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Mosquito REPELLENT Plants Author: Andrea Bothma Most insect-repelling plants do so with their natural fragrances, which keep annoying mosquitoes away and introduce wonderful scents throughout your garden. Grow these plants to help keep mosquitoes away naturally. Have you ever noticed that insects, rabbits, and other animals have never decimated your lavender plant? It is because of their lovely fragrance, which comes from the essential oils found on the plant's leaves. It is even argued that lavender oil hinders a mosquito's ability to smell! This plant is tough, and drought-resistant once established and only needs full sun and good drainage. And while it can endure many climates, it thrives in warmer areas. Marigolds, an easy-to-grow annual flower, emit a smell that deters mosquitoes. Grow them in pots and place them near your patio or entrance to your home to keep bugs out. Marigolds are also a popular addition to borders and vegetable gardens. According to NYBG, not only can they keep away mosquitoes, but they also dissuade aphids, thrips, whiteflies, Mexican bean beetles, squash bugs, and tomato hornworms.
Known for its distinct smell, citronella grass (or lemongrass) is mosquito repellants' most commonly used natural ingredient. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden recommends lemon-scented plants such as citronella grass to keep mosquitoes at bay. And the good news is that the living plant is the most effective at repelling pests. This low-maintenance plant does best in large planters because it cannot withstand frost, but it can be planted in a sunny area in warmer climates.
Catnip (catmint) can be found thriving almost anywhere. It is from the mint family and grows abundantly both as a commercial plant and as a weed. It is effortless to take care of and may even start to invade other areas of your garden. However, if you are willing to forgo this plant's insidious nature, they are fantastic mosquito repellants and another recommendation from the BBG. A study at Iowa State University found catnip to be ten times more effective than DEET, the chemical used in most insect repellants. Another excellent mosquito repellant is rosemary. Rosemary is a familiar herb with a woody scent that keeps mosquitoes, cabbage moths, and carrot flies away. They do best in hot and dry climates and thrive in containers, which may be ideal for areas with harsh winters. They can also be pruned into shapes and sizes and make great borders or decorations. While the pests stay away, you can enjoy the herb's scent and use it to season your cooking.
Basil is another herb that can also double as a pest repellent. The pungent smell the basil leaves give off keeps pests at bay. And since all kinds of basil keep flies and mosquitoes away, feel free to explore and find suitable types of basil to mix into your garden. This herb likes to be kept damp, needs good drainage, and enjoys lots of sun. Plant basil in containers or the garden, alone or with other flowers, as long as both plants meet the same requirements.
Citronella / Scented Geranium are also a popular mosquito-repelling plant. The favoured scent seems to be lemon, reminiscent of citronella grass, and the intense fragrance keeps several types of pests away. These fast-growing plants like warm, sunny, and dry climates, but if you are in a cold-climate area, they can be grown in planters with constant pruning.
Mint is an excellent nontoxic option for keeping mosquitoes, flies and even ants away. The more intense the aroma, the fewer bugs you'll have. Grow it in pots on your patio within reach if you want to drop a leaf or two in your afternoon tea. You can even dry the leaves and use them inside your home as a natural pest control method. Plant some sage nearby if you love gathering around a fire pit in your backyard. Toss some of the plants into the flames; its earthy smell will ward off bugs. Sage can also be dried and used to make homemade bug spray. It isn't just about the annoyance or the itchy bite; it is a health concern for your family and pets.