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Top 9 Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

Updated on:
June 27, 2024
plants that repel mosquitoes

Ever been at the mercy of mosquitoes during an outdoor evening get-together? You might be surprised to learn that the solution to this buzzing problem could be right in your garden. A select group of nine plants, including marigold, lavender, and lemongrass, have shown to be effective in repelling these unwelcome guests.

Each of these plants contains unique compounds that deter mosquitoes, offering an eco-friendly alternative to chemical repellents. So, why not explore how these natural warriors can improve your outdoor spaces while keeping you bite-free?

Marigold: The Mosquito-Repelling Powerhouse

You'll be surprised to learn that marigolds, a common garden staple, are a powerhouse in repelling mosquitoes. These colorful flowers serve a dual purpose. Not only do they add a pop of color to your landscape, but they also keep those pesky mosquitoes at bay. It's their distinct scent that mosquitoes can't stand.

Marigolds contain Pyrethrum, a compound used in many insect repellents. You can strategically plant marigolds in your garden or place pots near your windows and entrances. That way, mosquitoes will think twice before crashing your summer barbecue. They're easy to grow and maintain, too. They can thrive in sunny locations and well-drained soil.

But there's more. Marigolds also deter other unwanted insects like aphids, whiteflies, and nematodes. So by planting marigolds, you're not just creating a mosquito-free zone, you're also helping to maintain a healthier garden ecosystem.

The Aromatic Lavender Plant

Next on our list is the aromatic lavender plant, an absolute must-have for those wanting to deter mosquitoes naturally. Lavender, with its pleasant scent and beautiful purple flowers, is a great addition to any garden. But there's more to it than just aesthetics. It's also a potent natural mosquito repellent!

You see, while we humans are drawn to that sweet lavender scent, mosquitoes are quite the opposite. They can't stand it! Lavender oil is rich in camphor and linalool, compounds known to repel insects, including mosquitoes. It's a win-win situation – your garden smells delightful, and those pesky mosquitoes keep their distance.

Growing lavender is quite easy, too. It thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. You can plant it in pots, borders, or even create a lavender hedge! It's a hardy plant, able to withstand hot summers and cold winters.

And the best part? You can use the harvested lavender in many ways. Make a potpourri, infuse oils, or even create your own mosquito repellent spray!

Citronella Grass: Nature's Insect Repellent

Ever heard of citronella grass? It's nature's very own insect repellent! This plant is a must-have if you're looking to keep those pesky mosquitoes at bay. It's the primary source of citronella oil, used in many commercial bug sprays and candles.

Originating from Asia, citronella grass is a perennial clumping grass that can reach up to six feet in height. It's not just effective, but also visually appealing with its tall, slender leaves. You can easily grow it in your garden, but remember, it thrives best in full sun and well-drained soil.

But here's the catch - citronella grass's mosquito-repelling abilities aren't automatic. You must release its scent to repel mosquitoes. How? It's simple! Just crush a few leaves, and voila, your natural repellent is ready.

It's a perfect option when you're outside enjoying a summer barbecue or relaxing on your patio.

Lemongrass: A Dual-Purpose Gardening Gem

While citronella grass is an excellent choice for mosquito-repelling plants, there's another option you might consider: lemongrass, a dual-purpose gardening gem. This tropical plant not only repels mosquitoes with its citrusy scent, but it also serves as a delightful ingredient in your culinary adventures.

Originating from Asia, lemongrass is known for its tall, slender stalks and lush, green leaves. As a natural pesticide, it contains citral, a compound that mosquitoes detest. Growing it in your garden or in pots around your patio creates a barrier mosquitoes won't dare cross, ensuring your outdoor spaces are bug-free while providing an aromatic ambiance.

But lemongrass isn't just an anti-mosquito plant; it's also a flavorful addition to your kitchen. The lower part of its stalks is commonly used in Asian cooking to add a lemony zest to dishes. Whether you're making a delightful lemongrass tea or a spicy Thai curry, this plant is a must-have.

The Wonders of Catnip

Delving into the world of catnip reveals a surprising truth: this playful treat for felines also doubles as a formidable mosquito repellant.

You might be wondering how this works. Well, it's the essential oils in catnip, specifically nepetalactone, that mosquitoes can't stand. In fact, some studies show that catnip is ten times more effective than DEET, the compound used in most commercial insect repellants!

Don't worry, you won't need to scatter loose catnip all around your yard. You can grow catnip plants in your garden or in pots around your patio. It's a hardy perennial that will return year after year. When the leaves are crushed, they release the repellent oils, driving mosquitoes away.

