23 Best Mosquito Repellent Plants (That Actually Works)

Mosquito Repellent Plants

If you are looking for mosquito repellent plants to keep those blood-sucking little insects out of your house, then you have come to the right article. Mosquitos are not only a small annoyance but also a significant cause of spreading viruses and diseases.

This is more so when you are doing hiking or traveling in a bushy area which is mosquitos breeding ground.

Many commercial mosquitoes and insect repellent contain harmful chemicals which are toxic to children and pets. We are providing you here 23 most effective and natural mosquito repellent plants which you can grow indoor and outdoor.

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But before we get into detail, let’s find out why do you need mosquito repellent plants.

Why do you need mosquito repellent plants?

No one need a good reason to hate mosquitos. These insects are not only itchy and uncomfortable but also carry lots of diseases. These little flying bloodsuckers carry viruses such as West Nile, Dengue, Zika, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

Some of these diseases had been epidemic and caused a significant loss to the human population. Not everyone reacts to mosquito bites the same. For some people, a mosquito bite is a minor nuisance, but for others, it is a nightmare to deal with.

But do you know that mosquitos also play a vital role in the ecosystem? There has been a drastic decline in common tree and barn swallow birds due to a decrease in mosquito and other flying insects’ population.

But regardless of some of the benefits of mosquitos, you want to create some distance between it and your body.

Here are some interesting facts about mosquitos:

  • If you want to know where to move if you hate mosquito, then there are only two such places in the whole world – Antarctica and Iceland. We are sure Antarctica might be too cold, but Iceland could be a reasonable option.
  • The oldest mosquito specimen found was in Canada. It was stuck in a piece of amber which was 79 million years old.
  • It is a female mosquito which bites and sucks blood. Male mosquitos feed on flower nectars.
  • Certain viruses such as Dengue carried by mosquitos increases the blood thirst in the mosquitos. The virus enhances the sense of smell in mosquitos which makes it a better blood hunters.
  • Mosquito bite itches as mosquito releases anticoagulant through her saliva. This helps the blood keep flowing while mosquito feeds on it. The body's immune system responds to these anticoagulants which result in itching and swelling around the skin.
  • Mosquitos are very lightweight around 2 to 2.5 milligrams and fly at a speed of 1 to 1.5 miles per hour.
  • Although small but mosquitos cause more death than other predators such as snakes, sharks, and tigers. A single mosquito carrying the deadly virus can infect more than 100 people. As per the World Health Organization, every 45 seconds, a child in Africa dies due to mosquito-spread illness.
  • Do you know how mosquitos find its target? Mosquitos get attracted to carbon dioxide which humans and animals exhale. Plants process carbon dioxide and release oxygen which helps us to deal with mosquitos. Strong scents from plants such as flowers and herbs confuse mosquitos carbon dioxide sensors. A messed-up carbon dioxide sensor in mosquito prevents you from getting bitten.

So, what are the solutions to keep mosquito away?

Well, We are glad that you asked.

There are many ways you can fight back against mosquitos. First, you can create a physical barrier using mosquito nets. Second, you can also apply chemical based repellents, or plant insect-repelling plants around your home. 

List of Best Mosquito Repellent Plants

There are several insects and mosquito repellent plants which you can plant in your garden and patios to keep the area mosquito free. But keep in mind that these plants alone will not altogether drop the mosquitos from your garden.

To be effective, you need to have enough concentration of mosquito repellent plants. It depends on the number of plants in your yard, and how closely they are planted.

Before you get started with plants, you should reduce the source of mosquitos. Standing waters in garden ponds are the breeding grounds for mosquitos as mosquito lays eggs in water. 

By keeping the water moving or sprinkling insecticide in the lake will reduce the mosquito larvae. This will reduce the number of mosquitos the repellent plants have to deal with.

The mosquito repellent plants work by releasing essential oils which mosquitos don't like. Let's have a look at some of these best mosquito repellent plants to plant inside or outside of your home.

Let’s get started. 

Mosquito Repelling Herbs

1. Lavender 

lavender flower in garden

Lavender is instrumental in keeping flying insects such as mosquitoes, moths, and flies away. Its strongly scented perfume has many applications. You can rub it on your skin to act as an insect repellent or use it as scenting source in your home.

Lavender blooms tiny tubular flowers and comes in shades of blue or purple. It is a useful plant in your garden as you can grow it around the garden border or in a container.

Lavender grows in USDA plant hardiness zone of 5 to 10, but in other areas, you can plant it as well. Lavender needs full sun and ordinary soil, and its flower blooms in late spring through summer.

