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Top 10 Natural Mosquito Repellent Plants

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

Summer evenings beckon us outdoors, promising barbecues, starry skies, and cherished moments with loved ones. Unfortunately, they also invite an unwanted guest - the mosquito. These tiny, persistent pests can quickly turn a pleasant outdoor gathering into an itchy nightmare. While chemical mosquito repellents are readily available, there's a more natural and eco-friendly solution right at your fingertips: plants. Yes, you read that correctly. Mother Nature has provided us with an array of beautiful plants that not only enhance the aesthetics of your garden but also act as potent mosquito repellents. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the top plants that can help you enjoy mosquito-free outdoor living, along with advanced tips for optimal effectiveness.

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Natural Mosquito Repellent Plants

Mosquito Repellent Plants

Citronella Plant (Cymbopogon nardus)

Let's start with the most famous mosquito-repelling plant - the citronella plant. Its distinctive lemony scent masks the human scent that attracts mosquitoes. To maximize its mosquito-repelling properties, consider these tips:

  • Maintenance: Prune the plant regularly to encourage new growth and release more of its characteristic fragrance.

  • Crushed Leaves: Crush the leaves and rub them on your skin to enhance its mosquito-repelling effect. You can also extract citronella oil from the plant for use in candles or essential oil diffusers.

Natural Mosquito Repellent Plants citronella

Photo Credit : gardenbetty

Lavender (Lavandula spp.)

Lavender, with its delightful fragrance, is a favorite among gardeners. While it attracts butterflies and bees, it repels mosquitoes effectively. To make the most of lavender as a mosquito repellent:

  • Dried Bunches: Dry lavender flowers and create bunches to hang around your outdoor seating areas. Not only will they repel mosquitoes, but they'll also add a pleasant aroma to your space.

  • Lavender Oil: Lavender essential oil can be diluted and applied to your skin or added to candles and diffusers for a longer-lasting effect.

Natural Mosquito Repellent Plants lavender

Photo Credit : HGTV

Marigolds (Tagetes spp.)

Marigolds are not just vibrant additions to your garden; they also possess a strong scent that mosquitoes find offensive. To ensure they serve as a mosquito barrier:

  • Companion Planting: Plant marigolds alongside vegetables and herbs in your garden to deter pests from your entire crop.

  • Deadhead Regularly: Remove faded flowers (deadheading) to encourage continuous blooming, which will keep the mosquito-repelling aroma strong.

Natural Mosquito Repellent Plants mariglods

Photo Credit : thespuce

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary, a popular herb for cooking, is equally effective at repelling mosquitoes. Its fragrant aroma can deter these insects. To optimize rosemary's mosquito-repelling properties:

  • Smoke: Burn dried rosemary stems as a natural mosquito-repelling incense during outdoor gatherings.

  • Topiary: Shape rosemary into topiary-style plants to combine form and function in your garden.

Natural Mosquito Repellent Plants rosemary

Photo Credit : thespuce

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Another culinary favorite, basil, has mosquito-repelling properties. Its strong scent can confuse and deter these bugs. To use basil as a natural mosquito repellent:

  • Herb Garden: Plant basil in pots or raised beds near other herbs and vegetables to create a pest-resistant garden. Basil enhances the flavor of tomatoes and peppers and keeps the pests away.

  • Infused Oil: Make a basil-infused oil by steeping basil leaves in a carrier oil (like olive oil) for a week. Strain the leaves, and use the oil on your skin as a mosquito repellent.

Natural Mosquito Repellent Plants basil

Photo Credit : thespuce

Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

Catnip isn't just for feline friends; it's also disliked by mosquitoes. To maximize catnip's mosquito-repelling effect:

  • Catnip Spray: Crush catnip leaves and mix them with water to create a catnip spray. Apply it to your skin for a natural repellent.

  • Potted Plant: Keep catnip in pots, as it can be invasive when planted directly in the ground. Place the pots near outdoor seating areas for mosquito protection.

Natural Mosquito Repellent Plants catnip

Photo Credit : thespuce

Peppermint (Mentha × piperita)

Peppermint is refreshing for us but unpleasant for mosquitoes. To use peppermint effectively as a mosquito repellent:

  • Peppermint Oil: Create a peppermint oil spray by mixing peppermint essential oil with water. Spray it on your skin or clothing for long-lasting protection.

  • Herb Garden: Plant peppermint near entrances to your home to create a natural barrier against mosquitoes trying to make their way indoors.

Natural Mosquito Repellent Plants peppermint

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Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Lemon balm, with its lemony scent, is a natural mosquito repellent. It's a member of the mint family and can be grown in pots or in your garden. For advanced use:

  • Herbal Infusions: Make a lemon balm tea from fresh or dried leaves and use it to soak a cloth. Apply the cloth to your skin as a mosquito repellent.

  • Container Garden: Since lemon balm can be invasive when planted in the ground, consider growing it in containers to control its spread.

Natural Mosquito Repellent Plants lemon balm

Photo Credit : thespuce

Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum spp.)

Chrysanthemums contain a natural insecticide called pyrethrum, which is commonly used in mosquito repellent sprays and lotions. To get the most out of chrysanthemums as a mosquito repellent:

  • Pot Placement: Grow chrysanthemums in pots and place them strategically around your outdoor seating area. Ensure they receive sufficient sunlight for optimal growth.

  • Deadhead Regularly: Remove spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming and pest-repelling properties.

Natural Mosquito Repellent Plants chrysanthemums

Photo Credit : gardenerspath

Geraniums (Pelargonium spp.)

Geraniums, with their vibrant blooms, emit a fragrance that repels mosquitoes. They're excellent for both decoration and mosquito control. For advanced use:

  • Geranium Oil: Extract geranium oil from the leaves and mix it with a carrier oil. Apply it to your skin as a natural mosquito repellent.

  • Hanging Baskets: Plant geraniums in hanging baskets near entrances to deter mosquitoes from entering your home.

Natural Mosquito Repellent Plants geraniums

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Your Green Shield Against Bites

As you can see, nature has bestowed upon us a diverse array of plants that serve as effective mosquito repellents. By strategically planting these herbs, flowers, and shrubs around your outdoor living spaces and utilizing advanced techniques, you can create a formidable natural shield against mosquitoes. Not only do these plants keep these pesky insects at bay, but they also add beauty and fragrance to your garden. So, this summer, embrace the power of these natural mosquito repellent plants and savor mosquito-free evenings outdoors, all while enjoying the wonders of your green sanctuary. With a little green magic, you can turn your outdoor spaces into havens of peace and comfort.


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