Besides, you'll be providing a natural and safe playground for neighborhood cats. But remember, not all cats are attracted to catnip. It's a genetic thing, around 30% of cats don't respond to it.

The Versatile Basil Plant

You might be surprised to learn that another powerful mosquito-repelling plant is the versatile basil. Its strong scent, which you may associate with your favorite pasta dish, is actually a potent deterrent for these pesky insects.

Unlike other plants, basil doesn't just repel mosquitoes when crushed or burned; the mere presence of this herb in your garden or windowsill can keep the bugs at bay. It's like a natural, fragrant force field. Coupled with its culinary uses, you've got a multitasker on your hands.

To maximize its mosquito-repelling properties, try planting basil in pots around your outdoor living spaces. Or, if you're into cooking, you can keep potted basil in your kitchen. Not only will it offer you fresh leaves for your dishes, but it'll also deter any mosquitoes that have dared to venture indoors.

Of course, basil isn't the only plant that can help you in your quest against mosquitoes. Its combination of usefulness in the kitchen and repellent properties makes it a standout in your anti-mosquito arsenal.

The Anti-Mosquito Properties of Rosemary

Next on our list of mosquito-repelling plants is the aromatic rosemary, a culinary herb that doubles as a potent insect deterrent. Originating from the Mediterranean, rosemary's strong scent is loved by many but detested by mosquitoes.

You'll find rosemary a versatile plant. Not only does it aid your cooking and fill your garden with a pleasant fragrance, it also keeps those pesky mosquitoes at bay. Its natural oils contain compounds that mosquitoes find unpleasant, causing them to steer clear.

The beauty of rosemary is that you can use it fresh, dried, or as an essential oil, all with effective results.

What's more, you don't need a green thumb to grow rosemary. It's a hardy plant that thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. Plant it around your patio or in pots near your doors and windows to create a mosquito-free zone.

During outdoor gatherings, you can also toss a few sprigs of rosemary on the barbecue. As it burns, it releases a fragrant smoke that mosquitoes can't stand. With rosemary, you're not just adding a plant to your garden, you're investing in a natural, aromatic mosquito repellent.

Efficacy of Mint Against Mosquitoes

Switching our focus to mint, it's not just an invigorating herb for your mojito, it's also a powerful mosquito repellent. You're probably wondering how this leafy plant can send mosquitoes packing. Mint's potency against mosquitoes lies in its strong scent. This fragrance, which you might find rejuvenating, is absolutely detestable to mosquitoes.

You can take advantage of this by planting mint around your home. It's a vigorous grower, so you don't need to have a green thumb to keep it thriving. Plus, it doubles as a culinary herb, making it a practical addition to your garden. But remember, you don't want it to take over your entire outdoor space, so consider growing it in containers.

If you're not into gardening, you can still use mint to repel mosquitoes. Crush a few leaves to release the scent and rub them on your skin. Or, you can make a DIY mint repellent spray. Just boil some mint leaves in water, let it cool, and transfer the mixture to a spray bottle. It's an easy, natural way to keep those pesky mosquitoes at bay.

Geraniums: A Beautiful Repellent

Believe it or not, those colorful geraniums adorning your garden not only add beauty but also act as a functional mosquito repellent. Yes, you've read that right. Your beloved geraniums, with their lively blooms and aromatic leaves, are more than just pretty faces.

The key to their mosquito-repelling ability lies in their fragrance. Geraniums produce a natural scent that mosquitoes find highly unappealing. It's similar to citronella, a compound found in many commercial insect repellents. So, every time you're enjoying the pleasant aroma of your geraniums, you're also keeping those pesky mosquitoes at bay.

Planting geraniums around your outdoor living spaces, like patios or decks, can help create a mosquito-free zone. And don't worry if you're short on outdoor space; they grow well in pots too. Just make sure they get plenty of sunlight and have good drainage.

Apart from being a mosquito deterrent, geraniums also attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. So, they're not only keeping the mosquitoes away but also promoting a healthy garden ecosystem.

Isn't it amazing how one plant can deliver so much? So go ahead, enrich your garden's beauty and functionality with geraniums. You won't regret it.


So, you've included marigold, lavender, citronella grass, lemongrass, catnip, basil, rosemary, mint, and geraniums in your anti-mosquito arsenal.

Not only do these plants keep mosquitoes at bay, they also add beauty and fragrance to your outdoor space.

They're nature's way of indicating, 'No more mosquitoes, please.'

Welcome and incorporate these eco-friendly alternatives and enjoy a pest-free, aromatic garden.

Remember, a greener solution is always the better solution.

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