15 Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

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The warm seasons. While pleasant, they come with some struggles. I reckon we can all agree that mosquitoes are the worst. Beyond mere annoyance, mosquitoes cause itching and irritation and pose significant health risks as carriers of diseases like malaria, dengue fever, and Zika virus.

Synthetic repellents have long been the go-to solution against mosquitoes. However, you may want to seek safer alternatives due to concerns about their impact on human health and the environment.

Fortunately, nature has endowed various plants with aromatic compounds and natural defenses that mosquitoes find offensive, effectively keeping them at bay.

15 Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

15 Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

Here’s a list of mosquito repelling plants:

1. Citronella

Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

This is perhaps the most renowned mosquito-deterring plant. In fact, citronella oil, a common ingredient in many mosquito-repellent products, is extracted from various Cymbopogon grass’ leaves and stems.

Plant citronella grass in your outdoor landscaping in pots or directly on the ground to repel mosquitoes. The strong, lemony fragrance that this tall, grassy plant emits masks the scents that attract mosquitoes, like lactic acid and carbon dioxide that humans and animals emit.

Grow citronella grass in sunny, warm spots with well-drained soil.

Hardiness zones: 9-11

Read more: How to Get Rid of Crane Flies

2. Lavender

plants that repel mosquitoes and flies

Lavender has a heavenly, soothing scent with a calming aroma. While we find this plant pleasant, it is overwhelming for mosquitoes. It disrupts the mosquito’s olfactory receptors, making it difficult for them to locate and zero in on potential hosts.

Add lavender plants to your yard or garden to naturally repel mosquitoes and add beauty and fragrance to your outdoor spaces. Plant them around outdoor seating areas, entryways, or along garden borders to create a barrier against mosquitoes.

Grow lavenders in a location with full sunlight and well-drained soil.

Hardiness zones: 5-9

3. Catnip

Outdoor plants that repel mosquitoes and flies

 

Loved by cats but hated by mosquitoes, catnip is an excellent mosquito-repelling plant because of the compound nepetalactone. When released into the air, nepetalactone confuses and repels mosquitoes, making them less likely to land and bite you.

This hardy perennial can thrive nearly anywhere, including in various light conditions and soils, making it suitable for gardens in a wide range of climates. Form a protective barrier by planting catnip strategically.

This plant is resilient, relatively low-maintenance, and has an impressive ability to spread. Catnips easily take over an area, so to control their growth, grow them in containers.

Hardiness zones: 3-7

4. Marigolds

Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

Marigold does more than add color to your garden or yard. Yes, it is undeniably colorful, with cheerful flowers and sweet fragrances. However, that’s not all; this annual plant possesses mosquito-repelling properties.

Marigolds contain pyrethrins, which have insecticidal properties and act as natural repellents against mosquitoes and other insects. Marigold plants’ fragrance creates a natural barrier, keeping mosquitoes from biting you.

You can plant marigolds among vegetable and flower beds. The best varieties for repelling mosquitoes and other garden pests include African Marigold and French Marigold.

Hardiness zones: 2-11

5. Basil

Indoor plants that repel mosquitoes

This versatile herb is prized for its culinary uses but doubles as a natural mosquito repellent. Basil’s pungent smell keeps mosquitoes at bay. Plant basil in your garden or place pots of basil around your patio, borders, or herb garden to keep mosquitoes away.

Also, crush basil leaves and massage them directly onto your skin for enhanced protection against mosquito bites. This herb enjoys lots of sunlight, damp areas, and good drainage, so choose the planting areas wisely.

Make sure the soil is fertile, and the site is sunny, but shade them from extreme sunlight.

Hardiness zones: 10-11

6. Bee Balm

Perennial plants that repel mosquitoes

Typically grown for its attractive blooms and aromatic foliage, bee balm also repels mosquitoes. It is primarily known for attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies but also deters mosquitoes.

In addition, it contains essential oils such as thymol, carvacrol, and geraniol, which have insect-repelling properties. These oils contribute to the plant’s distinctive scent and mosquito-repelling properties.

Bee balm works, especially if you grind the leaves to produce the scent or rub the crushed leaves on your skin. Bee balm thrives in well-drained, moist soil.

Hardiness zones: 3-9

7. Sage

Shade plants that repel mosquitoes

There are multiple ways sage repel mosquitoes. First, plant sage plants in your garden for round-the-clock protection from these annoying insects. Secondly, burn sage leaves to release the mosquito-repelling scent. So, toss some sage leaves in there as you spend time around your fire pit on a summer evening.

You can also dry sage to prepare a bug spray. The distinct sage fragrance and insect-repelling qualities come from essential oils like camphor and cineole. Make your outdoor spaces mosquito-free, fragrant, and flavorful with sage plants.

