Gardens

Using orange peel to deter pests – an organic way to regain control over your garden

Using orange peel to deter pests is a surprisingly simple way to achieve a healthy garden this springtime

Orange peel to deter pests in the garden
(Image credit: GettyImages)

Oranges are well-known for offering a healthy boost of vitamin C, but their goodness extends far beyond the human body. Experts recommend putting this fruity favorite (or rather, the remains of this fruit) to good use in the garden – where you can use your leftover orange peel to keep pests at bay. 

This garden idea may appear unconventional, but it is an effective way to maintain your exteriors this springtime (and beyond) – and it has it's approved by those in the know. This is how to use orange peel to deter pests, for good. 

Why do orange peels deter pests? 

Orange peel to deter pests in the garden

(Image credit: GettyImages)

According to chef and garden expert Laura Ritterman, pests are repelled by the smell of citrus that lives on your leftover peel. However, its benefits don't end there. 

'Orange peels are great for your garden, as they can help to add nutrients to your soil – aiding in the growth and maintenance of your plants,' Laura explains. This kitchen garden idea will deter pests and improve your soil's health at the same time – but where should you begin? 

How to use orange peel to deter pests  

Orange peel to deter pests in the garden

(Image credit: GettyImages)

Expert Kevin Rodrigues from Gardening Mentor suggests there are two key ways to bring orange peel into your garden: using a spray or placing chopped-up orange peels near your plants.  

1. Use orange peel spray on your plants

Orange peel to deter pests in the garden

(Image credit: GettyImages)

'One of the best ways to use orange peels to deter pests is to create a spray,' Kevin says. The gardener recommends boiling a few orange peels in a cup of water for ten minutes, then straining the liquid into a spray bottle (such as this one from Amazon) once cool. 

'Spray this every 3-4 days to get rid of pests like slugs, aphids, ants, whiteflies, and fruit flies – and to keep them away,' Kevin says. This option also works equally well indoors, so you can protect your best indoor trees around your home too. 

2. Use chopped up orange peels near your plants 

Orange peel to deter pests in the garden

(Image credit: GettyImages)

Alternatively, you can chop up (or grind) your orange peels into small pieces. 'Spread these pieces or scrapes near the base of the plants. The pungent smell of orange peels can help deter some pests and rodents away from the plants,' Kevin explains. 

However, Kevin urges you to ask fast and ensure you cut when the pieces are still fresh. 'You need to replace them once they have dried out,' the expert adds. 

Gardener Josh Tesolin of RusticWise also urges you to ensure you're placing only the peels and not the orange flesh, as this could have the reverse effect. 'The sugars and juices from orange flesh may actually attract some backyard insects,' Josh warns. 

It's time to think twice before throwing away your orange peel, but remember, with this tip, the timing is key. 

Megan Slack
Megan Slack

Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc’s homes titles, including Homes & Gardens and Livingetc. As a News Writer, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.