12 Best Plants to Keep Mosquitoes Out of Your Yard This Summer

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Brock Ingham
Brock Ingham
Repelling plants in gardens

Summer evenings in the garden are pure bliss—until mosquitoes crash the party. I’ve been there, swatting away and wishing for a natural solution. Fortunately, I’ve found that certain plants can be our allies in the battle against these pests. Here are twelve of the best mosquito-repellent plants that will not only beautify your garden but also help you enjoy it mosquito-free.

1. Citronella Grass (Cymbopogon nardus)

Garden citronella grass

With its refreshing lemon-like aroma from citronellal, citronella grass is a top contender in the fight against mosquitoes. Plant it in full sun and well-drained soil, and it will thrive while keeping those pesky bugs at bay.

2. Lavender (Lavandula)

Garden lavender

The sweet, floral scent of lavender, enriched with linalool, is delightful to us but a turn-off for mosquitoes. Place it in full sun with well-drained soil to enjoy its beautiful purple blooms and natural pest control properties.

3. Marigolds (Tagetes)

Garden marigold

Marigolds contain pyrethrum, a compound used in many insect repellents. These vibrant flowers are easy to grow in sunny spots and not only add color but also help create a mosquito-free zone.

4. Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Garden basil

Basil’s robust, peppery fragrance, thanks to eugenol, does wonders in the kitchen and at keeping mosquitoes away. Plant it in sunny locations with well-drained soil, and consider placing pots of basil near doorways and seating areas.

5. Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Garden mint

The invigorating menthol scent of peppermint repels mosquitoes effectively. It grows best in partial shade and moist soil. Plant peppermint in containers to prevent it from spreading uncontrollably.

6. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Garden lemonbalm

With a strong lemon scent from citronellal, lemon balm is another great mosquito deterrent. It grows well in part shade to full sun and well-drained soil, and it’s perfect for teas and salads too!

7. Lantana (Lantana camera)

Firefly Lantana flowers growing in a garden sitting area nearby 38349

Known for its bright blooms, lantana is highly effective at repelling mosquitoes. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil and is drought-tolerant, making it ideal for low-maintenance gardens.

8. Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

Garden catmint

Catnip, thanks to its active ingredient nepetalactone, is a powerful mosquito repellent. It thrives in full sun and well-drained soil, and your cats will love it too.

9. Rosemary (Salvia Rosmarinus)

Garden rosemary

Rosemary’s woody scent, rich in camphor, keeps mosquitoes and other insects away. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil and doubles as a flavorful herb for cooking.

10. Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Garden sage

Sage’s earthy aroma, containing camphor and thujone, is effective against mosquitoes. Plant it in full sun with well-drained soil. Burning a few sage leaves during outdoor gatherings can also help keep mosquitoes away.

11. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

Garden thyme

This low-maintenance plant repels mosquitoes with its pungent, earthy fragrance rich in thymol. Plant it in full sun and well-drained soil, along garden paths or in containers.

12. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon)

Garden lemongrass

Lemongrass, with its strong citronella scent from citronellal and geraniol, is a fantastic mosquito repellent. It grows well in full sun and well-drained soil and adds a fresh citrus flavor to dishes.

    How These Plants Work to Repel Mosquitoes

    These plants release natural compounds and oils like citronellal, pyrethrum, eugenol, menthol, and nepetalactone, which deter mosquitoes by masking the human scents that attract them.

    Using These Plants to Make a Natural Mosquito Repellent

    You can make natural mosquito repellents using these plants. Here are a few tips:

    • Crushed Leaves: Crush the leaves of citronella, basil, or lemon balm to release their oils and rub them directly on your skin.
    • DIY Sprays: Create a spray by infusing these plants in water or oil. Simply grind up the leaves, steep them in water, and strain the mixture into a spray bottle.
    • Salves: Make a salve by mixing the essential oils from these plants with a carrier oil, like coconut oil, for a more potent repellent.

    The Best Places to Plant Mosquito-Repellent Plants

    Maximize their effectiveness by planting them near seating areas, doorways, windows, and other entry points. Create a border around your garden or place pots on your patio or deck.

    Maintaining Mosquito-Repellent Plants

    Most of these plants are low-maintenance. Ensure they get the right amount of sunlight, water, and well-drained soil. Regular trimming and pruning will promote healthy growth and enhance their mosquito-repelling properties.

    By incorporating these mosquito-repellent plants into your garden, you can enjoy a beautiful, fragrant, and mosquito-free outdoor space all summer long. What are your favorite plants to use for natural pest control?

    Till next time.

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