Pesky and harmful bugs like mosquitos could easily cramp your style now that patio season is officially underway. And, commonly-used bug spray can contain tons of chemical additives. Fear not, for we have cultivated a great list of mosquito repelling plant power. Get your dose of nature safely with our guide to plants that repel mosquitoes, and you’ll never reach for the DEET-filled bug spray again.
Lavender has a lovely, calming, and pleasing aroma which naturally repels pests. It’s even quite durable and drought-resistant, for those with black thumbs. We love lavender plants both inside and outside your house. And, lavender plants provide one of the most popular essential oils, especially for allergies, pest repellant and around the home.
There’s a reason citronella-infused candles are a commonly used item for mosquito repellent. This powerhouse plant naturally helps keep mosquitos at bay with its strong lemony scent that helps hide the scent of humans. Just make sure to buy the true citronella plant, not something labeled citronella-scented or like citronella. Added bonus? Citronella is a variety of grass that is considered low maintenance and thrives in full sun with proper drainage.
Basil is a stellar addition to any home cook’s indoor or outdoor garden. This happening herb not only makes the best Caprese salad out there, but also emits a strong odor that helps to naturally deter mosquitos. Basil earns extra points for also helping to deter flies.
Marigolds are perfect to grow in pots and place near your doors to keep bugs out of your house; they are also a pretty way to brighten a deck or patio space or to adorn window boxes. Marigolds smell strong, and naturally irritate pests like mosquitos, since they contain pyrethrum, a compound used in many insect repellents.
Another common culinary ingredient, rosemary does double duty with its pest repelling properties. Rosemary’s pleasant, woody scent is unpleasant for mosquitos, moths, and flies. We recommend using a small pot or container for this plant, rather than planting in the garden or ground.
Horsemint works in a similar way to citronella, in that it gives off an intense odor which confuses mosquitoes by masking the smell of people. Horsemint is another great natural repellent you can plant outside, since it grows quickly, prefers shade, and is hardy enough to thrive in sandy soil.
Catnip not only drives cats wild, but has proven to be a more effective repellant than DEET. Because it is invasive by nature, keep catnip in a planter so it won’t take over other plants. Also, be careful not to handle catnip regularly, since it can cause some skin irritation.
Geraniums, especially varieties with a lemony scent, are reminiscent of citronella and deter mosquitos effectively. They’re also quite striking, and make a welcome addition to an outside garden or entertaining space. They grow best in warm, dry climates with lots of sun exposure.
Sometimes called flossflowers, ageratum emanates a strong smell that mosquitos do not enjoy. It also secretes something called coumarin, which is a natural ingredient in many commercial mosquito repellants. Ageratum is low lying, so would be a great addition to an outdoor rock garden.
Overall, it’s easy to see that there are plenty of plant options to keep mosquitos at bay this season. Consider adding some of this list to your mosquito repelling solutions for a more natural way to solve pest problems.