The warm summer weather or the damp rainy weather can bring about unwanted guests in the form of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are attracted to our warm bodies and compounds released by them. They could come in with your garden parties and barbeques. These blood-sucking critters can be pesky and also a significant health risk.
There are artificial repellents used to kill bugs, like bug sprays. These could be harmful to children, your skin, and your health. Natural mosquito repellent methods can help you stay safe. Mosquito repelling plants such as lavender, bee balm, or citronella grass emit a soothing scent for us but a nasty fragrance for mosquitoes.
The best alternative to keep mosquitoes away is to start potting mosquito repellent plants. Read on to find out the best mosquito repellent plants and how you can care for them.
Top 10 Natural Mosquito Repellent Plants
You can ensure pest control while adding a fresh feel to your garden. A plant that repels mosquitoes should be placed near areas you want to keep mosquitoes away, like doorways and windows. Now, you can repel mosquitoes while being completely natural and safe.
Mint is an excellent natural option to keep mosquitoes away. The pungent aroma of mint is great to repel mosquitoes. Leaves can even be dried and hung around the house as a natural mosquito treatment.
The mint plant has an aroma that is lovely for humans but drives the critters away. Mint essential oils also can be used to help soothe bug bites. The mint family is great to have in your vegetable garden, and they are exceptionally easy to tend to.
Mint plants require minimal care and are very easy to grow. Mint is a summer crop, so it needs full sun and partial shade. The roots grow pretty quickly and can become invasive, so be careful where you plant them. A light mulch works best, and the plant needs to be watered regularly.
Harvest the plant by pulling mint sprigs just before it flowers. In addition to repelling mosquitoes and spiders, mint can be used to repel various insects and garden pests such as moths, fleas, ants, and flies.
Basil is another herb that is a great mosquito repellent. The pungent smell in basil leaves helps repel mosquitoes. There is no need to crush, prepare or hang the plant around. Basil is a toxin to mosquito larvae. The plant should be kept near standing water to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs.
Basil is not just a tasty herb to mix with your pesto sauce. Any variety of basil will work to keep insects at bay, so feel free to get experimental. The green leaves of the plant work well with other colored flowers.
This versatile herb’s mosquito repellent properties are advantageous, and you can also make homemade sprays from its essential oils. Basil grows in damp, well-drained soil. It needs full sun and grows in all areas because basil is a bushy annual plant. Grow basil in a flowerbed, container, or other outdoor sitting areas.
Choose a hot, sunny patch and keep the plant moist so that it doesn’t dry out. Beets, cabbage, and lettuce make good companion plants for basil. The essential oils in basil plants drive mosquitoes away, so pick leaves in the morning for high oil content.
Marigold is another natural insecticide in this group of mosquito repellent plants. There is a reason these sweetly scented plants are found in almost every garden. Marigold flowers contain pyrethrum, an ingredient used in many repellents. This flower is very easy to grow and emits a strong scent that is mosquito repelling.
Along with mosquito control, they repel aphids, whiteflies, and beetles as well. They are also a popular choice as a border for your garden. Grow them near doorways or your patio entrance to keep bugs out. These flowers are mosquito repellants but will attract a plethora of butterflies and bees.
You can keep these flowers in vases around the house to work as mosquito repellents while also adding a pop of color. They grow up to 3 feet tall and bloom from the beginning of summer through early winter. Marigolds need weekly watering but avoid watering from above as the flower turns mushy.
Marigolds do well with companion plants like petunias, dahlias, and chamomile. Remember to keep the mulch light with moderate watering. Harvest marigold flowers when they bloom to a full size during shady parts of the day.
4. Citronella Grass
Citronella grass or lemongrass is very effective to repel mosquitoes. These lemon-scented plants are known for their distinctive smell and are commonly used in mosquito repellants. This plant is low maintenance, and there are few chances of going wrong with this effective mosquito repellant plant.
Lemon-scented plants are highly recommended for mosquito control. A compound called citronellal is present in lemon balm, which has a very similar effect to the citronella plant. This is also a familiar scent in candles, lemon balm, and mosquito repellants. Citronella thrives best in warm climates and loves the full sun.
This repellent thrives best in large planters as they are averse to the cold. Another effective mosquito plant related to the citronella family is citrosum. Citronella does well in containers with loamy soil. Don’t let this plant get too dry by maintaining the high water needs.
Avoid keeping this plant indoors as it can dry out faster. This mosquito repellant can turn invasive, so enclosed spaces are preferred. Bee balm is a good companion plant as the colors compliment each other.
