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10 Plants that Repel Mosquitoes

4 min read | Apr 25, 2017 | Yard & Garden 

Bug Off!  Repel mosquitoes and unwanted insects the natural way.  Create a garden filled with plants that present a pleasant odor to humans, but an unwanted odor to mosquitoes and other aggravating insects.  Select these plants for your garden to reduce the need for bug spray and artificial candles:

Scented Geranium (aka Citronella)

This is perhaps the most commonly known plant for repelling mosquitoes.  But, did you know Citronella is actually a geranium!?  This popular, lemon-scented geranium has thick, fibrous leaves and can grow 24-36″ tall in full sun.  This annual can be a great indoor or outdoor plant and is drought tolerant once established. Also. Citronella is a great companion plant for herbs.

Lemon Grass

This graceful herb that is frequently used in tea and Thai dishes has a strong lemon aroma that is a deterrent for mosquitoes.  Considered an annual or tender perennial in our area, Lemon Grass can grow up to 4-6′ tall in full sun conditions (when planted in the ground, not in a container).


This semi-evergreen herb has dense, compact gray foliage that is a beautiful backing to purple or blue flowers in summer.   Lavender performs best in full sun and needs a very well draining soil. Flowers can be harvested throughout the summer for teas, jelly’s and foliage and flowers can be harvested for aroma as is.  We have a wide selection of many different shapes and sizes of lavender.


Also called Wormwood, this interesting foliage plant is a woody perennial that forms a fragrant, bright, silvery, lacey mound.  Artemesia is heat tolerant and does not “melt” during hot, humid summers.  In full sun this plant with grow 3′ tall by 4-5′ wide and will retains dense shape.  The slightly fragrant foliage deters insects and also pairs well with other bedding plants.


The most common form of basil has large dark green colored foliage and small white tubular flowers.  Basil prefers full sun and moist but well drained soil.  Basil grows well in containers and pairs nicely with other herbs.  Pick leaves and young shoots fresh throughout the summer.  For drying and freezing for use out of season, pick before the plant goes to bloom.


Marigolds can perform double duty in the veggie and flower garden.  These plants bloom early summer until frost in full sun and attract beneficial pollinators like butterflies.  The fetid oil from the flowers and leaves repels mosquitoes and other unwanted insects from you veggie plants.


This showstopping perennial plant has fragrant lavender-violet flowers over mounds of aromatic cool silver foliage.  There are several varieties of Catmint for the garden depending on space.  Most varieties grow between 10-20″ tall in full sun and flower from early summer through first frost.


Rosemary comes in several varieties with either upright or spreading growth habits.  Its leaves are green, leathery and very aromatic and most varieties of Rosemary have pale blue flowers from early to mid summer.  Plant in a full sun location that stays dry during the winter months.  Harvest foliage anytime of the year unless flowering. When flowering, do not use in dishes due to the lack of flavor in the leaves at this time.


A vibrant annual flower often used in seasonal flower beds.  Beautiful flowers come in mounds of soft blue or deep violet/purple.  Ageratum does well in beds or containers in full sun and can grow 8-12″ in height.  Heat tolerant once established, this plant also is known to attract butterflies.


Repel mosquitoes and enjoy a Mojito!  Most mint varieties are vigorous spreading plants with numerous upright shoots. Mint is a great repellent for deer, rabbits and unwanted insects.  It grows in various soil types but is very invasive and should always be confined.   Mints like sun and lots of water. Always pinch tips to promote compact growth.  Whole plants are cut as flowering begins. Pinch or cut leaves during season and use fresh or dried as needed.