7 Plants That Will Repel Pesky Mosquitoes This Summer
Posted on July 18 2019
Mosquitoes and other pests are repelled by pungent odors released by certain plants. Mosquitoes especially have a keen sense of smell that facilitates their ability to find warm-blooded animals in which to lay their eggs.
Etymologists think a mosquito's sensitivity to strong smells is one reason why they avoid scent-emitting plants. If you love barbecuing or sitting outside on pleasant Summer days but don't want to constantly bathe yourself in mosquito repellent, consider planting these mosquito-repelling plants around your home:
A type of scented geranium that may grow up to three feet in height, citrosum ("mosquito plant") should be planted in medium sized pots so they can be taken in during winter.
Lavender flowers and patterned green leaves emit an odor similar to citronella. When planting citrosum outdoors, find a sunny location with sandy, mildly acidic soil that also receives an hour or so of afternoon shade.
While cats love the invigorating odor of nepetalactone contained in catnip leaves, mosquitoes hate it. Plant catnip in well-draining soil that is more sandy than loamy to increase the intensity of smell.
Note: If you have cats, you may have to protect your catnip plants with chicken-wire or other fencing.
Complement your flower garden with vivid orange, yellow and red marigolds that repel biting mosquitoes at the same time. Marigolds contain pyrethrins, a chemical that can also be applied to skin to repel other insects.
When mosquitoes smell pyrethrins (which are toxic to their nervous system), they'll no doubt turn around mid-flight and fly away as quickly as possible!
Sweet-smelling, aromatic lemon balm plants are herbs you can use for seasoning when you're not using them to repel mosquitoes. Growing about two feet and flowering in mid to late summer, lemon balm is also useful as a quick, topical insect repellent. Just rub several lemon balm leaves on your skin to release aromatic compounds bugs hate to smell.
Another flavorful, seasoning herb that repels mosquitoes, fresh basil emits a complicated scent of mint, anise, pepper and cloves. Plant basil in containers and set them around your porch to keep mosquitoes from ruining your summer evening.
You can also plant basil in gardens that receive about six hours of sunshine everyday.
An ornamental grass growing four feet tall and up to three feet wide, lemongrass contains citronella oil that mosquitoes find particularly noxious. Lemongrass does well as an outdoor decorative plant or in large pots.
If you plant lemongrass outdoors, find a well-drained, sunny spot in which to cultivate citronella. Water the plant frequently to avoid letting its roots get too dry. Once mature, lemongrass leaves can be used to flavor chicken salads and soups.
A hybrid of spearmint and watermint plants, peppermint plants are hardy, little plants growing naturally all over the world. Gently rub the leaves of your peppermint plant to release that familiar peppermint smell we love but mosquitoes hate.
Growing peppermint plants is easy but they do need plenty of water and well-draining soil to thrive.
Feed Your Plants
Plant several of these pesticide-free, mosquito-repelling plants around your home and enjoy a summer that doesn't involve scratching irritating mosquito bites or worrying about possible side effects of having your yard sprayed with insecticides.
To help your plants last throughout the Summer, be sure to provide them with quality fertilizers that supply essential nutrients for optimum growth. Our Pepper and Herb 11-11-40 fertilizer is a great place to start.
You can shop this fertilizer and many others, below.