12 Plants That Repel Mosquitos You Will Definitely Want to Grow!

Ah, summer is almost here, and with that comes our not-so-favorite thing: mosquitos! Today I thought I would share 12 plants that repel mosquitos that you may just want to grow in your garden this year!

If you are like me at all, you spend lots of time outdoors. Without question, you would much rather spend that time outside without the peskiness of mosquitos bothering you! Not to mention – mosquito bites can be quite itchy!

While there are many things you can do to keep mosquitoes away, there are some plants that help repel mosquitoes. This is great because these plants are natural mosquito repellents – no need for harmful pesticides. 

Many of these plants also have a number of other useful qualities – whether they make for delicious kitchen herbs or as beautiful floral accents in the garden – you’ll be sure that there are a few here you will enjoy!

Here Are 12 Plants That Repel Mosquitos

With all of these plants, the leaves should be crushed to release the aroma. With skin-safe plants such as lavender, rosemary and catnip, you can simply crush a few leaves and rub on your skin and clothing to enhance the effect.

Note that some plants may cause sensitivities in certain individuals – so always be on the safe side if you are concerned about allergies!

#1: Lavender:

farm and field of lavender plants growing

Lavender is not only a beautiful and fragrant plant, it is also quite effective in repelling mosquitos quite naturally! It is beautiful to grow – see our post on lavender garden ideas for inspiration!

Lavender requires full sun to grow well, and needs to be in a soil which gets good drainage – lavender plants do not do well in areas without good water drainage!

Unless you are allergic to lavender, this plant is a great one to crush the leaves and rub along your clothing or skin to help deter mosquitos.


#2: Bee Balm: Monarda Plants

The Monarda genus of plants belongs to the mint family and there are a number of plants that can be used to successfully repel mosquitos in the garden.

Bee balm grows wild in many areas of the United States. It requires full sun to grow well – and it will grow well! This plant can be quite aggressive, so be sure that you space it adequately apart from other neighboring flowers!

It is partial to sandy soils and will grow in USDA Zones 5-10. Bee balm smells much like the citronella plant with a light citrus cent, and so it is a good choice because it works the same way citronella does to repel mosquitos from the yard.


#3: Rosemary: More Than Just a Kitchen Herb!

rosemary plant

This wonderful herb we use for seasoning is also a great, natural mosquito repellant. It has been used for centuries to as a natural mosquito repellent.

Rosemary is a native of the Mediterranean, so it likes hot, dry weather and well-drained soil. It is hardy in USDA zones 8-10, and must be grown as a pot plant in colder climates. 

If you are in a northern climate, you may wish to grow rosemary as indoor herb. It is perfect in most windowsill herb gardens

You can also use rosemary essential oil as a natural insect repellent. Simply mix 4 drops with ¼ cup carrier oil to use as a spray.


#4: Marigolds

marigold flowers

Organic gardeners have used marigolds as companion plants to keep aphids away. Mosquitoes also don’t like its scent. Marigolds are sun-loving annuals that come in a variety of shapes and sizes for almost any landscape.

They are quite easy to grow from seed, you can also find them in a variety of  colors at different garden stores.


#5: Peppermint

peppermint

Peppermint has so many uses, it is certainly a good one to grow in the garden! This bitter herb has a number of health benefits as well!

It is easy to grow, and can work well indoors or out. Since it is a member of the mint family, it can grow quite quickly and easily. It will also survive in the shade as long as it receives a good bit of natural light, so it is a good choice for growing indoors or even in a backyard.

They also do best when in a pot, so growing it in a container is a good idea. The plant is a perennial, so with proper care it will continue to come back each year!

#6: Agastache: Giant Hyssop & Texas Hummingbird Mints

hummingbird mint hyssop

Shown above is Agastache foeniculum. There are a number of different Agastache species, but they are commonly known as hummingbird mints, giant hyssops and more. These plants have many different names!

A popular plant for repelling mosquitos is the agastache cana, but it goes by many different names. Some of these names are: Texas hummingbird mint, bubblegum mint, giant hyssop, and giant hummingbird mint.

The plant blooms late summer to early fall. The plant, as you may have guessed by its name, is very popular for also attracting hummingbirds to the garden! One of the reasons it is popular for hummingbirds is because this blooming time coincides with when hummingbirds are moving during their yearly migration paths.

