Plants

Dress up your patio with these 12 mosquito repelling plants

12 Gorgeous Mosquito Repelling Plants

There are many varieties of plants that repel mosquitoes and other insects.  Some do their fine work looking pretty in plant form while for others it’s the plant’s oils that keep pests away when released.  Here are the plants that are on my list to plant this summer so we can enjoy our time outdoors pest free and chemical free.  I am planning on planting mine in containers so we can move them around the patio for the most enjoyment.

UPDATE: I stopped by Lowes this morning and found 6 of the 12 plants on my list.  I managed to find Cinnamon Basil, Bee Balm (Horsemint), Lemon Balm, Lemon Thyme, peppermint, and Rosemary. I know they had lavender earlier in the season. It’s harder to grow here with the humidity.  I am going to order lavender seeds and the citronella grass seeds.  It turns out the citronella grass is hard to find.

My new mosquito repelling garden!

Herbs that repel Mosquitoes! | Top 12 Mosquito Repelling Plants

They were also selling the “mosquito plant” that does not actually contain citronella as the citronella grass does.  Don’t be fooled! This Mosquito Plant does have a lemon scent similar to other repelling plants. However, this plant DOES NOT contain citronella oil.  Read more below on Citronella Grass and what to look for to be sure you get the correct plant.

 

Check the label! Only Cymbopogon nardus and Citronella winterianus actually contain Citronnela

Ageratum
– Ageratum houstonianum

Ageratum - 12 Mosquito Repelling Plants

Ageratum

Ageratum, also known as flossflower, has brilliant blue blooms with the magic of Coumarin.  Coumarin is a chemical with a scent that mosquitoes detest and is even used in commercial repellents. Coumarin is also used in may perfumes for it’s fragrance profile. The blooms are  long lasting and deadheading will encourage fresh bloom growth.

Effective Form: Plant
Designation: Annual
Light: Partial to Full Sun
Zones: 5 to 10
Height: 1 – 3 feet
Width: 0.5 – 1.5 feet

Cautions: DO NOT rub the plant or blooms on the skin. This plant can be quite invasive, so a pot is best.
Other Benefits:  Attracts pollinating bees and butterflies, including monarchs.
Buy Ageratum Seeds


Basil
– Ocimum basilicum ‘Cinnamon’ (Cinnamon Basil)
– Ocimum citriodorum (Lemon Basil)

Cinnamon Basil - 12 Mosquito Repelling Plants

Cinnamon Basil
Photo by bobistraveling / CC BY

Lemon Basil - 12 Mosquito Repelling Plants

Lemon Basil
Photo by Kembangraps / CC BY

Basil is a staple in most herb gardens. Any variety will repel mosquitoes. Cinnamon and Lemon Basil are the highest recommended due to their stronger aromas. The plant by itself will repel mosquitoes and crushed leaves may rubbed on the skin to keep mosquitoes away from the body.

Effective Form: Plant / Oil
Designation: Annual
Light: Full / Partial Sun
Zones: 4 – 10
Height: 1 – 3 feet
Width: 1 – 3 feet

Cautions: None
Other Benefits:  Great for cooking!
Buy Lemon Basil Seeds
Buy Cinnamon Basil Seeds


Catnip
– Nepeta cataria

Catnip -  - 12 Mosquito Repelling Plants

Catnip
Photo by Penarc / CC BY

Catnip can do so much more than provide a fun, crazy time for your furry feline.  Catnip is a powerful insect repellent and is especially good at repelling mosquitoes.  Research studies have shown catnip to be 10 time more effective than DEET.  These results were conclusive in the controlled testing environment. It was later released that the essential oil of catnip is not as effective as DEET on the skin. Catnip is a member of the mint family and has white and purple blooms. Like many mint varieties, catnip is invasive and should in a pot.

