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Lawn & Garden

5 of the Best Plants for Mosquitoes

Nothing can spoil your enjoyment of the great outdoors quite like mosquitoes. Fortunately, there’s a variety of easy-to-grow plants for mosquitoes that can add beauty to your surroundings and make mosquito season a real pleasure.
Woman Sitting on Chair and Boy Planning Frizbee

Photo by: American Home Shield

Here are just a few of the types of plants that repel mosquitoes:

 

Mosquito Repellant: Citronella

 

1. Citronella Grass 

It’s no coincidence that Citronella is also a common natural ingredient found in mosquito repellents, including candles and torches. The plant’s intense scent masks the odor that attracts mosquitoes. When purchasing, look for Cybopogon nardus or Citronella winterianus. Don’t confuse this plant with citronella-scented Geranium, which is often sold as a “Citronella” plant. Otherwise, you will end up with a less effective, although pretty, imitator.

 

Mosquito Repellant: Pink Bee Balm Or Horsemint

 

2. Bee Balm

Also known as Horsemint, this is a great mosquito repelling plant for Midwest and Eastern growing zones. This perennial is easy to grow because it’s shade-tolerant and drought-resistant. While its fragrant flowers attract bees and butterflies to your garden, its strong incense-like odor may keep mosquitoes away by masking the smell of its usual hosts.

 

Mosquito Repellant: Purple Ageratum - Low-Dying Plant

 

3. Ageratum

This beautiful low-lying plant has eye-catching blooms that come in pink, white, violet or blue, depending on the variety you choose. Its sweet smell is pleasant for people but offensive for mosquitoes. In fact, it secretes Coumarin, commonly found in commercial mosquito repellents.

 

Mosquito Repellant: Marigolds

 

4. Marigolds

The secret to this annual’s mosquito-repelling success is Pyrethrum, a compound that’s also used in many bug sprays. Their distinctive smell isn’t particularly pleasant, even for people, but these mosquito repellent plants are inexpensive, readily available and quite hardy. Potted marigolds can flank your front door, screen door or even an open window, to deter mosquitoes. But keep in mind, their bright blooms may attract wasps, so they’re not recommended on your patio or anywhere you’d want to linger.

 

Mosquito Repellant: Catnip

 

5. Catnip

One study found this perennial herb to be ten times more effective in repelling mosquitoes than DEET (diethyl-meta-toluamide), the chemical found in most commonly used insect repellents. To increase its effectiveness even more, some people rub the crushed leaves or catnip oil directly on their skin. Take care though. While mosquitoes may keep their distance, cats will be particularly attracted to you.

Bonus: More Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

 

These plants that repel mosquitoes get the job done, but did you know there are many herbs that can also serve as great natural deterrents? Rosemary, basil, lemongrass, lemon thyme and garlic will naturally keep mosquitoes away. Plus, these edible plants can make a delicious addition to many of your favorite summertime grilling marinades.


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