Posted in Gardening
May 20, 2018

10 Mosquito Repelling Plants to Keep You Safe this Summer

Did you know that only the female mosquito bites? Let that sink in for a second. As much as we all get eaten alive each summer by pesky mosquito bites, we are only facing the wrath of the females.

Can you imagine how many mosquitoes there actually are?

Well, each summer my poor little boy gets bitten a ridiculous amount by mosquitoes. I’ve tried the natural approaches, I’ve tried the big nasty chemicals, I’ve even taken him to the doctor in hopes of finding a solution.

But unfortunately, there isn’t one. Or so I’ve been told. That is until I started doing research and realized I could fill my yard with plants that would naturally deter these creatures.

So I planted my heart out last year and much to my surprise, my son didn’t get bitten anywhere near what he normally did. Which is why I’m going to share these plants with you, in the hope that you can avoid mosquitoes in your yard this year as well.

Mosquito Repelling Plants

1. Citronella


via Bonnie Plants

Most of us are pretty familiar with a citronella plant. They have a very distinct smell that doesn’t sit well with mosquitoes.

So if you plant these little beauties in your yard, know that they will carry a scent but that scent is what is helping to deter your property of pests.

However, citronella is an annual so you must plant it each year. This is the only drawback to it in my book.

2. Marigolds

We plant marigolds every year in our garden. They do a lot. They deter pests and snakes from your garden as well.

So when I found out they deterred mosquitoes as well I wanted to plant them everywhere. They have a very distinct odor as well.

Who would’ve thought that mosquitoes had sensitive noses? (That was a joke.) But they do have a very distinct taste as to what smells they want to be around.

3. Catnip

Catnip is a perennial plant. This means you can plant it once, and it will come back year after year. If you don’t want to have to plant something special each year to avoid mosquitoes, then you may want to consider planting a perennial.

However, be advised, as great as catnip is to have around for tea or deter mosquitoes, it will also draw every cat in the neighborhood.

So if you are a cat person, then you might really like the idea of growing your own catnip. I’ve considered growing it in the house for my house cats.

4. Lavender


via Pixabay

This was a plant that I placed in my perennial flower bed. This flower bed stretches the length of the front of my house.

So it seemed suitable to plant lavender there in order to keep mosquitoes away from my front porch. That way we could sit on it during the summer and not worry about being eaten alive.

But beyond its mosquito fighting affects, it is gorgeous and smells great too.

5. Basil

We grow a lot of basil each year in our herb garden. We love to dry it and save it to use in dishes, but we also love to use it fresh too.

So when I discovered that basil was a mosquito deterrent I knew we had to keep growing it. Our herb garden is the backyard of our house which is great because then I was covered for my back porch too.

Which is really what you want to do. You’ll want to plant these mosquito repellent plants strategically around your yard so every area is covered. When it comes to basil, lemon and cinnamon basil are the ones that come most highly recommended.

6. Lemon Balm

We grow a lot of lemon balm around our yard for our bees. They absolutely love it, and it also helps us to catch swarms because it will attract bees as well.

So if you enjoy the fresh scent of lemon, then you’d probably enjoy planting this around your yard. We actually plant ours at the tree line of our property. That way our perimeter is mosquito protected, and the bees will be out of the way as well.

But it is all about the layout of your property and what areas need protecting the most. For me, I needed to protect everything because my poor child couldn’t go anywhere without being bitten by a mosquito.

7. Peppermint

Peppermint is what saved the day around our swing set. My son loves to play on his swing set. He loves the show American Ninja Warrior.

So we bought him the swing set that had the climbing wall. He played on it constantly, but he was being plagued with mosquito bites.

Which led me to plant mint around the swing set. It backed up to the tree line so I didn’t mind putting up lots of plants. I figured the more mint that grew the better. And it worked quite well.

But be advised, while peppermint deters adult mosquitos and kills off the larvae and eggs, it will take over. If you don’t want a whole lot be sure to plant it in a pot.

8. Citrosum

If you’ve ever gone to the nursery and seen a plant that is labeled ‘the mosquito plant’ it was probably citrosum. It smells a lot like citronella but it isn’t.

Actually, it doesn’t work quite as well as citronella either. It really only works if you crush the leaves and rub them on your skin.

But if you’d like to have a handy and natural insect repellent, then you might want to consider growing this plant to rub on your skin.

9. Sage

Do you enjoy hanging around your fire pit over the summer? Oh, I know we do! It is a great place to gather and have a great time together creating memories.

Well, if so, then you need to grow sage in your yard. It isn’t a great mosquito repellent just by growing, but it is great if you pick some and burn it. Which means when you are around your fire pit, toss some sage in and the smell will deter mosquitoes from hanging around.

10. Rosemary

If you don’t already have sage growing, but you do grow rosemary currently in your herb garden then there is no need to start growing something new.

Instead, just use what you already have. The next time you are around your fire pit and the bugs start biting just browse through your herb garden for rosemary.

Then toss it into the fire (the same way you would sage) and let it burn. The smell should cause the mosquitoes to go away.