The Fragrant Plant That'll Send Thrips Running From Your Garden

Finding out that your garden is overrun with insects is unpleasant enough. But watching your precious plants succumb to a pest invasion is heartbreaking for any gardener. One of the most problematic pests is the thrip. These almost microscopic insects will suck the life out of your plants — literally. They feed by siphoning plant juice from soft parts, eventually debilitating the plant. There are different solutions you can employ to get rid of pesky thrips, and if you're looking for a natural one, rosemary is the answer. This fragrant plant is thoroughly disliked by thrips and will send them running from your garden.

If your garden is infested with thrips, you probably won't realize it until their mission is well underway. These pests are usually super hard to see because of their small size, but you'll know you have a thrip infestation based on the visible damage to the leaf. The affected leaves become discolored and end up wilting, causing harm to the plant by limiting its ability to undergo photosynthesis. The insect also leaves its droppings on the plant, resulting in dark patches underneath the leaves. Thrips are hardy pests whose eggs can even survive harsh wintertime weather. That being said, planting rosemary in your garden is a surefire way to keep the pests off your property.

Rosemary's phytochemicals are the ideal thrip repellent

A member of the sage family Lamiaceae, rosemary contains phytochemicals that act as a natural deterrent against thrips. Thrips use their olfactory senses to find suitable plants to feed on. Some plant compounds, like the ones in rosemary, are unfavorable to the pest and repel them. Growing the herb in your backyard garden is never a bad idea, especially if you want to prevent thrips from colonizing it. You'd have a fresh and steady supply of rosemary, and you can process it in order to combat the thrips. Aside from the presence of the bush in your yard, you can create a rosemary oil to harness the essence of the plant and spray it directly onto the infested part of your garden.

You'll need a carrier oil like olive oil and about six sprigs of freshly plucked and washed rosemary from your garden. Place the dry rosemary inside a jar, being sure to leave some breathing room around each sprig. Then, pour in the olive oil until all the sprigs are fully covered and stir to make sure the air bubbles rise to the surface. After this, close the lid and keep the jar in a sunny place for at least two weeks. Once the two weeks are up, strain the oil to remove the rosemary and other particles. Transfer the rosemary oil to a spray bottle and use it on your plants in the garden until all the thrips are gone.