mosquito repellent plants

17 Best Mosquito Repellent Plants To Grow In Your House and Garden

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Are you thinking about how to combat mosquitoes without using any chemicals? If you answered yes, then have you thought about planting special mosquito repellent plants that will protect you and your garden from these pests?

If you are looking into a more environmentally friendly repellent, then plants like citronella plants, chamomile, and basil are in it for you! Continue reading and find out what other plants can help you keep those pesky insects away! 

Types of Natural Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

If you would like to have the first line of defense against invasive, intruding, and annoying mosquitoes, then you should seriously consider getting these plants into your garden and house. They are very effective and will help you reach your mission of repelling mosquitoes for the sake of humanity!

mosquito repellent smoke

You could either plant these plants directly into the ground or you could simply plant them in pots. Whichever way you choose, they will both benefit you because they will protect you.

Here are the most common plants that keep mosquitoes away:

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

basil herb in a bowl

Basil is a very fragrant herb that loves hot and humid climates. Basil leaves are also a great compliment in any kitchen worldwide as they tend to spice up any dish. In fact, one of the most famous sauces is called pesto sauce and it is made entirely with basil leaves!

In addition, this type of herb is known for repelling mosquitoes and any other insects that could possibly damage a vegetable garden.

Planting basil is not difficult at all, you just need to keep in mind that they need to be fully exposed under the sun, and they also need regular watering. Apart from that, they do not need much else.

How does basil work though? Well, they are actually very toxic to mosquito larvae, so they will never go near it. They have a very strong scent that keeps pests at bay, so, you should definitely plant some basil if you have the opportunity.

Lastly, they do not require much space either, so even if you are living in an apartment, you can still have some fresh basil plants inside your home.

Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

catnip flower

Known as catmint in many places, this aromatic plant tolerates full sun, even throughout summer months! They are a great choice if you are looking into a plant that can repel mosquitoes without taking too much space.

Catnips have a chemical component called nepetalactone which will help you repel mosquitoes, flies, and any other relevant insect, however, this same component is a feline attractant, so you can expect to have some cats visiting around and rubbing themselves in this plant.

In some areas of the world, catnips are considered as an invasive weed, because they can thrive anywhere, and they do so very rapidly.

Chamomile

chamomile flower

Chamomile is so famous that it does not need an introduction! However, most people are aware of chamomile tea’s properties, and, on the other hand, do not realize that chamomile contains pinene which is the responsible component for repelling mosquitoes.

You could either use fresh or dried chamomile to make an infusion and you can then put it into a bottle and spray it all over your body. You will not find something more natural than this! 

Citronella Grass (Cymbopogon nardus)

citronella plants

One of my favorite plants, you can find citronella grass if you live in a tropical area!

Citronella plants are widespread throughout the world, and it is definitely one of the most researched and well-known mosquito repellent plants, especially as it contains a chemical compound known as citronellol. 

Citronella’s essential oil is derived from the plant’s tall and grassy stalks, which, in turn, can help you produce candles, essential oils, sprays, and even perfumes.

I live in a place called El Soberbio, which is internationally known as the ‘’capital of the essences’’, and the biggest production of citronella in Latin America is found here!

Citronella Geraniums (Citrosa geranium)

citronella geraniums

Another less known citronella, this type of plant also has some chemical properties that will help you keep mosquitoes at bay, albeit, it is not as effective as the citronella grass, but it is still a great option if you would like to repel mosquitoes naturally.

You can use the citronella geranium’s oil to make candles, torches, and sprays that will help you repel mosquitoes and any other type of insects.

Eucalyptus

eucalyptus leaves

This plant is so diverse that in some areas it is considered a weed and in other areas, it is considered an ornamental plant.

However, in all areas, it’s considered as a repellent plant. They have two special compounds known as pinene and limonene and they keep mosquitoes and any other insects at bay.

Garlic (Allium sativum)

garlic mosquito repellent

If you are looking into plants that will not only help you repel mosquitoes but will also provide you with nutritious food, then look no further, because garlic fits these characteristics completely. 

There is a reason why the scent of garlic lingers all over your fingers, breath, and utensils when you chop it or cook with it, and that is because it has a component called allicin which, in turn, also helps you combat any mosquitoes or insects. 

If you would like to plant some garlic, then you need to plant the biggest bulbs you can find and place them directly under the sun. You can water them the first couple of weeks but should try to do so every other day, as they are very resistant.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)

lemongrass leaves

As you can see, the scientific name of this plant is similar to citronella’s scientific name, and even though they also present some similarities, they are very different plants.

Lemongrass prefers to live directly under the full sun and they need to be watered constantly in order to thrive. They have a citrusy aroma that repels mosquitoes, and they contain citral and geraniol, and, as we have seen before, they are relevant chemical components that mosquitoes tend to strongly dislike.

Lavender (Lavandula sp.)

lavender flowers

Lavender plants will not only make your garden look beautiful but will also keep mosquitoes away from you. They have purple blooms and a strong fragrance that you will never forget.

You can also use lavender in your mosquito spray, or you can drink it in your tea. Either way, you will find this plant to have special characteristics that can be used for a wide range of purposes.

For example, lavenders have pinene and linalool components that work every time in keeping mosquitoes away.

Marigold (Tagetes sp.) 

marigold bud

Not only will your garden look amazing if you decide to plant marigolds, but they will also repel mosquitoes away from you! In fact, some individuals think the scent that marigolds release every time they are touched, is very strong indeed.

If you are growing a vegetable garden, then you need to plant some marigolds all over the corners. This way, they will repel insects, flies, and mosquitoes alike, and your fruits and vegetables will stay healthy. 

