Mosquitoes are an annoying sign that spring and summer are here. In my part of the country, they seem to come out with a vengeance after the first warm day of spring. And, if you’re like me and get huge welts from a single bite, you want to repel them as much as possible. Not to mention the fact they can carry West Nile Virus, which can make you really sick!
Sometimes, the best defense against pests like mosquitoes is a good offense. While it’s a good idea to have insect repellents on hand, and burn citronella candles, you can also add some plants to your porch or garden that will naturally keep those suckers at bay. Here are 8 plants to consider planting this year that will keep mosquitoes away:
We all know that citronella candles are great at repelling bugs, the citronella plant can be just as effective. Try planting some in a space where it can grow tall and spread out. You can put it in a large container on the porch, along a fence row, or in a flower bed. It has a much stronger fragrance than commercial citronella items like the sprays or candles, so the plant can be a huge asset to your yard!
These bright orange and yellow beauties can make your garden and containers pretty, but did you know they are also great at keeping mosquitoes away?? Their fragrance is offensive to bugs, and they are known to have Pyrethrum in them, which can be found in commercial bug spray. Marigolds do really well in flower beds, so try including them in your front walkway bed, or in those along your porch.
The leaves of the lemon balm plant are known for making an awesome herbal tea, but before you make a brew, you should know they also are great at keeping mosquitoes away! They are an easy plant to grow for beginning gardeners, and they are drought hardy. They will grow quickly, so you might want to plant them somewhere that they have room to spread out!
This plant from the mint family is another one to add to your “mosquito repellent” list. Peppermint is offensive to a lot of bugs besides mosquitoes (including spiders!), so it makes the perfect addition to a garden or porch planter. Another “cool” tip: rubbing a peppermint leaf on a bug bite can take the itch away! An added bonus is that peppermint is a wonderful flavoring for many recipes, and the leaves can be dried and brewed into tea.
This mosquito repelling plant is more than just a cat treat. It has been researched and shown that the catnip plant is 10x stronger than DEET at keeping bugs away. DEET is the main ingredient in many commercially sold insect repellents. Catnip should be planted away from food gardens and flower beds to keep your cats off of your produce and blooms!
The calming aroma of fresh lavender is soothing to the senses, and smells wonderful. To everyone except mosquitoes, that is. They are not impressed at all, and those beautiful purple flowers will keep them away! You can grow lavender out in your garden, or inside in a sunny room. Drying the blooms is also a great natural way to fragrance your home or your dresser drawers.
The pennyroyal flower is a beautiful addition to any garden. It attracts butterflies, and you can use the blooms when cooking (certain fish recipes). The best thing about it, though, is that mosquitoes hate it! Pennyroyal is a great ground covering plant, so plant it where you have room to let it spread. It also works well in containers.
These look beautiful when put into planters on porches. They are also wonderful plants for flower beds, too, and in hanging baskets. Best of all, they will keep those mosquitoes away! The pretty blooms will add pops of color to your garden while repelling those bugs!
There are several more plants that repel mosquitoes, but those listed here will grow well in many parts of the US. Give a few of them a try this summer and see if you notice a decrease in the mosquitoes swarming around your house! What are some of your go to ways to keep mosquitos away?