You can also dry lavender flowers and place it in the closet and wardrobes to repel moths. Planting lavender in a garden also repels flies and others pests such as rabbits. You can also use dry lavender leaves to make a delicious herbal tea. 

2. Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis)

Rosemary

Rosemary is a prevalent seasoning herb used in many dishes. Rosemary mosquito repellent plant is also outstanding in keeping insects and mosquito away from the garden.

To grow rosemary, you need full sun and well-drained soils. It grows in USDA plant zone of 8-10 and raises up to 3 to 5 feet in height.

Rosemary gets small pale blue flowers and has spiked leaves. These are suitable to plant at garden borders, in hanging baskets and hedgerows. 

3. Basil

Basil

Basil is another well-used herb which is helpful to make dishes taste good, but its strong scent also repels mosquitoes. Basil has small but bit broader leaves which is good to plant around your patio, porch or other sitting areas.

There are many varieties of Basil, but lemon and cinnamon basil are found to be most effective in repelling mosquitos and other insects.

Basils grow annually, but in a warmer climate, it reseeds and regrows. You need to keep soil moist and maintain proper drainage and sunlight. You can grow basil in pots, containers or in flowerbeds. 

4. Peppermint

peppermint-leaves

Peppermints strong fragrance keeps insects and rodents away. It is a good mosquito repellent indoor plants which you can plant in pots or small container.

You can also rub peppermint leaves at the mosquito bitten area to get relief from the itch. To grow peppermint, plant it in the damp soil where it gets full sunlight.

Peppermint is a small size herb which grows 1 to 3 feet tall and repels not only mosquito but also spiders. It is ideal for placing it in basement areas where it can get sunlight, and it deters the spiders. 

5. Sage

Sage herbs

Sage is also known as stinkbush and bitterbos. For the yards and bedrooms, sage is the best natural mosquito repellent, and many people use it by burning or making incense out of it.

For full growth of sage, it is important that you remove weeds from your garden. 

6. Garlic

Garlic Plant

You may know about garlic for its rich flavor and its use in various food recipes. But do you know that garlic is also a mosquito repellent? While eating garlic will not repel mosquitos but planting it will keep the mosquitos and insects away.

If you don't want to use chemical based repellents then rubbing garlic juice on the skin can save you from mosquito bites.

Garlic grows in well-drained soil and needs full sun. It is a small size plant which grows up to 1 to 2 feet tall. Garlic also repels aphids and ants while giving you so many health benefits. 

7. Lemon Balm

lemon-balm

Melissa officinalis generally known as Lemon Balm is an herb to reduce stress, provide relief from stomach aches, and improve sleep. It is also an excellent mosquito and flea’s repellent.

You have to be careful planting Lemon Balm as it has invasive tendencies. You can plant it in a container or pot to control its growth.

To grow lemon balm, plant it in well-drained soil and place it where it can get full or partial sunlight. It reaches up to 2 to 3 feet in height which makes it also ideal for growing indoor mosquito repellent plant. 

8. Catnip (Catmint)

Catnip Plant

Catnips are related to mint, and the cats love this tiny herb, but mosquitos hate it. It contains a feline attracting and mosquito repellent chemical called nepetalactone.

The leaves of catnips contain oil which gives its distinct smell. It is easy to grow, and you can plant it closer to your porch or in the container which keeps mosquitos, flies, and other bugs from getting inside your home.

Be careful if you have cats in your home as they love to munch on it. You can also use catnips to make your own organic mosquito repellent spray. To make it, you cut the stems and leaves of catnip mosquito repelling plants into tiny pieces and put in a clean jar.

Then fill the pot with vodka and leave it for 3 to 6 weeks. The oil in the leaf’s mixes with alcohol during this time. Keep shaking the jar once in a while to keep the oil getting mix with alcohol. Once ready, you can fill it in a spray bottle, and your home-made mosquito repellent becomes prepared. 

Mosquito Repelling Flowers

9. Floss Flowers (Ageratum Houstonian)

Floss Flower

Floss flowers are blue color blooming flowers which are annual but if taken proper care it can self-seed to grow year after year. Floss is useful mosquito repellent plants as it is very robust and frost tolerant.

You can plant it in a raised flower beds or in a container. It has a long blooming season, and due to its mild frost tolerance, it can bloom well into late fall and early winters.

These flowers have strong fragrance but be careful to not touch it with bare skin as some people are allergic to it. 

