Outdoor PestsBirds

What Plants Do Pigeons Hate?

Birds 8

Pigeons, while often seen as a charming part of city life, can become a nuisance for homeowners and gardeners. Their droppings can damage property and they can be disruptive. One of the most effective and humane ways to deter these birds from your space is by understanding and implementing the use of plants that pigeons hate. This in-depth guide will discuss a variety of plants that can help keep your balcony, garden, or yard pigeon-free.


Pigeons dislike several plants due to their strong scents or physical characteristics. These include lavender, mint, marigold, citronella, garlic, herbs like basil and rosemary, and plants with white flowers. Pigeons also avoid thorny or spiked plants like cacti, barberry, blackthorn, gooseberry, and holly. Incorporating these plants into your garden or balcony can help deter pigeons.


Lavender is a popular plant known for its soothing scent and stunning purple flowers. However, this scent is not as well-loved by pigeons. The strong fragrance of lavender can deter these birds from nesting or feeding near the plant.


Mint, particularly peppermint, is another plant that pigeons dislike. The strong smell, which is often associated with cleanliness and freshness in humans, is overwhelming to pigeons. Planting mint around your property can help create an unwelcoming environment for these birds.


Marigolds are bright, beautiful flowers that can add color to any garden. But their strong, distinctive scent is off-putting to pigeons. Incorporating marigolds into your garden can add aesthetic value while also serving a practical purpose.

Citronella, Garlic, and Herbs

Citronella is a common ingredient in mosquito repellents but it’s also effective against pigeons. Other strong-smelling plants such as garlic and herbs like basil, sage, thyme, and rosemary can also help deter pigeons. These plants not only keep pigeons away but can also be used in your kitchen, making them a practical addition to your garden.

Spiked or Thorny Plants

Pigeons prefer comfortable, safe places to perch. Planting cacti or other spiked plants such as barberry, blackthorn, or gooseberry can make your garden less appealing to these birds. Holly, with its pointed leaves, can also serve as a deterrent.

White Flowers

Interestingly, pigeons perceive the color white as a signal of danger. Therefore, planting white flowers such as Shasta daisies, lobelias, peonies, white roses, white petunias, or white hydrangeas can help keep pigeons at bay.

Combining Plants with Other Deterrent Methods

For greater effectiveness, these plants can be used in conjunction with other pigeon deterrent methods. Exclusion methods, visual deterrents, and physical barriers can all be used alongside pigeon-repellent plants.


In conclusion, there are many plants that pigeons dislike, including lavender, mint, marigold, citronella, garlic, herbs, and white flowers. By incorporating these into your garden or balcony and combining them with other deterrent methods, you can create a pigeon-free space. Remember, the key is to create an environment that is unappealing and uncomfortable for pigeons without causing them harm. With these strategies, you can enjoy your outdoor space without the nuisance of pigeons.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use essential oils of these plants to deter pigeons?

Yes, essential oils derived from these plants can be used as a deterrent. However, they need to be reapplied regularly as their scent fades over time.

Can these plants harm or kill pigeons?

No, these plants are not harmful or lethal to pigeons. They simply create an environment that is unappealing to them, causing them to seek out other areas.

Will these plants deter other birds or animals?

While these plants are specifically disliked by pigeons, they may also deter other birds or animals that have a sensitive sense of smell. However, the impact on other wildlife will likely be minimal.

How long does it take for these plants to start deterring pigeons?

The deterrence can start as soon as the plants are mature enough to produce a strong scent. However, it may take some time for pigeons to associate the area with the unpleasant smell and avoid it.

Can I use these plants in indoor areas to deter pigeons?

Yes, you can use potted versions of these plants or their essential oils to deter pigeons from indoor areas such as balconies, windowsills, or lofts.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *