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10 Outdoor Plants That Can Help Keep Mosquitoes at Bay


outdoor plants that repel mosquitoes
Table of Contents

The Problem: Mosquitoes in Your Outdoor Space

Mosquitoes are a well-known pest that can ruin an otherwise pleasant outdoor experience. They buzz around our heads, leaving itchy bites on our skin, and can even carry dangerous diseases like Zika virus, dengue fever, or malaria. If you're looking for a natural way to keep these pesky insects away from your outdoor space, look no further than your own garden.

Here are ten outdoor plants that can help repel mosquitoes:

1. Citronella Grass

Citronella grass is one of the most well-known mosquito-repelling plants. Its strong lemony scent masks other scents that mosquitoes find attractive, making it harder for them to locate their prey. You can plant citronella in a pot or directly in the ground, but make sure to crush the leaves to release the oils before using it as a repellent.

How to Grow Citronella Grass

Citronella grass likes full sun and moist soil. It grows quickly and can reach up to 5-6 feet tall. If you're planting it in a pot, make sure it has good drainage and use a high-quality potting mix. Water regularly and fertilize every two weeks during the growing season.

Tip:

If you don't want to grow citronella grass yourself, you can buy citronella candles or essential oil and use them as a mosquito repellent.

2. Lavender

Lavender is a beautiful plant with purple flowers and a sweet, floral scent. It also happens to be a natural mosquito repellent. Mosquitoes dislike the scent of lavender, so planting it in your garden can help keep them away.

How to Grow Lavender

Lavender likes full sun and well-draining soil. It's a drought-tolerant plant, so don't overwater it. You can propagate lavender from cuttings or buy plants from a nursery.

Tip:

You can use dried lavender flowers as a natural mosquito repellent. Place them in sachets or sprinkle them around your outdoor space.

3. Marigolds

Marigolds are another beautiful flower that can help keep mosquitoes at bay. They contain pyrethrum, a compound that is often used in insecticides. Pyrethrum is toxic to mosquitoes, but safe for humans and pets.

How to Grow Marigolds

Marigolds like full sun and well-draining soil. They're an easy plant to grow from seeds, but you can also buy seedlings from a nursery.

Tip:

Plant marigolds around your vegetable garden to repel pests like aphids and whiteflies.

4. Rosemary

Rosemary is a fragrant herb that is often used in cooking. It's also a natural mosquito repellent. The scent of rosemary is strong enough to mask other scents that mosquitoes find attractive, making it harder for them to find their prey.

How to Grow Rosemary

Rosemary likes full sun and well-draining soil. It's a drought-tolerant plant, so don't overwater it. You can propagate rosemary from cuttings or buy plants from a nursery.

Tip:

Use fresh rosemary sprigs to make a natural mosquito repellent spray. Boil the sprigs in water, strain the liquid, and mix with apple cider vinegar or witch hazel.

5. Catnip

Catnip is a member of the mint family and contains a compound called nepetalactone that mosquitoes hate. In fact, it's been found to be even more effective than DEET, a common chemical insect repellent.

How to Grow Catnip

Catnip likes full sun and well-draining soil. It's an easy plant to grow from seeds, and you can also buy seedlings from a nursery.

Tip:

If you have cats, be aware that they will be attracted to catnip. You may want to plant it in a separate area of your garden to keep your cats away from other plants.

6. Basil

Basil is a delicious herb that is often used in Italian cooking. It's also a natural mosquito repellent. The scent of basil is strong enough to mask other scents that mosquitoes find attractive, making it harder for them to find their prey.

How to Grow Basil

Basil likes full sun and well-draining soil. It's an easy plant to grow from seeds, and you can also buy seedlings from a nursery.

Tip:

Use fresh basil leaves to make a natural mosquito repellent spray. Boil the leaves in water, strain the liquid, and mix with apple cider vinegar or witch hazel.

7. Peppermint

Peppermint is another member of the mint family and contains a compound called menthol that mosquitoes dislike. It also has a refreshing scent that can help mask other scents that attract mosquitoes.

How to Grow Peppermint

Peppermint likes full sun and well-draining soil. It's an easy plant to grow from seeds, and you can also buy seedlings from a nursery.

Tip:

Use fresh peppermint leaves to make a natural mosquito repellent spray. Boil the leaves in water, strain the liquid, and mix with apple cider vinegar or witch hazel.

8. Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and has a lemony scent that mosquitoes dislike. It's also a calming herb that can help reduce stress and anxiety.

How to Grow Lemon Balm

Lemon balm likes full sun and well-draining soil. It's an easy plant to grow from seeds, and you can also buy seedlings from a nursery.

Tip:

Use fresh lemon balm leaves to make a natural mosquito repellent spray. Boil the leaves in water, strain the liquid, and mix with apple cider vinegar or witch hazel.

9. Geraniums

Geraniums are beautiful flowers that come in a variety of colors. They contain citronella oil, which is often used in mosquito repellents.

How to Grow Geraniums

Geraniums like full sun and well-draining soil. They're an easy plant to grow from seeds, but you can also buy seedlings from a nursery.

Tip:

Plant geraniums in pots and place them around your outdoor space to repel mosquitoes.

10. Garlic

Garlic is a potent mosquito repellent that contains compounds like allicin and diallyl disulfide. It's also good for your health and can help boost your immune system.

How to Grow Garlic

Garlic likes full sun and well-draining soil. It's an easy plant to grow from bulbs, and you can also buy bulbs from a nursery.

Tip:

Add garlic to your diet to help repel mosquitoes from the inside out.

Now that you know which outdoor plants can help keep mosquitoes at bay, it's time to planting! Whether you prefer citronella grass, lavender, marigolds, or any of the other plants on this list, there's sure to be a natural solution that works for your needs. By incorporating these plants into your garden or outdoor space, you can enjoy the great outdoors without worrying about mosquito bites or dangerous diseases.

FAQs

Q1. Do these plants really work?

Yes, these plants have been shown to repel mosquitoes to some extent. However, no plant is 100% effective, so you may still need to use additional mosquito repellents.

Q2. How do I use these plants as mosquito repellents?

You can crush the leaves or flowers of these plants to release their essential oils and use them as a natural mosquito repellent. You can also make a spray using the leaves and water and apply it directly to your skin or clothing.

Q3. Can I use these plants indoors?

Yes, many of these plants can be grown indoors and used as mosquito repellents. However, make sure to provide them with enough light and water.

Q4. Are these plants safe for pets?

Most of these plants are safe for pets, but some, like catnip, can attract cats. Make sure to research each plant before adding it to your garden.

Q5. Can I grow these plants in pots?

Yes, most of these plants can be grown in pots and placed around your outdoor space to help repel mosquitoes.


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