10. Eucalyptus

Green Eucalyptus Leaves

Eucalyptus is a tall mosquito repellent tree and suitable for planting around the border areas of your garden. It is native to Australia, and besides a mosquito repellent, it also has several medicinal properties.

A full-grown Eucalyptus can grow up to 70 meters high. The strong-flavoured eucalyptus essential oils are widely used in making toothpaste and joint inflammation medicines. 

11. Wild Bergamot

Wild Bergomat

Wild Bergamot is also known as a Bee Balm which has violet color blooming flowers. The flower blooms in summer which repels mosquitos but attract butterflies and bees.

It is well known for its medicinal qualities, and many people use its dried leaves and flowers in herbal tea. You can plant it in a sunny to partly shaded areas in either flowerbed or planter. Due to its invasive tendencies, We recommend that you plant it in a container.

Bee balms need full sun and well-drained soil to grow. It is a small plant and rises 1 to 4 feet high. Its leaves can also be used to treat fungal infections. 

12. Mums (Chrysanthemum)

White Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum is also known as Mums and is another flowery insect and mosquito repellent plant. You can plant it around your house areas where you don’t want mosquitos, ants, roaches, ticks, or fleas.

Many insecticidal sprays contain Mums which shows the potency of this little plant. Mums are excellent insect repellent plants to grow around the garden borders, or in a container which you can place near your patio or porch.

It needs full sun to rise, so make sure you keep it in the right sunlight area. It grows up to 3 to 4 feet tall, and its flowers bloom in a shade of yellow, pink, white and red. 

13. Citronella Grass

citronella-repelles-moquitoes

Citronella grass has natural properties to repel mosquitos. This is a low care plant and is easier to grow in a container. Keep it away from frost and place it directly in sunny areas.

There are several varieties of Citronella grass. When shopping for it, look for Cymbopogon Nardus or Citronella Winterianustypes. These two are the best Citronella grass mosquito repellent plant species.

The Citronella grass works by masking carbon dioxides through its own powerful fragrance. Mosquitos use carbon dioxide source to locate its prey, and citronella confuses its senses. The citronella essential oils have antifungal and antibacterial properties.

Due to its strong and distinct smell, citronella is used in scented candles and incense sticks. It grows up to 6 -7 feet in height and can be planted in garden or patios. When planting provide it good sunlight and keep the soil moist. 

14. Marigold

Marigold Flower

Marigold is a beautiful flower which has a distinct and pleasing smell. The mosquitos, aphids, and rabbits do not like this smell and prefer to keep away from it.

You can grow marigolds in the flower bed and containers. It needs good sunlight to grow, so plant it in areas where it gets full sunlight. Marigold has other benefits as it is also an excellent repellent of nematodes.

Nematodes are tiny worms which attack the roots of edible plants. Planting marigold around these vegetable plants protect the roots of the plant while also keeping mosquito away.

Marigold mosquito repellent are annual plants, but they are self-sowing which makes them bloom year after year without any effort from your part. It is easy to grow as you can collect seed heads after the bloom and spread it when the summer comes. 

15. Alliums

Allium Mosquito Repellent Plantjpeg

Allium gigantism, also commonly known as Alliums, is a right mosquito repellent plant. It grows in a big bunch of many flowers, and its stalks can grow up to seven feet tall.

Allium repels a wide variety of insects such as mosquitos, flies, aphids, and slugs. Like Marigold, Allium protects roots of edible plants from worms. It is an excellent combination to plant Allium with edible plants to protect it from root destroying worms.

You can grow Alliums from seed or bulbs, but building from the bulb is preferable as bulbs grown from seeds takes a long time to flower. 

16. Pennyroyal

Pennyroyal Mosquito Repellent Plant

Pennyroyal is used as a mosquito repellent in many parts of the world. Pennyroyal has been used since ancient time to deter insects and fleas and has medicinal properties.

In earlier times, the vapour of Pennyroyal was used to get relief from nasal congestion and to cleanse the body from toxins. In some extreme cases, it was used for abortions.

Be careful when using Pennyroyal as its essential oil is very potent and can be harmful to humans and pets. However, the pennyroyal plant is alright to use, as its dried leaves can be scattered around the house to keep mosquitos and insects away. 

17. Geranium

Geranium Pelargonium citrosum

Pelargonium citrosum, also known as Geranium, is a flower blooming mosquito repellent plant. It has light and dark pink flowers with a lemon-like fragrance.

It is ideal for growing in sunny and dry climates. And the lemon fragrance makes it suitable to grow near other plants such as in flower beds and vegetable gardens.

