Here are the mosquito repellent plants (mosquito plants) to consider growing at home or in the yard to help keep mosquitoes at bay. Most of these plants can double as herbs to be used in the kitchen.
Mosquitoes aren’t just a nuisance to endure outdoors, they’re a legitimate cause for health concerns. Dousing you and your family in chemical sprays come with another set of problems that can negatively impact health.
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Adding these plants not only help repel to mozzies and other bugs in the natural way, it also adds color to the your living environment and introduce wonderful scents throughout.
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The following plants can help repel mosquitoes and other insects around your yard, deterring them from targeting your area:
Known for its distinct smell, Citronella is a commonly used natural ingredient found in bug repellents sprays and insect-repelling candles.When crushed and rubbed, it releases oil that can be applied directly on the skin to act as a natural repellent against insects. It can also be mixed with other liquids or oils to make mosquito repellents.
The Citronella plant requires low maintenance, is easy take care of and grows best in area with lots of sunlight and good drainage (do keep it in a pot if you live in colder climates). They can be planted in the ground or kept in large pots and can grow up to 5 – 6 feet.
Right type of Citronella to buy: Cybopogon nardus & Citronella winterianus
Lemon Balm is a herb and a member of the mint family. It’s green leaves have the scent of lemon with a hint of mint and are commonly used in flavoring herbal teas.
On top of it healing properties, it’s also known for warding off mosquitoes while attracting important pollinators like butterflies and bees.
It’s fast growing, drought resistant and can reseed itself. To use, simply crush and rub a handful of the leaves in your hand and rub them onto exposed skin.
Note: It’s an invasive species of plant, hence consider planting in a pot rather than in your yard to avoid a lemon balm takeover.
The Catnip (also known as Catmint), contains a natural chemical known as nepetalactone, which can be used both as a feline attractant as well as an insect repellent. In fact, studies have shown that it is more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET.
Also from the mint family, Catnip is easy to grow and can be grown readily as a weed or as a commercially cultivated plant.
Similar to Lemon Balm, it is also an invasive species hence should be planted on its own.
To use, simply cut off the flowers and boil them to be used as spray.
Note: Catnip will attract cats to the yard. Be sure to plant it in a spot where cats can rub and roll in it without hurting other plants.
Basil emits its scent without having to crush the leaves, so it can be grown in pots and placed in the yard or garden. To keep the mosquitoes away from you, rub a handful of the leaves onto exposed skin. The essential oils can also be extracted and used as a spray to repel mosquitoes.
This herb likes to remain moist, damp, requires drainage and enjoys sunlight. It can be planted with other flowers in the garden and alone in a container.
Tip – While all types of basil works, Lemon basil and Cinnamon basil are the best
Lavender not only smells lovely, aids in relaxation and promotes sleep, it also dissuades mosquitoes and other bugs (including fleas, gnats and moths). It is best used by planting in the garden or in pots situated near mosquito entry points like the doors and windows.
Lavender is an easy to grow plant that’s tough and drought-resistant once established. It only needs sunlight and good drainage to survive (grows best in warmer areas).
Similar to catnip, it can and will take over the garden space if left to grow. Hence be sure to grow them in a large pot or keep them pruned regularly.
For an even better protection, rub the lavender onto exposed skin to release its scent.
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The Marigolds is an easy-to-grow annual flower that deters mosquitoes by the distinct smell it emits. It contains Pyrethrum, a compound used in many insect repellents.
Grow them in pots and place it near the home entrances and common entry points for mosquitoes like open windows to deter them from entering. Also place them on a deck or balcony where you spend lots of time hanging out.
On top of mosquitoes, Marigolds also dissuade other bugs including thrips, squash bugs, whiteflies, Mexican bean beetles, and tomato hornworms.
Marigolds is also a popular addition to borders and vegetable gardens that make your landscape more attractive. You can grow them from seed or get a starter plant from a nursery or floral.
Rosemary is another herb commonly used to flavour food dishes. They have a woody scent that also works effectively in keeping mosquitoes other flying bugs like the flies and moths away. Both the plant and cuttings from it are effective in repelling mozzies.
It can be kept both indoors and out but grows best in hot and dry climates. They can be grown in containers, which may be ideal for areas with winters (just ensure it gets sunlight).
Rosemary is especially great when gathering around a fire. Simply toss some in and the incense will repel mosquitoes and other insects.
Scented geranium is also one of the popular mosquito repelling plant that’s recommended by gardeners and multiple gardening sites.
Similar to citronella, lemon scented type of geranium is one of the most effective mozzie repellent.
This gorgeous looking bloom prefers a warm, sunny and dry climate. For cold climate areas, consider growing them in planters (making sure to prune them frequently).
Spread them around your living area or add them to your landscape to allow easy access.
Other Plants that Repel Mosquitoes:
While these mosquito repellent plants are not as effective as bottled repellents, it’s natural, relatively cheap and comes in handy when grown in the garden.
In addition to growing the mosquito repellent plants listed in this artic, also practice good mosquito prevention habits and control by preventing collection of water in the garden and preventing water from getting stagnant (a spoonful of standing water can allow mosquitoes breed hundreds of eggs).
There are ways to keep mosquitoes and other insects away besides drowning in repellent spray. For a more green approach, why not try planting some of these mosquito repellent plants!
Do you have these plants in your yard? If not, would you consider growing some of these plants at home? Let us know in the comments below!