5 Houseplants that Do Not Attract Bugs (But Still Look Good)

We all love a touch of green inside our home, and what better way to achieve it than with a few indoor plants. That is until you begin to notice bugs in houseplants, flying around your house or crawling on your houseplants. Just the thought of it is enough to make some people’s skin crawl.

So how can you still enjoy a beautiful looking indoor garden without the uninvited entourage?

Indoor Plants that do not Attract Bugs

In this article, you are going to learn about our favorite 5 indoor plants that do not attract bugs – and look good at the same time.

So, if you’re ready, put the bug spray down and grab a cup of coffee.

Our Favorite 5 Indoor Plants that Don’t Attract Bugs

Bringing indoor plants into your home doesn’t always mean you have to put up with bugs.

There is a small group of indoor plants that do not attract bugs, in fact some can even repel insects. But, there are even fewer plants that deter bugs AND look good at the same time.


Chrysanthemums do not attract bugs
Chrysanthemums do not attract bugs

If you are after a bit of floral activity in your home, chrysanthemums are the perfect houseplant. Their bright orange or yellow blooms will light up any room, and are even considered to be auspicious in some cultures.

However, most importantly, they create their own natural insect repellant called Pyrethrin, that is toxic to some bugs like ants, fleas, spider mites, cockroaches and ticks. Fortunately, Pyrethrin is not toxic to humans and is pet friendly.

Sansevieria Trifasciata (Snake plant)

Sansevieria Trifasciata (Snake plant)

If succulents are more your thing, then the Sansevieria Trifasciata snake plant may be your go-to plant.

The Sansevieria Trifasciata is a beautiful succulent with long leaves that can reach to 3 feet tall when grown in optimal conditions. As with most snake plants, they sport striking variegation patterns along the length of the leaves, with each leaf its own unique art piece.

But, what is more impressive about Sansevieria Trifasciata, is the fact that it produces a chemical called Saponin, which has the ability to repel bugs like mosquitoes.

Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen)

Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen)

The Aglaonema is a wonderful addition to any indoor plant collection. It is an easy to care for plant that can tolerate almost anything that an inexperienced indoor plant enthusiast can throw at it. The only condition it requires is that it is kept in a warm (ish) environment, and is away from any natural wind tunnels.

The reason you want an Aglaonema Chinese Evergreen in your indoor plant collection is because they do not attract bugs, like other indoor plants do. Insects and common indoor pests tend to avoid the Aglaonema, allowing you to enjoy a beautiful bug-free indoor garden.

Cast Iron Plant

cast iron plant

Cast Iron Palms are a delightful indoor plant that is hardy and resilient. In fact, as their name suggests, they can tolerate a range of conditions, including improper treatment from novice indoor plant enthusiasts. That being said, you will still need to give them the occasional water.

They offer a splash of green to any corner of your indoor space, and have a similar leaf shape to peace lilies.

Because they are a tolerant houseplant, it results in them being quite unappetizing to bugs and common houseplant pests. Unlike other plants, the Cast Iron plant is resilient, meaning it will be less likely to weaken and be susceptible to external attacks from bugs. In fact, owing to the fact that they are drought tolerant, you will be less likely to overwater your cast iron palm, decreasing the chances of attracting pests like adult fungus gnats (who love moist fresh potting soil).

Madagascar Dragon Tree

Madagascar Dragon Tree

No, as awesome as it would be to have a dragon shaped tree inside your house, this isn’t as the name suggests. The Madagascar Dragon Tree is a tall indoor plant. They can have multiple thin taupe colored trunks, with a bouquet of sword-like, red-edged leaves. They really are a spectacular sight to behold and will add character and depth to any indoor space.

Similar to the Cast Iron Plant, the Madagascar Dragon Tree is an easy indoor plant to care for. This makes them the perfect ‘first indoor plant‘ for beginners to cut their teeth on. And as such, their low maintenance makes them less likely to be susceptible to bug infestations.

Like the Cast Iron Palm, they don’t need to be watered very often, preferring the soil to dry out between watering. Again, this leads to fewer chances of bugs moving into your indoor plants and you to enjoy a bug-free home.

How to Avoid Bugs in Your Indoor Plants

This may not be what you want to hear, but there is no such thing as a completely fool-proof bug-resistent indoor plant.

The reason we say this is that if you harbor an attractive and suitable environment, the bugs will come. There is no stopping them, they will find a way in and begin making themselves a home.

So what can you do to prevent bugs from moving in?

Below are our top tips for deterring bugs from setting up shop inside your house plants.

Tip 1 – Moist Soil and High Humidity Conditions

Have you ever noticed there are a heap of bugs in areas that are moist and humid?

It is not a coincidence that 4 out of the 5 plants in our favorite list (above) for bug resistant plants are drought tolerant and prefer drier conditions.

Wet soil is probably the number one most attractive aspect for bugs and common pests in your indoor plants. It provides a source of water and moisture for the bugs, and it helps them to prevent drying out. High moisture levels also helps bugs to stay hydrated.

In some cases, it also provides the ideal medium for bugs to lay their eggs and keep them alive while their larvae develop – we’re looking at you, fungus gnats!

To avoid attracting bugs to your indoor houseplant, keep the topsoil dry. You can achieve this by bottom watering your plants and using the soil moisture finger test to determine when it is time to water your plants.

Tip 2 – Stagnant Air

A lack of air movement is the perfect environment for bugs. They love it. Stagnant air allows them to safely travel from pot plant to pot plant, without the risk of damage and / or death.

If you were a small insect, what would you prefer? Flying around outdoor plants being exposed to the elements and predators? Or living in the safety of a warm humid house, with no air movement and a roof to protect you from predators? We know where we would prefer!

Tip 3 – Remove Pools of Water

Similar to the high humidity and moist potting mix tip, bugs need water to survive. And having small pools of water around your houseplants is an open invitation for them to stay and have a drink whenever they please.

Again, it provides them with a ready source of water.

In addition, stagnant water is much safer to drink from for an insect. Especially compared to a rippling pool of water outside that is being whipped around by the wind, and could potentially trap and kill a bug.

Indoor Plants That Do Not Attract Bugs: Summary

There are a variety (albeit a small amount) of indoor plants that do not attract bugs.

From our list of bug-free houseplants above, we’d have to say our favorite is the Sansevieria Trifasciata Snake Plant. We are a sucker for succulents, and the variegated leaves always captures our eye when we walk into the room.

Even though these plants don’t attract bugs, you still need to maintain good husbandry practices and try not to encourage bugs into your house. Avoid keeping stagnant pools of water around your plants, and whatever you do, DO NOT OVERWATER your plants. It can lead to problems and diseases, and will most definitely atract bugs to live in your indoor plants.