Plant geranium mosquito repellent plant in areas where it gets lots of sunlight and if you are planting it indoor then make sure to have well-drained potting soil. Geranium does not like excess water as it causes its leaves to turn yellow and rot its roots.

Geranium grows 1 to 3 feet high, and its oil is also used to remove scars. You can also rub its leaves directly on your skin to act as mosquito and bug repellent. 

18. Petunias

Petunias

Petunias are beautiful blooming flowers with a wide range of colors. These flowers are an excellent way to keep mosquitos and insects away from your home.

You can plant petunias in flower beds and containers which makes your home look beautiful. It repels mosquitos, horn-worms, aphids, and leafhoppers which makes it suitable mosquito repelling indoor plant. 

19. Tansy

Tansy Mosquito Rerpellent

Tansy is a yellow blooming, and natural mosquito repelling outdoor plant. It is toxic when consumed in large quantities, so be careful where you plant it. Plant it in a safe and secure area so it is out of reach of kids and animals.

As usual, it is the tansy’s oil which is harmful rather than the plant itself. The oil contains the toxic chemicals in pure and raw form whereas the plant has a small amount of these toxic materials. 

20. Nodding Onion

Nodding Onion Mosquito Repellent

Nodding Onion has pink colored bell-shaped flowers and has properties like garlic. It has a strong flavor which makes it not suitable for cooking anymore.

The plant alone is not very useful in repelling mosquitos, but it is highly effective if you press it together and get the oil rub on your body. 

21. Snowbrush

Snowbrush

Snowbrush has sizeable white flower bunch which keeps mosquitos, deer, and rabbits away. Its flower and foliage produce sticky, sweet balsam fragrance which repels mosquitos and other animals.

It is a very sturdy plant and likes to grow in sunny and well-drained soil locations. You can plant it around the flower beds or border of your garden. The white flowers act as an excellent backdrop for your garden. 

22. Pyrethrum

Pyrethrum Mosquito Repellent

Pyrethrum is also known as a white painted daisy and has simple looks but toxic properties. It is widely used in insecticides, and you should avoid getting it touched on bare skin.

You should take some care when handling it and should plant it in secluded areas away from kids and pets. You can make homemade mosquito repellent out of it by soaking the flower head of pyrethrum in warm water for a few hours.

Then fill the solution in a spray bottle and spray it as needed to get rid of mosquitos. Keep it away from you when you spray it and do not inhale. 

23. Mosquito Eating Plants

Pitcher Plant

You can use the above herbs and flowers to repel mosquitos and other insects from your garden. But if you hate mosquitos to the core and want to kill it then use mosquito and bug eating carnivorous plants.

These plants do not repel mosquitos or insects, but it attracts and eats them. Some common type of carnivorous plants is Pitcher nodding plant, Drosera, and Venus flytraps

These plants grow in swamp and well sunlight areas. You can hang these plants near your porch or patio. If you have standing water or pond which are breeding ground for mosquitos then plant it around there. 

Other Ways to Keep Mosquitos Away

You should use all the tools in your arsenal when you are dealing with the disease spreading mosquitos. Using a plant alone will not provide you the best possible result.

Here are some other natural ways to deal with mosquito problems.

Frogs and Toads

Mosquitos breed in standing water such as a pond or artificial lakes. Frogs and toads eat mosquitos’ larvae and keep the population of mosquito in check.

When designing ponds in your garden, build insect holes which invite insects to lay its eggs. It makes it easier for frogs and toads to catch and devour these insects.

Birds

Birds such as chimney swifts, barn, and purple martins eat flies and mosquitos. You can attract these birds in your garden by placing birds nesting boxes and feeders.

Fish

Gambusia affinis- Mosquito Fish

In the ponds or other standing water sources, you can release fish which feeds on mosquito larva. Fish like goldfish, guppies, and Gambusia affinis are very efficient in eating mosquito larvae.

Gambusia affinis is also known as mosquito fish and used by mosquito control agencies to control the spread of mosquito.

Bats

If you live in the countryside, then you can maintain your garden as bats friendly. Bats are very vigorous feeders and can consume up to their body weight of insects each night.

Best of all, bats feed at night which makes it better as they can work while you sleep. You can put bat house on tall trees to make them safe hiding spots for bats in the day time.

Turtles

The red-ear slider turtles are suitable for mosquito control as it feeds on mosquito larvae. 

Conclusion

As you know now that there are several mosquito repellent plants for indoor and outdoor use. These mosquito repellent trees and plants make your garden, and home looks beautiful while keeping insects away.

Let us know what other plants you have used to keep these mosquitos away from your home and garden.

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