This is also a very beautiful plant to use to attract butterflies to your garden. 

This plant is a perennial in its native habitat, and will also typically survive well even in colder climate zones all the way up to USDA garden zone 5a.

This plant has a very strong aroma when the leaves are crushed. If you wish to use this plant to repel mosquitos, it is important to crush some of the leaves when you are outdoors, as it is typically not fragrant enough on its own.


#7: Basil

how to grow basil planting

Yes, basil is a delicious herb to eat and use in your recipes. Did you know it is also one of the best plants for repelling mosquitos and other insects away from your garden? It is great to grow as a patio plant, or you can grow it outdoors.

Many tomato gardeners space basil plants in between their tomatoes to help reduce several species of insects and diseases from their crop.

Basil is very easy to grow indoors or outdoors – see our guide on how to grow basil to learn more.


#8: Catnip: More Than Just for Cats

catnip

One of the most powerful mosquito repellant plants is ordinary catnip. Recent studies have shown that it is ten times more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes.

It is a short lived perennial throughout most of the United States. It is easy to grow from seed, and quickly reseeds.

In addition to being a popular plant to use with cats, the leaves make a very soothing tea, especially when blended with other herbs such as chamomile.


#9: Citronella Plant

citronella plant

Citronella only grows in tropical places, but it is a well known repellant for mosquitoes. Many people make citronella candles, and there are a number of citronella products available to help reduce the peskiness of mosquitoes.

If you do not live in a tropical climate, you can still grow citronella plants – just grow them in pots and move indoors when the daily high average weather temperatures outside start falling below 65 degrees. You do not want to let this plant come into contact with frost, as it will not survive.

Be sure when you buy a citronella plant that you get the true variety – check the scientific name! Cybopogon nardus and Citronella winterianus are the ones you will need to get.

Avoid getting plants marketed as “mosquito plants” with a botanical name containing citrisum – these are NOT the same, and not nearly as effective.


#10: Geranium

geranium flowers to repel mosquitos

Geranium plants are quite fragrant, and several people claim they help keep mosquitos away – although just as many will say they don’t. I think a lot of it depends on what region you live in!

If you want to try growing geraniums, or were planning on growing them anyways, look for varieties which have a strong citrus scent that smells like citronella.

You may also wish to crush the flowers and the leaves to help further increase the scent while you are outdoors.

The plant is a perennial, so this is also great -plant once and forget it!

#11: Pennyroyal

pennyroyal natural mosquito repellant

Pennyroyal is another member of the mint family on our list of plants that keep mosquitoes away. It is a perennial plant, often marketed as being a natural mosquito repellant. It is fragrant enough to simply just plant it and enjoy the benefits.

This plant grows quite well pretty much everywhere, but you may wish to plant it in a large pot, as it can quickly become invasive if not handled with care.

The plant also has many uses for cooking and as a herbal remedy. It’s a great plant for anyone who loves herbs to consider growing.


#12: Lemon Balm

lemon balm to repel mosquitos

Lemon balm, also known as Melissa officinalis, is another great herb that is useful to have in your garden. Again, it is one of those plants that may take over everything if you are not careful – but it has so many uses you will definitely want to think about growing it!

Lemon balm, like many of the other plants here, has a citrus-like scent. This scent is very effective in keeping away mosquitos.

The plant is not always fragrant enough to keep mosquitos away by itself, but when you crush the leaves and put these leaves around where you are working or even in your pocket you certainly will notice a difference!


The Great Outdoors is Always Better When You Keep Away Mosquitos!

If you don’t like mosquitos {and I’m not sure I know many people who do!} – these plants are all great choices to consider! Many of the plants also have multiple other uses and benefits, so you will surely enjoy one of these in your garden or along borders and edges in your yard.

Enjoying the outdoors is always fun – and if you enjoy gardening like me, you certainly do spend a lot of time outside! Enjoying the outdoors without mosquitos is all the more fun!

Do you have any plants that repel mosquitos to recommend that are not listed here? Have you used any of these plants to keep mosquitos away successfully? What other methods have you tried to get rid of mosquitos?

I would love to hear your experiences and tips! Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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