Mosquitoes don’t share the same love for aromatic plants as we do, and planting a few specific varieties will work to keep the mosquitoes out while keeping your garden free of chemicals. Not to mention, you’ll have fewer bug bites to show for it!
Citronella: The Ultimate Mosquito Repellent
Scented citronella geraniums are also ubiquitously known as the “mosquito plant”. It’s true, they do contain a fragrance mosquitoes strongly dislike, but they also work best in smaller spaces, like entryways. They bloom beautifully, and when plucked and rubbed on your skin, work as a natural bug repellent.
The Next Best Anti-Mosquito Plants
- Lavender: Beyond producing beautiful summer blooms, lavender gives off a powerful and characteristically soothing scent to us. Mosquitoes, along with moths and flies, steer clear of these shrubs. Even better, lavender performs double duty, attracting bees and other pollinators to your garden. They prefer well-drained soil, deep and infrequent waterings, and plenty of full sunlight.
- Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus plants produce a natural oil that’s often the primary ingredient in commercial mosquito repellents. It is gentle on the skin, smells sweet and minty with hints of pine, and is strong enough to disrupt a mosquito’s senses. Applying some oil on an existing mosquito bite will reduce irritation. Eucalyptus plants prefer sunny conditions and well-drained soil and can grow just fine in pots.
- Catmint or Catnip: A common favorite for our feline pals, catmint’s oil is full of nepetalactone, which acts as a type of aphrodisiac for cats, all the while repelling both unwanted mosquitoes and ants around your garden. Catmint and catnip are similar, but catmint is more ornamental, blooming small lavender-colored flowers and giving off less of a scent. These plants grow quickly to the point of getting invasive if you aren’t careful, so we recommend growing them in their own container.
- Rosemary: Rosemary is a hardy perennial herb with a natural mosquito repellent in its woody aroma. They’re fantastic border plants and grow easily in containers. They also taste great in your cooking. Should you be having your own backyard cookout, cook an extra sprig or two of rosemary on your barbecue to bring out its fragrance and fend off any nearby bloodsuckers. Rosemary loves hot and dry conditions, even thriving in a drought. It can practically grow itself, meaning fewer bugs in the yard, and less work for you.
- Peppermint: We’re lucky many of these fragrances smell so nice to us while keeping mosquitoes at bay. Peppermint is among them. These plants grow quickly and not only keep insects away, but their oil works well to relieve skin itchiness from bug bites. These plants enjoy full sun and consistently damp soil.
- Pennyroyal: Part of the mint family, pennyroyal oil is a strong mosquito and fly repellent and serves as a topical for some skin diseases. It features small serrated leaves and cute flowers, making it a pretty addition to your garden. Be aware, pennyroyal can be toxic to dogs and infants, so plant smart!
Intersperse a few of these anti mosquito plants, and you can work and relax without this pest’s constant distraction. We’re excited to have you reclaim the meditative quality of your garden. You could even take an outdoor nap— you’ve earned it!