There’s nothing quite as unpleasant as having to swat mosquitoes away from your face while you’re trying to enjoy a Friday night barbeque.
But dousing yourself in chemicals like DEET isn’t exactly desirable, either - so how do you keep these pests away?
It’s simple. You need to start growing some mosquito-repellent plants in your outdoor areas.
There are several options you can choose from. In this article, we will tell you about some of the best.
How Mosquito Repellent Plants Work
Although there is technically no such thing as a “mosquito repellent plant,” there are plants that offer short-term protection against mosquitoes - several of which we'll tell you about in this article.
How do they work? Mosquito-repellent plants work best when their leaves are crushed, as they’ll release a fragrance in their oils.
Therefore, many of these plants are the most effective when their leaves are burned, crushed up and mixed with a carrier oil to be used as a bug spray, or as companion plants for other species.
Just remember - you’ll want to take a few other preventative steps to keep mosquitoes away, too, such as draining all standing water and cutting any tall brush in your yard.
Otherwise - plant away! These mosquito repellent plants can really put a dent in your pest population.
The Top 10 Mosquito Repellent Plants
Citronella is the number one best mosquito repellent plant.
It is often used as a natural ingredient in commercial mosquito repellent sprays, candles, and other products. It has an attractive lemon scent and grows well in a large planter.
Technically a grass, citronella can’t withstand a heavy frost.
However, it’s effective as both a mosquito repellent as well as an ornamental grass for your landscaping needs.
If you want to be able to truly unwind and enjoy the great outdoors, you’ve got to plant some lavender. Lavender produces essential oils that are heavenly scented.
The oils from this plant have long been used for their calming effects. It is a drought-tolerant plant once it is established and grows well in locations with full sun and ample drainage.
The marigold is another mosquito repellent plant that can add some serious ornamental value to your property.
As an annual, it produces lovely flowers in shades of yellow, orange, and red.
It is easy to grow and does well in the ground, in a border, in a container, or even in a vegetable garden.
Mosquitoes are the number one pest that these flowers keep away, but they’re known to repel other pests, too.
Here’s the good news - your breath does not have to stink in order to repel mosquitoes from your property.
So while you can plant some garlic to repel mosquitoes, that doesn’t mean you have to repel your friends and family, too.
Planting garlic is a great way to protect yourself from mosquitoes. You can grow it in a container or in the ground.
Plus, you’ll have some delicious cloves to use in your favorite Italian recipe once the summer season has come and gone!
Sage isn’t just for warding off evil spirits - it can also get rid of mosquitoes, too.
Sage can be grown around your outdoor entertaining areas or you can dry it and use it to make homemade bug spray.
Some people even report good results by tossing some fresh sage into a fire pit. The earthy smell wards off bugs as it burns, although the effects may be somewhat short-lived.
Catnip probably isn’t the best plant to grow if you’re trying to keep the neighborhood felines away, but it’s a good option for deterring mosquitoes and other pests.
Since it’s in the mint family, it spreads quickly and can easily become invasive - so be mindful of where you plant it.
However, catnip is incredibly effective at repelling mosquitoes. It is believed to be ten times more effective at repelling these pests than DEET, in fact!
Make a delicious pizza and keep mosquitoes away? It sounds like a win-win!
Basil is perfect at doing both. It keeps away both mosquitoes and flies. It can be planted in a container or seeded directly into your garden.
There are several types of basil you can grow, including sweet basil and Genovese basil, but both work at keeping mosquitoes at bay. Just keep in mind that basil likes to be kept damp but also needs plenty of sun and good drainage.
Rosemary is a culinary herb staple for the kitchen that has a delectable woody scent.
Although it grows best in a hot, dry climate, it is tolerant of all other conditions as well. You can grow it as a border plant for added ornamental value or keep it in a container on your deck.
Whichever you choose, it will help keep mosquitoes from ruining your next backyard bash.
9. Bee Balm
Bee balm offers multiple benefits to gardeners.
Not only does it deter biting bugs, including mosquitoes, but it also attracts beneficial pollinators like butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees. It releases heavenly-fragrance oils when you crush its leaves and produces flowers in shades of red, purple, white, and pink.
It’s not just for juleps - mint has something else to add to your evening outdoor cocktail party. It’s great at keeping mosquitoes away! It offers excellent mosquito control but is also effective against ants and flies.
You can use mint in a diffuser, make a mint spray, or even just grow some fresh mint plants around your outdoor seating area. Just be advised - mint grows and spreads like crazy, so don’t plant anything that doesn’t like being crowded near it.
Other Natural Ways to Repel Mosquitoes
Still being pestered by mosquitoes? There are a few other ways you can keep these pests at bay.
For starters, take some good preventative measures to make sure mosquitoes don’t flock to your property in the first place. Make sure water isn’t collecting and becoming stagnant around your property.
Mosquitoes can lay their eggs even in tiny puddles, so do your best to make sure all surfaces are well-draining. Dump any birdbaths, water gardens, or rain barrels that tend to attract mosquitoes, too.
Whatever you do, it’s important to keep mosquitoes away from your home and entertaining areas. They can transmit a ton of diseases, including West Nile virus and malaria. Plus, they’re incredibly annoying!
So the next time you’re looking for an easy way to repel mosquitoes, consider planting one or more of these beautiful mosquito repellent plants.