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Plants that repel mosquitos

  • citronella grass
  • rosemary
  • catnip
  • marigolds
  • sage
  • parsley
  • Mosquito Plant
  • Horsemint
  • Ageratum
  • Texas hummingbird mint
  • bubblegum mint
  • giant hyssop
  • giant hummingbird mint

Five Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

by Melanie Marten

There are attractive garden plants that repel mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are horrible creatures that swarm around you and suck your blood. They cause itchy rashes and can carry disease.

The most common way of repelling or getting rid of mosquitoes involves spraying a large quantity of poisonous chemicals in your yard and on yourself. If you are interested in a more natural approach, consider these plants that repel mosquitoes.

Citronella Grass

Citronella grass is, of course, where companies get the citronella oil. This oil is put in candles and lanterns that can be burned in your yard to repel mosquitoes. Citronella grass is actually a tropic plant that grows to be six feet tall, so it might not be practical in the average suburban backyard.


Catnip is an herb that is most commonly used to stuff in toys or feed to cats for their enjoyment. However, the oil from this plant has actually been found to be more than ten times better at repelling mosquitoes than DEET. Planting this plant near your patio or deck will help repel mosquitoes.


This garden herb also has an oil that repels mosquitoes. While they are attractive plants that both repel mosquitoes and can add interest to your cooking, they are truly tropical plants that are not hardy in cold climates. You can, however, grow rosemary in a pot and take it inside in the winter.


Marigolds have a particular smell that many insects and humans find objectionable. They are a good plant for repelling mosquitoes as well as insects that can attack vegetable plants and aphids. Marigolds are annuals with bright flowers that range from lemon yellow to dark oranges and reds.

Mosquito Plants

There are actually plants on the market that are simply called Mosquito plants. They are advertised as a plant that repels mosquitoes. There are different schools of thoughts on these plants. Some say they do nothing to repel mosquitoes, while other swear by them. More often than not, you can only find them through mail order and internet sales.

While all these plants repel mosquitoes in your yard, you can also make all-natural mosquito repellent from them. Simply crush the leaves or flowers to release the oils and put them in a quantity of alcohol or vodka. Once the mosquito repellent oils have infused the liquid, you can use it just as you would one of the more harmful chemical repellents.

Planting these plants that repel mosquitoes is a great choice for your yard. Not only is it an earth-friendly way of dealing with these pests, it will add beauty to your gardens, and will not jeopardize your health. These five plants that repel mosquitoes are great choices.


Mosquito Plant

The Mosquito Plant is a genetically engineered geranium hybrid with a unique characteristic: it repels mosquitoes! It is easily grown as a potted patio plant, and easily enjoyed for its attractive foliage and sweet lemony scent, as well as for its mosquito repelling powers. It produces a leafy, attractive, foot-tall plant during its first season.

The Mosquito Plant was created by a Dutch botanist, who genetically incorporated traits of the Chinese citronella grass into a scented African geranium. The resulting cultivar still had the growth and habit of the geranium, and its sweet lemony citronella scent. Citronella is the substance in citronella candles, which have long been used to deter mosquitoes. It doesn't harm them, but they don't like citronella and avoid it. It is most effective as a repellent if you crush a few leaves and rub them on your skin. This releases the citronella and a sweet perfume.

Like most geraniums, the Mosquito Plant is normally potted and grown outdoors during the warm season (after last and before first frosts). During the colder seasons the plants can be wintered-over indoors. In the warmer southern zones Mosquito Plants can be grown outdoors year-round where the plants can reach a mature size of 3 to 4 feet high and wide.

Planting and Care:

New plants can be potted in a 4-inch or larger pot. Or they can be grouped in a patio planter spaced a foot apart. Use any potting soil recommended for geraniums. Keep watered and occasionally feed with a soluble plant food, as you would any potted plant. Mosquito Plants like full sun, but do well in partial shade. In the fall, you can move the plants indoors to enjoy as houseplants, or winter them over with your other geraniums in a heated garage, near a window or under grow lights.

During the summer, put potted plants on patio tables and near lounges to keep mosquitoes at bay. For even more protection, crush and rub the leaves on your skin for a sweet, natural perfume that bugs mosquitoes.


Mosquitoes in Your Garden? Try Planting These!

By Scottie Johnson

If you are a serious gardener, you spend lots of time outdoors. And, for sure, you would rather be tending your plants than swatting mosquitoes.

While there are many things you can do to keep mosquitoes away, there are some plants that will beautify your yard and help repel mosquitoes.

As one more way to keep mosquitoes away from you and your yard, try planting these attractive plants.


Horsemint has a scent similar to citronella. Horsemint grows wild in most of the Eastern United States, from Mexico, Texas up to Minnesota to Vermont. It is partial to sandy soils and will grow in USDA Zones 5-10. Native Americans used it as a treatment for colds and flu. It has natural fungicidal and bacterial retardant properties because it's essential oils are high in thymol.


This wonderful herb we use for seasoning is also a great, natural mosquito repellant. It has been used for centuries to keep pesky mosquitoes away. Rosemary is a native of the Mediterranean, so it likes hot, dry weather and well-drained soil. It is hardy in USDA zones 8-10, and must be grown as a pot plant in colder climates. If you happen to live in a part of the country where rosemary does not grow, you can get a good quality rosemary essential oil; mix 4 drops with 1⁄4 cup olive oil. Store in a cool, dry place. When it comes to fresh plant oils as natural mosquito repellants, there is every reason to have the plant in your yard, if they will grow in your area. It is an inexpensive and attractive way to boost the appearance of the landscape and have natural mosquito repellants on hand as well.


