DIY – Over Ten (10) Mosquitoes Repelling Plants!

Spring time is a favorite time with all its beautiful color in the trees, flowers in bloom, long with the gentle rain showers keeping nature healthy and supporting new growth! But, in the mist of all this beauty and wonder – are those pesky Mosquitoes trying to disrupt our good time.  DIY – Over ten (10) Mosquito Repelling Plants to keep those pesky bugs away!

Look out mosquitoesDIY plants to the rescue!  Yes, plants… start planting seeds or starter plants to keep these pesky bugs…                

The most popular plant is by far the Citronella plants, nicknamed the Mosquito plant, it naturally repels mosquitoes. They are easy to find at garden centers or growers in a variety of convenient size plants. Place these plants in containers to place on patios, porches, or plant around decks, and along walkways and home to deter these pest in another direction.

Citronella plants are drought-tolerant, vigorous grower, its green leaves give off a pleasant, citrusy fragrance that will carry throughout your garden or patio the whole summer.  Gardening centers usually sell citronella in many sizes and as small plants in pots, ready to transplant to a larger pot or into raised beds on the ground. Once established, new plants can be propagated in early spring by simply splitting large clumps into smaller sections and replanting the new ‘starts’ in pots or other areas of the garden. Citronella plants are considered low maintenance, like most grasses, and they do best in full sun and well-drained locations. Periodic applications of nitrogen-rich fertilizers will ensure vigorous growth, but this treatment only needs to be applied once a year, preferably in early spring.

When selecting a citronella plant for your home, look for the true varieties, Cybopogon nardus or Citronella winterianus. Other plants may be sold as ‘citronella scented’, but these do not have the mosquito repelling qualities of true citronella.   

Marigolds

Commonly grown as ornamental border plants, marigolds are hardy annual plants which have a distinctive smell which mosquitoes, and some gardeners, find particularly offensive. Marigolds contain Pyrethrum, a compound used in many insect repellents.

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Marigolds prefer full sunlight and reasonably fertile soil. Marigolds can be planted  from  seed, starter plants are inexpensive and readily available at most garden centers.  Although  an annual, marigold will often reseed itself in favorable conditions, or the  gardener can easily collect seeds for future germination. Established plants will need to be  thinned, and flowers should be dead-headed to promote additional blooms.

Potted marigolds can be positioned near entrances to your home and any common mosquito entry points, such as open windows. The smell may deter mosquitoes from going past this barrier. While marigolds can be used as border plants around the patio, we do not advise putting marigolds on the patio table since the bright blooms may attract wasps.

Besides repelling mosquitoes, marigolds repel insects which prey on tomato plants, so you may want to plant a few marigolds in your tomato bed for added protection.

Ageratum

Ageratum nicknamed as Flossflowers, Ageratum emits a smell which mosquitoes find particularly offensive. Ageratum secretes coumarin, which is widely used in commercial mosquito repellents.  Ageratum is a low-lying annual ornamental plant which reaches heights of 8 – 18”, and is easily recognized by its blue flowers, although there are varieties with pink, white and violet blooms. This plant will thrive in full or partial sun and does not require rich soil. It is often displayed in rock gardens where low-lying plants are preferred.

Catnip

Catnip is a natural mosquito repellent. In a study in August 2010, entomologists at Iowa State University reported to the American Chemical Society that catnip is ten times more effective than DEET, the chemical found in most commercial insect repellents.  Catnip, Nepeta cateria, is very easy to grow. This perennial herb is related to mint, and grows readily both as a weed and a commercially cultivated plant in most areas of the US.

While catnip will repel mosquitoes in close proximity to the plant, some people apply crushed catnip leaves or catnip oil for more robust protection. Bear in mind, however, that cats will respond to you similarly as they would respond to the plant itself. Cat owners may want to choose an alternative plant for repelling mosquitoes.

Basil
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Yes, Basil a favorite ingredient for many cooks!  When it comes to mosquito protection ~ Plant some Basil! There are many varieties of basil, experiment and find the basil to suit your taste best.  The Basil plant will provide both mosquito repellent and a delicious fresh herb ready and available to add to your favorite recipes! Many expert gardeners recommend trying lemon basil or cinnamon basil to deter insects.     

Lavender

Lavender-Plant Lavender is a lovely purple flowering plant with a soothing, calming scent.

But, did you know lavender is also a natural mosquito repellent?

 Grow it indoors near a sunny window, or outside in the garden to keep bugs away.

Lavender has many uses – enjoy them all and know your keeping away the mosquito’s too!

Lemon Balm or Horsemint (beebalm)        

Another great choice for mosquito repelling plant is Lemon Balm. A member of the mint family, the plant is also known as horsemint and beebalm, is a very easy plant for beginning gardeners to grow! Lemon Balm is a very hardy plant, fast growing, shade-tolerant and drought-resistant plant which reaches a height and width of 2 – 3 feet. It does well in dry, sandy soil and can tolerate salty conditions, which is why it is often found in coastal and beach areas. Lemon Balm or Horsemint seeds can be sown indoors in trays for later transplanting, or sown directly into the ground in late summer in colder climate zones. Midwest and Eastern growing zones are favored for growing horsemint.  Mature horsemint plants can be divided in spring and fall by dividing into small sections and transplanting into permanent locations. Horsemint can also be planted in pots for moving indoors in cold climate zones.  Added bonus? The leaves can be dried and used to make a delicious herbal tea!

Here are just a few more plants to add to your list of ~ mosquito repelling plants.

Peppermint, is a smell and taste the bugs despise. Growing Garlic in your flower beds or gardens will add bug protection!  The adorable Pennyroyal flower, is a natural deterrent for mosquitoes ~ make sure to add this plant to your flowerbeds. Geranium flowering plant is a great choice for hanging pots and a mosquito repellent. Try, Rosemary is another beautiful flowering plant often used in the kitchen, however, this plant is also a natural mosquito repellent and will assist in keeping bugs away!

Now you are aware of what you need to fight off those unwanted MOSQUITOES, have fun shopping and planting – it is time to GROW…..  pj

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