Hardiness zones: 4-10

8. Peppermint

indoor plants that repel mosquitoes

Peppermint contains high levels of menthol, known for its strong scent and repellent properties against certain insects, including mosquitoes. Add this herb to your garden or yard by planting it in the ground.

However, since it grows vigorously and spreads rapidly, it is best to plant it in pots to contain its growth. In addition, consider crushing and rubbing the leaves on your skin.

Besides repelling mosquitoes, peppermint plants add a refreshing and minty flavor to recipes.

Hardiness zones: 3-11

9. Rosemary

plants that repel mosquitoes

The woodsy aroma of rosemary aroma offers another means of driving mosquitoes away from your home. Repel mosquitoes naturally by growing rosemary plants in pots or in your garden around outdoor seating areas.

Also, release the mosquito-repelling aroma by burning rosemary sprigs or dried leaves in a fire pit or outdoor fireplace. Moreover, extract the essential oil from rosemary and use it to make a homemade mosquito repellent spray.

In addition, you can create small sachets filled with dried rosemary leaves and place them around your home or outdoor seating areas.

Hardiness zones: 8-10

10. Garlic

Mosquito Repellent Plants

Garlic’s scent notoriously lingers, and this quality makes it a great mosquito repellent. Plant garlic strategically around outdoor seating areas, entry points to your home, or near windows to help deter these insects.

The smelly, oily allicin released by crushing or bruising garlic cloves gives garlic its distinct odor and mosquito-deterring qualities. So, crush garlic cloves and scatter them around outdoor areas.

Garlic is easy to grow as it is adaptable, low-maintenance, and less vulnerable to many pests and diseases. However, do not plant them near plants such as peas, strawberries, legumes, and potatoes.

Hardiness zones: 3-10

11. Floss Flower

best mosquito repellent plants

This charming annual flowering plant is beautiful and would make a stunning addition to your outdoor spaces, whether in mixed flower beds, borders, or pots. Although it is mainly loved for its attractive blooms and easy-to-grow nature, floss flower offers another advantage- repelling mosquitoes.

It has coumarin that deters mosquitoes. Unfortunately, it is toxic to humans and pets, so avoid ingestion. This flower also emits a fragrance mosquitoes dislike. Pick a sunny location with fertile soil, consistent moisture, and good drainage to grow this flower.

Hardiness zones: 9-10

12. Scented Geraniums

best mosquito repellent plants

Geraniums, with their brightly colored blooms and distinctive fragrance, are popular ornamental plants that also happen to repel mosquitoes. Scented geraniums such as lemon-scented or citronella-scented geraniums are particularly effective at deterring mosquitoes.

Some scented geraniums contain citronellol, which makes them effective in repelling mosquitoes. These fast-growing plants flourish in dry, sunny, and warm climates.

Plant geraniums in pots or on the ground to beautify your garden and keep mosquitoes at bay. Grow your scented geraniums as annual plants because they aren’t cold-hardy.

Hardiness zones: 10-11

13. Lemon Thyme

plants that repel mosquitoes and flies

This Mediterranean herb repels mosquitoes because it emits a strong scent that these insects find unpleasant. Also, its essential oils, such as citronellal and geraniol, repel insects. Lemon thyme repels mosquitoes when these oils are released by bruising or crushing the leaves of lemon thyme.

You can grow lemon thyme from seeds, but it’s easier to start with young plants that you can get from a nursery or garden center. Plant the seedlings in prepared soil and space them appropriately (around 12” apart).

Hardiness zones: 5-9

14. Eucalyptus

mosquito repellent plants indoor

Send mosquitoes away from your home with eucalyptus. We love this plant’s scent, but mosquitoes don’t. When mosquitoes come into contact with eucalyptus oil or its scent, it can disrupt their nervous system or interfere with their feeding ability, ultimately repelling them.

Grow your eucalyptus plants early to ensure they have sufficient time to establish before the cold seasons. Alternatively, grow them in pots so you can move them to shelter them from the winter weather. Choose fast-growing varieties like Eucalyptus globulus subsp. bicostata to get many fragrant leaves.

Hardiness zones: 8-11

15. Chrysanthemum

Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

Last on our list is chrysanthemum. This plant contains pyrethrin in its flowers, particularly in the seed heads. The scent of chrysanthemums, along with the presence of pyrethrin, can create an environment that mosquitoes find inhospitable.

Apart from repelling mosquitoes, the pyrethrin disrupts their nervous system, leading to paralysis and death should they come into contact with the chrysanthemum plants.

These plants will continue repelling mosquitoes as long as they are in bloom and the pyrethrin content is active. Deadhead them regularly to encourage prolonged blooming.

Summary

From aromatic herbs and beautiful flowering plants to fragrant shrubs, every plant on this list possesses some mosquito-repelling properties, whether it is its scent, compounds, or essential oils. Therefore, incorporate these plants into your garden or outdoor living spaces to create a natural barrier against these pesky pests.

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