We are now well into the BBQ and summer party season, spending a lot more days and nights outside in the garden where the dreaded mosquito’s are out in force! Not only are they annoying and give an itchy bite, they are a health concern for the whole family. Rather than buying the usual citronella candles and flares, why not plant your garden with natural mosquito repelling plants? Here’s our Root One recommendations:
Due to their lovely fragrance, which comes from its essential oils that are found on the leaves of the plant, mosquito’s hate Lavender! This plant is very tough and drought-resistant once established, and only needs full sun and good drainage. And while it can endure many climates, it thrives in warmer areas.
Marigolds, an easy-to-grow annual flower, emit a smell that deters mosquitoes. Grow them in pots and place them near your patio or entrance to your home to keep bugs out. Marigolds are also a popular addition to borders and vegetable gardens.
Known for its distinct smell, citronella grass is the most commonly used natural ingredient in mosquito repellents. This low maintenance plant does best in large planters because it cannot withstand frost, but in warmer climates, can be planted directly a sunny area in the ground. Other lemon scented plants such as Lemon Balm, Lemon Mint or Lemon Thyme are also effective at repelling pests.
Catnip is from the mint family and is very easy to take care of, just be wary that it may even start to invade other areas of your garden! If you are willing to forgo this plant’s insidious nature, they are amazing mosquito repellents.
Another great mosquito repellent is Rosemary. The popular woody scent of the Rosemary is exactly what keeps mosquitoes as well as cabbage moths and carrot flies away. They do best in hot and dry climates and thrive in containers, which may be ideal for areas with winters. They produce lovely blue flowers, can be pruned into all sorts of shapes and sizes and be used in cooking too!
Basil is another herb that can also double as a pest repellent. The pungent smell the basil leaves give off are what keep pests at bay. This herb likes to be kept damp, needs good drainage, and enjoys lots of sun. You can plant basil in containers or in the garden, alone or with other flowers, as long as both plants meet the same requirements.
Scented geraniums seem to be a popular mosquito repelling plant, in particular, those that are lemon scented. They are beautiful blooms with a strong fragrance that keep several types of pests away. These fast growing plants like warm, sunny, and dry climates, but if you are in a cold climate area, they can be grown in planters with constant pruning.