Lavender is one of the prettiest and most soothing plants that repel mosquitoes. This flower deters mosquitoes while attracting butterflies and bees. The soothing fragrance of lavender comes from its essential oils and is found on the plant’s leaves. Lavender oil is also claimed to hinder a mosquito’s ability to smell.
This flower needs full sun and good drainage. It is also drought-resistant and can thrive in any climate. Keeping that in mind, it still does better in warmer areas. Lavender loves the sun, ordinary soil, and blooms beautifully in late spring.
It is a great tea ingredient and can also keep away other flying pests like moths, fleas, flies, and spiders. This flower is often grown as an annual. While it is calming for humans, the smell can drive bugs straight outside the garden.
Peppermint oil is excellent at soothing mosquito bites along with deterring mosquitoes. They grow pretty fast and can be quite invasive but not as much as other plants in the mint family. The minty fragrance deters a mosquito’s keen senses.
While camping outdoors, use it on your skin by crushing leaves and making a mixture. Mosquitoes will find you highly intolerant. Place peppermint near standing water to prevent mosquitos from laying eggs. This strongly scented plant can also be used as an essential oil or added to salad preparations.
The smell will be quite refreshing in your back garden. Minimal care is needed, along with moist soil and regular watering. Outdoor plants need a light mulch to maintain the required moisture. Peas, beans, and carrots are great companion plants for peppermint.
Sage is excellent at mosquito repelling if you love gathering around a fire in your backyard while roasting marshmallows. It repels mosquitoes when burned. Throw sage leaves into the flames, and the earthy smell will drive away insects. You may have heard of sage being used for spiritual cleansing, but it is also a great insect repellent.
Make your homemade bug repellent by crushing some leaves. It can also add a refreshing aroma to your backyard or home with its soothing properties. You might also notice some beautiful hummingbirds swooping down near these plants.
This plant needs a lot of sunlight and well-drained soil. It is completely safe for your skin and most effective as an oil. After flowering, it is best to prune plants to maintain that attractive shape. A pro tip is to raise containers during winter to drain excess water.
Rosemary can be an essential plant in your garden while being an excellent mosquito repellent. You might be familiar with the woody scent. While pleasing for us, it keeps mosquitoes as well as moths and flies away. This plant also deters mosquitoes when burned, so toss some in the fire for an aromatic repellent.
Rosemary keeps pests away, and you can also add some while cooking or as garnish. Rosemary essential oil also has great benefits for the skin and hair. They make great garden border decorations, and you can prune them into various shapes and sizes.
They thrive in containers and hot, dry climates. They are very low maintenance and grow well without much hassle. Make sure it occupies the brightest spot in your house or garden. The freshest taste comes from the youngest stems, so harvest as and when you want.
Catnip (catmint) is one of the most common mosquito repellents. It belongs to the mint family and thrives everywhere as a commercial plant. It is very easy to take care of. Catnip scent is used as a good garden defense and also works well with tea.
Catnip contains the chemical nepetalactone, a strong mosquito deterrent, and feline attractant. This chemical presence makes it more effective than DEET, a chemical found in many insect repellants. Cats love to roll in it, so it’s beneficial to be placed near a cat-friendly area. They are easy to care for but can grow invasive in garden beds.
This plant needs as much sunlight as possible. Try growing them outside or pot in quickly-draining soil to avoid root rot. They need to be fertilized monthly with plenty of space. Add rich organic matter and water frequently. Trim the stalk to its base or cut off the entire plant once ready to harvest.
Garlic is one of the more potent smelling plants that repel mosquitoes. This is one of the only plants here that may drive away both humans and mosquitoes with its pungent smell. The active ingredient, allicin, interferes with our natural scent. Consume garlic or rub some juice directly onto your skin.
Scatter in the house or combine with liquids in other sprays for a homemade mosquito repellant. Essential oils blended may sound nasty but do well in repelling mosquitoes. It will help keep mosquitoes far, far away from you.
Garlic plants need a lot of moisture and mulching to prevent weeds. It is low maintenance and doesn’t need a lot of watering. It is best to plant garlic in the fall, from September to mid-October.
Keep mosquitoes away by choosing your favorite plants that repel mosquitoes. Many other plants such as bee balm, pennyroyal, scented geraniums, and floss flowers are great plants that repel mosquitoes. Many of these mosquito repellent plants are beneficial to keep in your garden. They keep pests away and also add some variety.
Add a pop of color to your life and garden with mosquito repellent plants around you. Pests can destroy your garden and cause many skin infections, so acquaint yourself with these plants and their essential oils. That pesky insect will no longer deter your daily life.
James Fields is the founder of Gardener to Farmer. His passion for gardening goes back to his childhood days when he would visit his grandfather during the holidays and help him with the plants in the backyard. This has now translated to creating a dependable resource for gardening.