Mint

mint repel mosquitoes

Another excellent choice of repellent plant, mints are a great addition in your garden and inside your house right now!

They are sometimes considered a weed because they grow rapidly and they tend to spread around easily. However, many individuals are not aware of all the benefits that are associated with mint.

For starters, they have a strong aroma and bugs hate it. They also have components that are great for human consumption, especially if you suffer from ulcers or any other gastrointestinal pain.

And if you have a serious case of mosquitoes, then you can plant them all-around your house and you will soon forget about those obnoxious insects.

Onions

onions repel mosquitoes

Onions contain an element called sulfur, and guess what? Mosquitoes hate it! If you are looking into easy ways of planting some onions, then you could always plant them once they have sprouted, this way you can also consume the green growing stalks.

Oregano

oregano leaves

Oregano contains two components that will help you keep mosquitoes away: pinene and thymol. You can also use dried oregano leaves in the kitchen, so you can take advantage of this repellent plant thoroughly.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

rosemary herb

Rosemary is another great herb to plant in your house or garden! They are low-maintenance as they only need full sun and regular watering. They also release a strong scent that will help fight mosquitoes, because they have rosmarinic acid and pinene and borneol

Additionally, you can always add a special flavor onto your vegetables and throw some rosemary into the oven with them! You will definitely not regret using this culinary herb!

Sage

sage flowers

If you plant sage in your garden, then you will always go back to it! It is so versatile that you could use it inside your house, as a culinary herb, and as a mosquito repellent. In fact, they contain cinole and camphor, which are great as repellents.

Scented Geraniums (Pelargonium sp.)

scented geranium

Not to be confused with the other geranium item on this list, geraniums are carriers of foliage that have a great and strong scent that can fight off any type of mosquito.

If you are considering planting some geraniums, then you should look into the citrus-scented ones that will deter mosquitoes.

They tend to grow rapidly, and they prefer warm and sunny weather. They contain a chemical known as geraniol and this helps geraniums to keep insects, flies, and mosquitoes away. 

Thyme

thyme blossoms

Thyme is a herb with a pungent flavor and scent. There are many ornamental types of thyme and there are also culinary types, which can be used in soups, meats, and more! 

But did you know that thyme can also be used as a mosquito repellent plant? Their scent is so strong that mosquitoes hate them!


Frequently Asked Questions

marguerite flower

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions individuals have about mosquito repellent plants:

Do mosquito repellent plants really work?

pink magnolia flower

They do! Did you know that most industrial mosquito repellents that you can buy in the market contain all of these plants as their main ingredients? The only difference is that they also use many other hard chemicals that are nocive to human beings.

How do anti-mosquito plants work?

bottles of essential oils

These plants’ fragrance act as a repellent as it sends signals to the mosquitoes not to come nearby because it is not a hospitable space.

They will work best if you place them near you, whereas some other plants will work best if you rub them directly on your skin.

And if you are growing a vegetable garden, then guess what? Most of these plants will also help you keep other insects and small animals at bay!

Is it difficult to make a repellent with these plants?

mosquito in a net

Not at all. So, how do you use this plant to repel mosquitoes? You can take a bottle of wine (rinsed and cleaned) and then put clean cooking oil in it.

You should then take some citronella grass out and put them inside the bottle alongside the oil. Then, place it underneath the direct sunlight, and let it stay there for a day or two.

After this time has passed, you could simply put this oil onto your skin, and voilá! This trick has been done for generations as a cheap-but-effective way of combating mosquitoes. 

Do mosquito repellent plants need lots of maintenance?

mosquito in a plant stem

These mosquito repelling plants are very easy to plant and to maintain, so you could easily see for yourself if they work. Also, because they do not require lots of maintenance, you can rest assure that you will be able to grow them even if you have never set foot in a vegetable garden before. 

Why do mosquitoes bite certain people?

mosquito biting

Did you know that the type of blood you have could also be the reason why mosquitoes seem to prefer you over other individuals? So, let’s say you are a type O, then you are more likely to experience discomfort from mosquitoes.

Besides, human beings release so many different scents that are naturally attractive to mosquitoes. If you are sweating a lot, it is very likely for mosquitoes to follow the compounds that your sweat releases and the smell of your carbon dioxide when you breathe. This way, mosquitoes will find you and bite you no matter where you may be.

mosquito in a plant

Conclusion

There is one thing that everybody can agree on: mosquitoes shouldn’t exist! Or at least they shouldn’t be so annoying! But, year after year, they start appearing, especially during the end days of the rainy season, when spring has sprung and almost summertime.

Mosquitoes are buzzing everywhere throughout these hot and humid days. They emerge from eggs laid in stagnant water, which is its natural habitat. However, these citronella plants and herbs are anti-mosquitoes, so you will not have to worry about them anymore.

Not only are mosquitoes annoying, but they can also spread serious diseases like no other type of insect. So, even if their buzzing does not bother you at all, you should be aware of this fact, because they can easily pose a big health risk for you and your family members.

Mosquito repelling plants will help you in many ways. For example, they will keep mosquitoes away and will also provide lots of natural fragrances in your garden and home. They will repel insects and pests, and you can easily introduce them to your kitchen, thus, you can also cook with them!

Most importantly, you can stop using chemicals that are very damaging for your health and those you love, and, instead, be more in tune with nature and all the beneficial aspects that mother earth has given us for us to survive!

So, if you feel like now is your time to plant some of these repellent plants, then go for it and you will finally say goodbye to those annoying mosquitoes for good!

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