Effective Form: Plant
Designation: Perennial
Light: Full Sun / Partial Shade
Zones: 3 – 9
Bloom: Late spring through fall
Height: 3 – 4 feet
Width: 1 – 1.5 feet

Cautions: Very invasive, will attract cats which may lead to cats spraying, fighting, or adopting you as a new owner.
Other Benefits: Attracts bees, butterflies, and birds.
Buy Catnip Seeds


Citronella Grass (Mosquito Grass)
– Cymbopogon nardus
– Citronella winterianus

Citronella Grass  - 12 Mosquito Repelling Plants

Citronella Grass
Photo / CC BY

Citronella grass, also known as mosquito grass, is a variety of lemon grass. Be sure to look for the true varieties (Cymbopogon nardus and Citronella winterianus). Other varieties will have a citronella-like oil, but will not repel mosquitoes. Although these are a variety of lemon grass, these are NOT edible. Mosquito grass is a clumping grass and may be planted in the ground in zones that will not see a frost.

This plant’s name should not be confused with what is called the mosquito plant or citronella plant (Pelargonium citrosum).  The mosquito plant has a citronella-like oil, however it is NOT citronella. Although you may find it in stores and advertised that it repels mosquitoes it does not. You want the grass!

Effective Form: Plant
Designation: Perennial (Annual outside zone 9)
Light: Partial Sun
Zones: 9-11
Height: 5 – 6 feet
Width: 3 feet

Cautions: Be sure to get the correct variety with real citronella oil. This is NOT an edible form of lemon grass.
Other Benefits: Nice ornamental grass.
Buy Citronnela Grass Seed


Horsemint (bee balm)
– Mentha longifolia

Horsemint  - 12 Mosquito Repelling Plants

Horsemint
Photo by Michael Becker / CC BY

Horsemint, also known as bee balm, is another mosquito repelling plant that is a member of the mint family. This is an aggressive plant that should be confined to a pot. Like many mint varieties, horsemint’s leaves may be dried and used for herbal teas.  The flowers also attract bees and butterflies.

Effective Form: Plant
Designation: Perennial
Light: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Zones: 5 to 10
Height: 2 – 4 feet
Width: 1 – 1.5 feet

Cautions: Aggressive plant and should be confined to a pot.
Other Benefits: Attracts butterflies, useful for herbal teas.
Buy Horsemint Seeds


Lavender
– Lavandula angustifolia (L. officinalis)

Lavender - 12 Mosquito Repelling Plants

Lavender
Photo by H. Zell / CC BY

Lavender is as beautiful as it is fragrant.  An added bonus is that lavender also repels mosquitoes.  All parts of the lavender plant contain it’s fragrant oil. The plants will repel insects on their own and lavender oil can be mixed with other oils and applied to the skin.  Lavender plants prefer a hot, dry environment with well draining soil.  Planting in raised beds or pots with rock or mulch to trap in heat will help in wet environments.

Effective Form: Plant / Oil
Designation: Perennial
Light: Full Sun
Zones: 5 – 10
Height: 1 – 3 feet
Width: 1 – 3 feet

Cautions: None
Other Benefits: Can be used in cooking and lavender oil has numerous aromatic benefits.
Buy Lavender Seeds

12 Gorgeous Mosquito Repelling Plants


Lemon Balm
– Melissa officinalis

Lemon Balm - 12 Mosquito Repelling Plants

Lemon Balm
Photo by H. Zell / CC BY

Lemon balm is also referred to as balm or balm mint and should not be confused with horsemint or beebalm.  This plant has a mild lemon scent with small white flowers during the summer.  Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and will grow vigorously like most mint. The plant’s oils consist of several chemicals, one of which being citronellal (26%).  Citronellal is the chemical that gives citronella oil it’s distinctive scent.  Although mosquitoes hate this plant, you will love all the benefits it has to offer. Aside from repelling mosquitoes, Lemon balm has other benefits. Studies have shown lemon balm to be effective at reducing stress and anxiety.  This herb can be made into a tea giving wonderful calming affects. Lemon balm has other culinary usages. It is used as a flavoring for ice cream and as a healthier alternative to preserve sausages.

