10 Outdoor Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

  • By: CarlBroadbent
  • Time to read: 7 min.
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It’s a hazy summer evening and the sun is just beginning to set.

You and your family are sitting on the patio enjoying a glass of wine and some BBQ food.

The next morning, you all wake up with sore, itchy bumps that are pulsating with heat; there’s only one culprit – the mosquito. 

These pesky flying insects are known the world over for their irritating bite and for some people, it’s even possible to have a severe allergic reaction to a mosquito bite, resulting in a nasty fever.

So, it’s only natural that we want to do as much as possible to get rid of these problematic pests.

While there are plenty of products like sprays and candles, wouldn’t it be great if you could adorn your garden with greenery at the same time as repelling mosquitoes?

Well, you can! There are some plants the mosquitoes would rather steer clear of and keeping them in your garden may help to solve the problems you have when trying to spend time in your garden. 

Top Plants For Naturally Repelling Mosquitoes

Regardless of where you live, it’s likely that, at some point, you will be plagued by mosquitoes.

There are an astonishing 110 trillion mozzies on earth and they’re found pretty much everywhere.

Although, if you’re living in Antarctica, you might just get away with not meeting one.

Otherwise, you’re going to have to fight the fight and these plants will all act as a natural repellent. 

Lemongrass

Lemongrass is sometimes called citronella grass and is an incredibly fragrant plant that is widely used in insect repellent products.

Lemongrass plant
Lemongrass

It’s also a handy cooking ingredient but that’s for another time! 

Many experts recommend the use of lemongrass in the fight against mosquitoes and many other types of flying insects.

Out of all of the plants on this list, we are confident that lemongrass is the most effective and what’s even better is that it isn’t a plant that requires a huge amount of maintenance. 

However, you must keep in mind that lemongrass will not do well in frost and so should be grown in a container.

If you live in a warmer climate, you’ll be OK to plant it into the ground provided it has a lot of sun.

Geraniums

When we talk about geraniums being effective as a mosquito repellent, we are talking about the heavily scented variety.

Ivy geranium plant for pots
Ivy Geranium

It is this fragrance that repels the insects and since it has a close resemblance to lemon, it’s not difficult to see why the plant is almost as effective as the aforementioned lemongrass.

What’s excellent about scented geraniums is that they not only work for mosquitoes but they’ll also work wonders at repelling other garden pests.

It’s important to take note of the local climate as geraniums will thrive better in sunny and dry areas.

However, it is possible to keep them in colder climates in a container.

Lavender

Lavender is certainly one of the most highly fragrant plants out there and those beautiful purple flowers give it brilliant aesthetic appeal too.

Lavander plant need sunlight
Lavander

If you plant lavender in your garden then you won’t only notice a significant drop in the number of flying visitors, but this plant will also repel other animals like rabbits. 

It appears that the strong fragrance isn’t as well loved in the animal kingdom as it is by humans.

When it comes to mosquitoes, this is one of the most effective plants and if you’re not the most green-fingered person in the world, that isn’t an issue.

You see, lavender is one of the easiest plants to grow and it’s incredibly resilient.

It does need good drainage and thrive in full sun.

It does best in a warm climate but owing to its hardiness, it’s not uncommon for it to blossom year after year in cooler climates too. 

Bee Balm

The joy of owning a garden is seeing wildlife right from the comfort of your own home.

Bee balm flower repel mosquitoes
Bee Balm

While not all of it is good, there are some creatures that are beneficial to our gardens so if there’s a plant that can repel the nasties while attracting things like bees and butterflies; why not?

Bee balm is one of the best plants for this and the array of colorful flowers will really brighten up your outdoor space.

When shopping for bee balm, you may also find it being called horsemint or Monarda but they’re all one of the same.

When the leaves are crushed, beautiful fragrant oils are released and this is what will do the work for you when it comes to insects. 

Basil

If you’re a keen chef then growing herbs in your garden is a must.

But there are some herbs that will serve you in more ways than one and basil is a prime example of that.

Basil leaves outdoor
Basil leaves

This plant is very heavily scented and this fragrance will deter mosquitoes as well as many other pests. 

The great thing about basil is that it can be worked into your garden in many different ways. For starters, there are a lot of varieties so you have a lot of choice in what you plant.

Moreover, you can plant a small basil garden or pop it among other plants.


Quick Tip: The only thing you’ll need to keep in mind is that the plant likes to be kept moist but needs good drainage so if you are going to plant it with other species, make sure they’re ones with similar needs. 


Marigolds

Another of the best plants for beginners is the marigold.

This is also another plant that gives off a very strong fragrance that mosquitoes would rather steer clear of.

Marigolds and bees
Marigolds in a garden

Since they can be easily grown in planters, you have the freedom to move the plants around, which is great when you’re sitting outside. 

That said, marigolds will also do very well when planted in borders and many people also add a few to their veggie patch to deter pests.

As well as putting mosquitoes off, marigolds will also deter things like whiteflies, aphids and certain types of beetles. 

Sage

Sage is an excellent plant if you are looking to make your own homemade bug spray.

You can dry out the leaves as one of the main ingredients and the strong smell is very effective in the fight against mosquitoes. 

Humidity plant wants
Humidity sage

Another way that you can use sage is to pull off a number of leaves and pop them into your burning fire pit.

The leaves have a very earthy and pungent smell that will delight you and your guests but will repel those pesky mosquitoes. 

Rosemary

Rosemary is another amazing plant for those who want to grow their own herbs for cooking.

Rosemary herbs
Rosemary

Perfect with roast lamb, this is one of the most beautifully fragrant herbs out there. But while we may love the smell, mosquitoes certainly don’t. 

Rosemary does best in dry, hot climates but as with other plants, it will do well in cooler climates when planted in a container.


Even Better: As well as mosquitoes, you will also find that rosemary deters things like carrot flies and cabbage moths. 


Catnip

Catnip is part of the mint family and is one of the most common plants across the world.

Catnip plant
Catnip

It may be grown as a weed or as a commercial plant but in any case, it’s very easy to grow and is a good choice for beginner gardeners. 

The one thing that you do need to be mindful of is that catnip is a very aggressive plant and will quickly take over parts of your garden where you don’t want it to grow.

That said, it’s effectiveness in repelling mosquitoes is second to none so it is still worth considering. 

Mint

The final plant on our list is mint; another great one for the foodies out there but also very effective in the fight against bugs and creepy crawlies.

Pruning mint plant
Mint pruning

Not only will it deter those mozzies but it’ll also keep things like ants and other flying insects at bay. 

Mint can be grown in the ground but it does especially well in pots and makes a nice addition to your patio.

If you have pest problems in your home, you can dry out the mint leaves and use them indoors as well!

Conclusion

Mosquitoes are the bane of many people’s lives but they don’t have to be.

There are a number of very effective plants that will naturally keep these pests at bay.

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