Organic gardeners have used marigolds as companion plants to keep aphids away. Mosquitoes don't like its scent any better (and some humans feel the same way). Marigolds are sun-loving annuals that come in a variety of shapes and sizes for almost any landscape. They are quite easy to grow from seed.


This charming little bedding plant contains coumarin, and mosquitoes detest the smell. It is used in the perfume industry and is even in some commercial mosquito repellants. Don't rub ageratum on your skin, though. It has some other less desirable elements that you don't want to keep on your skin in quantity. Ageratums are annuals, and they come in a muted blue and white that compliments most other plantings.


There are two types of plants that are called mosquito plants. One is a member of the geranium family that was genetically engineered to incorporate the properties of citronella. Citronella only grows in tropical places, but it is a well known repellant for mosquitoes. This plant was created to bring the repellant properties of citronella into a hardier plant. It will grow where any geranium will thrive. Many have questioned its usefulness as a mosquito repellant, but it is attractive enough to warrant planting for it's ornamental value.

The other kind of mosquito plant is agastache cana. Its common names include Texas hummingbird mint, bubblegum mint, giant hyssop, or giant hummingbird mint. As you might guess, hummingbirds are quite attracted to it. It is a New Mexico native, also found in parts of Texas. It is, in fact, a member of the mint family and its leaves do have a pungent aroma when crushed. In its native habitat, it is perennial, and is usually hardy in USDA Zones 5a-9a. It blooms late summer to early fall, so it catches hummingbirds on their annual migration. The long, medium pink flowers reel in butterflies as well.

CATNIP One of the most powerful mosquito repellant plants is ordinary catnip. Recent studies have shown that it is ten times more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes. It is a short lived perennial throughout most of the United States. It is easy to grow from seed, and quickly reseeds. Aside from its intoxicating effects on cats, the leaves make a very soothing tea.

With all of these plants, the leaves must be crushed to release the aroma. Otherwise mosquitoes can't smell them. And, with rosemary and catnip, you can simply crush a few leaves and rub on your skin and clothing to enhance the effect.

So, next time you are revising your plantings, consider using some of these attractive plants to do more than just enhance the landscape. You can have pretty ornamentals that also drive mosquitoes away.

Scottie Johnson is a life long mosquito warrior and freelance writer dedicated to eliminating mosquitoes from her life. She is also an organic gardener. For more information about mosquito control in your home and yard, visit this website.


Mosquito Repellent Plants About the Authorpops Rob Bernabe has worked in the home industry for several years.

Not everyone can tolerate the types of toxic chemicals that are used to ward off mosquitoes. Some people are allergic to over-the-counter repellents and these products contain so many chemicals that they certain aren't recommended for pregnant women! So what is a person to do to ward off these obnoxious, infectious winged creatures the next time damp, hot weather sets in?

If you don't want to stay inside all summer you might want to consider planting a mosquito repellent garden. Herbs that are known for disgusting the tiny whizzing vampires are citronella, rosemary, lemongrass, lavender, basil, thyme, penny royal and garlic. Planting a selection of these herbs might help keep mosquitoes at bay as well as keep it smelling like the Garden of Eden!

There are also a few flowers and trees that also quality as mosquito repellent plants. These include pine and cedar trees and geraniums, daisies and chrysanthemums. In fact a very powerful commercial insecticide called pyrethrum is made from a member of the daisy family called Chrysanthemum cineranifolium. pyrethroid. It does not repel insects but works as a contact insecticide, causing nervous system toxicity that leads to the death of the insect. The chemical is effective against mosquitoes, flies and ticks and just one spray can down them in mid-flight. You can find this type of mosquito repellent in health food stores and plant supply stores.

There are also several essential oils that are made from the above plants, which could be mixes with carrier oil such as almond and jojoba and rubbed into the skin to ward off mosquitoes. Essential oils from plants that are natural mosquito repellents include citronella, rosemary, lavender, lemongrass, basil, thyme, allspice, verbena, pine cedar, cajeput, geranium, cinnamon and clove. You can also sometimes find natural mosquito repellent formulas made of combinations of these oils in your health food store.

Of all of these plants citronella is the strongest and most effective deterrent to mosquitoes. The active ingredient most commonly found in "natural" or "herbal" insect repellents marketed in the United States. It is registered with the EPA as an insect repellent.

Citronella oil has a lemony scent and was originally extracted from the grass plant Cymbopogon nardus. You can buy citronella in many ways - as an ointment, cream, lotion, in candles or as a coil that can burned like incense to keep the mosquitoes out of the air.

A study done by the American College of Physicians showed that persons who lit citronella candles had 42% fewer bites than controls, which had no protection. The manufacturer of Natrapel (a herbal mosquito repellent made in Littleton, New Hampshire) has laboratory data showing that their 10% lotion reduced mosquito bites by 84% during a 4-minute test period. This fell a bit short of subjects who were using DEET in the same test whose biting was reduced by 96%. Still one or two mosquito bites more might be worth the lack of exposure to carcinogenic ingredients in the long run. For more information on how to prevent mosquito bites this season check out


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