An easy and natural way to keep mosquitoes from turning your backyard into a breeding ground is by planting flowers and herbs that naturally repel mosquitoes. But what are the best mosquito-repellent plants to put in your yard? At MosquitoNix®, our mosquito experts are often asked that question by people who want to protect themselves and their families from these annoying and potentially disease-spreading pests. We're happy to share our expertise by answering that question here.
Luckily, most of the plants on our list are easy to grow and require no special gardening skills. Most of them also thrive in warm climates, making them perfect for warm areas with larger mosquito populations. If you want to stock up on plants and flowers that repel mosquitoes, keep reading to learn what you should choose.
Seven Mosquito-Repelling Plants for Your Yard
One of the most common questions we are asked about mosquito-repellant plants is, does lavender repel mosquitoes? Lavender is a beautiful flowering plant that gives off a lovely fragrance that comes from its natural essential oils. This same fragrance, while relaxing to humans, is very effective at warding off mosquitoes. The plant thrives in warm areas and requires a lot of sun and good drainage in the soil. Once you've fully established your lavender plants, they are quite hardy and resistant to dry weather. However, bear in mind that there are different types of lavender. So which lavender repels mosquitoes? For best results, choose lavender plants with higher camphor properties, such as Grosso lavender. Fun fact: Lavender is also unpalatable to deer and other animals, making it a pest-resistant addition to your garden.
The marigold is another flowering plant that is very easy to grow. Marigolds are annual flowers that repel mosquitoes by emitting a scent that these flying insects do not like, but that is pleasant to humans. These flowers are so effective at repelling bugs that they also keep away aphids, thrips, whiteflies, Mexican bean beetles, squash bugs and tomato hornworms. Plant them in pots near your patio or as a border around your garden beds.
3. Citronella Grass
Everyone who has tried to naturally repel mosquitoes has heard of citronella. This lemon-scented plant is the most commonly used ingredient in natural mosquito repellants. Give your yard a natural mosquito-repelling boost by planting this low-maintenance plant in large planters. Citronella cannot withstand frost and needs to be brought indoors during the winter, unless you live in a very warm climate. Be sure to buy Cybopogon nardus or Citronella winterianus to get true citronella that will repel mosquitoes.
Repel mosquitoes while growing delicious fresh herbs for cooking by planting rosemary plants in your yard. The essential oils of this plant that add flavor to your food also work well to repel mosquitoes, cabbage moths and carrot flies. Rosemary grows best in hot and dry climates, and it thrives when planted in containers. When it comes to how to use rosemary to repel mosquitoes, it is believed to be particularly effective when burned or crushed. Some people burn dried rosemary leaves in campfires, or use its oils as a component in natural DIY bug sprays. Bear in mind that rosemary should not be planted near catnip or any kind of mint plants, as both types of plants are aggressive and will compete for resources.
Add another mosquito-repelling culinary herb to your garden by planting fresh basil. Just as with other plants on this list, the strong scent of basil is what keeps mosquitoes and flies at bay. There are several different varieties of basil that grow best under different conditions, so choose the one that works best for you in your climate. To help your basil thrive, keep it damp and give it plenty of drainage and direct sunlight. It can be planted in containers or directly in your garden.
7. Scented Geraniums
Give your garden some beautiful color and a sweet, mosquito-repellent lemon scent by planting scented geraniums. Remember that not all geraniums have the same type of scent, and not all geraniums repel mosquitoes. It is believed that the type that is most effective at warding off mosquitoes is the citronella geranium. These plants produce beautiful flowers and grow best in warm, sunny and dry climates. They can also be grown in planters and brought indoors for winter in colder climates.
More Mosquito-Repelling Tips for Your Home and Garden
Another easy way to prevent mosquitoes from turning your yard into their home is to pour out any stagnant water that has collected nearby. This removes the mosquitoes' breeding ground and forces them to go elsewhere to lay their eggs. After you've done all you can to naturally prevent mosquitoes, visit the MosquitoNix services page to find out how we can help provide the most effective protection against these pesky flying insects.