instead of committing murder, use snake repellent plants to create a snake-free garden, yard and house. A mixture of snake repellent plants will effectively do the job for you. Most importantly, you’ll have no trouble finding them as they’re easily available.

About the author

Clinton Newman

Clinton Newman is a herpetologist and part-time blogger who loves to study snakes and their behavior. He is always called by neighbors to help them catch or get rid of snakes in their houses. . He's a passionate traveler and does a lot of Hiking and Hunting Adventures. His favorite places are Forests, Deserts, and Mountains. Now, he's guiding other Hikers to hike safely through this blog by reviewing the top best picks gears for safety and also guiding on Snakes and ways to deal with them.