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Keep Pesky Mosquitos Away with These Insect-Repelling Plants

Posted by Melisa on

Mosquitos breed so fast that it doesn't take long for these disease-carrying pests to take over an entire property. These critters thrive in moist growing environments, places that are teeming with stagnant water and thick vegetation. If you are not careful, your garden could turn into a cesspool of biting bugs.

Certain types of plants repel mosquitos. These plants won’t eradicate mosquitos completely but they could reduce mosquitos’ population in your property. Here are some of the best mosquito-repelling flowers that you should grow in your garden:

Beautyberry

This deciduous shrub got its name for its stunning display of magenta berries during the fall season. The flowers of the American Beautyberry might not be much to look at but the berries attract all sorts of pollinators, particularly birds! American Beautyberry also repels mosquitos thanks to the fragrant oils that it releases, along with other biting bugs. In fact, beautyberry leaves are often used to repel all sorts of biting insects, such as fire ants and ticks, for hundreds of years.

Beautyberry leaves contain callicarpenal and intermedeol, chemicals that are known to repel insects for several hours. If you want to increase Beautyberry’s mosquito-repelling abilities, leave crushed leaves in insect-ridden spots all over the garden.

Catnip

Catnip is another plant that works so well in minimizing the population of biting insects in and around your home. This easy to grow and even easier to maintain perennial plant emit a citrusy fragrance that biting insects hate. Set a pot of catnip by the windowsill and it will repel pesky mosquitos and other insects.

If you are growing catnip in the garden, plant it in a place where it can be controlled easily. As many mint varieties, catnip is a vigorous grower. If left to grow on their own, catnip will easily overtake a bare space. But if you don’t mind the endless supply of catnip for your pets then we highly suggest growing several pots of catnip in the garden.

Basil

Generally, mosquitos hate plants that emit strong scents. Aromatic herbs like basil make the perfect mosquito repellant because 1) it deters most biting bugs and 2) it’s a versatile herb that no kitchen should be without. And basil is so easy to grow, it’s almost effortless. Just set a pot of basil in a sunny spot and that’s it.

To repel mosquitos, you could simply crush a few leaves or rub the leaves against your skin. You could also collect the foliage and burn it like incense (dried and fresh foliage alike). While basil comes in different varieties, lemon and cinnamon basil are the best ones to use against biting insects.

Bee Balm

Better known as bergamot, bee balm is a perennial that produce frilly, showy blossoms. And these blossoms are universally loved by pollinators, including butterflies. If you want an easy to grow plant that would add lovely pops of colors to your outdoor space then bee balm is your best bet. The best thing about bee balm? Mosquitos hate them!

Bee balm leaves the air lightly scented with its citrusy, lemony scent, which mosquitos abhor! Just like most plants belonging to the mint family, bee balm is an aggressive grower. As long as you keep the growth controlled then it makes an excellent plant for the patio, porch, and the garden.

Citronella

Traditionally, citronella is grown to repel mosquitos. That’s basically the reason why products like scented candles, body lotions, and natural insect repellants are infused with citronella extracts. Citronella has a strong lemony aroma that mosquitos find offending so planting a couple of citronella plant is enough to keep these biting insects from breeding.

And get this, citronella plant is so easy to grow. It's a resilient plant that does not require much attention at all. The citronella plant could be planted in-ground or grown in a pot, it does not matter! It will thrive as long as it receives filtered sunlight.

Lavender

Who doesn't love the mild scent of fresh lavender? Used in many skin and body products, lavender is prized for its healing extracts and soothing scent. And the scent that made lavender so well-loved in the beauty industry is hated by biting insects like mosquitos!

The lavender plant is beautiful because of its graceful foliage and eye-catching periwinkle blossoms. There are many lavender varieties but the English lavender is the most widely grown in North America. This variety will thrive in both humid and cold regions. It does, however, require well-drained soils and the full sun to thrive. Virtually all lavender varieties hate wet soils and standing water.

Lemongrass

Lemongrass is used in skincare and body products as well as an herb in cooking. This plant has a mild lemony aroma that mosquitos cannot stand. Lemongrass could also repel lice, flies, and other pests! If you want to give your home a refreshing aroma, then we highly recommend planting several lemongrass plants in strategic areas of your garden. Plant lemongrass along walkways and pathways to enjoy its lovely scent.

Do note, however, that Lemongrass is a tender plant. It cannot stand the cold so it will not survive the winter freeze. That said, lemongrass will grow vigorously when planted in a sunny spot. This plant also loves well-draining, rich soils so amend the soil with natural fertilizers regularly.

Mint

Mint is known for its invigorating minty scent, which is why it’s a kitchen staple. This herb is also widely used to repel all sorts of creepy crawlies, including annoying mosquitos. The smell and taste of mint are enough to keep unwanted pests from dropping by uninvited. You could also crush and apply mint leaves on insect bites to ease inflammation and itchiness.

Mint is so easy to grow and it will thrive in-ground or in a pot. Just keep the mint plant away from direct sunlight or the foliage will burn. This goes especially for the variegated types of mint. This plant is quite thirsty so water regularly.

Rosemary

Rosemary is widely used as an herb but in the garden, it is a beautiful flowering plant that naturally repels mosquitos. This herb has a rich, pine-y aroma that goes so well with savory dishes. But the scent is something that some garden insects could not tolerate.

Growing a couple of rosemary plant alone is enough to stave off mosquitos but if you want to cover a large expanse of space, try smoking a bunch of fresh rosemary stems and leaves in an outdoor area. Rosemary is easy to grow and even easier to take care of as long as you water it regularly.

Eucalyptus

Rounding up our list of plants that repel mosquitos naturally is eucalyptus. Eucalyptus has a minty, slightly flowery scent that could interfere with mosquitos' senses. Just a couple of eucalyptus plants in the garden is enough to discourage mosquitos and other pests such as ticks, midges, and sandflies from breeding.

The eucalyptus plant could thrive in-ground or in a pot. It loves the full sun and rich soils. Eucalyptus plants cannot survive the cold that’s why growing it in a pot is best in cold regions. This way, you could simply transfer the plant indoors once the weather gets too cold. On the plus side, it will repel mosquitos inside the home.

Some plants repel mosquitos because the pungent aromas interfere with the pests’ delicate senses! Imagine filling your garden with these plants and never worrying about biting insects ever again. Tune in for more gardening tips by subscribing to our newsletter. Get the freshest gardening resources and helpful tips straight to your inbox by signing up for our mailing list right now.


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