Effective Form: Plant
Designation: Perennial
Light: Partial Sun / Shade
Zones: 5 – 10
Height: 2 – 3 feet
Width: 2 – 3 feet

Cautions: None
Other Benefits: Can be used to make calming teas and flavorful culinary treats.
Buy Lemon Balm Seeds


Lemon Thyme
– Thymus citriodorus

Lemon Thyme - 12 Mosquito Repelling Plants

Lemon Thyme
Photo by Wildfeuer / CC BY

Lemon thyme has a nice lemon scent and can be grown in containers, used as ground cover in beds, or between pavers. In addition to repelling mosquitoes, lemon thyme is a culinary herb and may be used in cooking, added to salads, or dried for herbal teas. Lemon thyme will bloom between mid to late summer with pink to lavender flowers. Bees and butterflies are attracted to the flowers as a nectar source.

Effective Form: Oil
Designation: Perennial
Light: Full Sun
Zones: 5 to 8
Height: 4 inches
Width: 1 foot

Cautions: None
Other Benefits: Attracts butterflies, useful herb for cooking and teas.
Buy Lemon Thyme Seeds


Marigolds
– Tagetes erecta

Marigolds - 12 Mosquito Repelling Plants

Marigolds
Photo by Sanja565658 / CC BY

Marigolds are often used as a border plant to protect gardens from pests including mosquitoes. This plant contains Pyrethrum, an ingredient found in many insect repellents. The strong aroma marigolds have create a bug barrier. Marigolds can be potted and strategically placed to keep mosquitoes away. The plant is very good at repelling nematode pests especially those that attack tomato plants.

Effective Form: Plant
Designation: Annual
Light: Full Sun
Zones: 9 to 11
Height: 1 – 3 feet
Width: 1 – 2 feet

Cautions: The brightly colored flowers may attached wasps.
Other Benefits: Will protect vegetable gardens from insects.
Buy Marigold Seeds


Peppermint
– Mentha piperita

Peppermint - 12 Mosquito Repelling Plants

Peppermint
Photo by H. Zell / CC BY

Similar to other fragrant members of the mint family, peppermint is great for repelling mosquitoes. Be sure to plant peppermint in a pot if you don’t want it take over your yard.  Peppermint of course has many culinary uses from tea to dessert garnish and more.

Effective Form: Plant / Oil
Designation: Perennial
Light: Full Sun
Zones: 3 to 8
Height: 2 – 3 feet
Width: Unlimited

Cautions: Very aggressive plat.
Other Benefits: Many culinary uses.  Leaves may be rubbed on the skin to reduce itching from bites.
Buy Peppermint Seeds


Pennyroyal
– Mentha pulegium

Pennyroyal - 12 Mosquito Repelling Plants

Pennyroyal
Photo by Daniel Feliciano / GFDL

Pennyroyal is an aggressive growing ground cover with delicate flowers.  In addition to repelling mosquitoes it is also very effective at repelling gnats, ticks, and fleas.  A potted pennyroyal will have some repelling power and the oils of the plant are most effective. Pennyroyal oil is often used in commercial natural insect replants. Although the oils of this plant are safe on the skin, the concentrated essential oil of the pennyroyal plant can be fatally toxic if ingested. Read more about the benefits and cautions here.

Effective Form: Plant/Oil
Designation: Perennial
Light: Full / Partial Sun
Zones: 5 to 9
Height: 1 foot
Width: Unlimited

Cautions: Very toxic if ingested. An aggressive grower and should confined to a pot.
Other Benefits: Attracts butterflies.
Buy Pennyroyal Seeds


Rosemary
– Rosmarinus officinalis

 

Rosemary  - 12 Mosquito Repelling Plants

Rosemary
Photo by THOR / CC BY

Rosemary is a common herb in most kitchens and gardens. In addition to it’s culinary contributions, rosemary has beautiful purple blooms that will dress up your patio and attract butterflies. Rosemary’s wonderful aroma will repel mosquitoes as well as other garden pests.  For an added visual statement, rosemary can be groomed into a topiary.

Effective Form: Plant
Designation: Perennial
Light: Full Sun
Zones: 6 to 9
Height: up to 4 feet
Width: 4 feet

Cautions: None
Other Benefits: Many culinary uses, attracts butterflies.
Buy Rosemary Seeds

12 Gorgeous Mosquito Repelling Plants



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