Whether you have a backyard or a balcony, nothing ruins enjoying the outdoors like annoying mosquitoes. If you want a natural and beautiful way to keep those bugs away, consider adding the following 5 plants to your garden or outdoor space.
1. Citronella Grass
Citronella grass is where citronella oil comes from. This essential oil is used in most insect-repellent candles and sprays you’ve seen or purchased. Instead of buying a product that comes from the plant, why not go straight to the source? Citronella grass is a beautiful, tall plant that will naturally keep mosquitoes away. It’s easy to care for and needs partial sun and moist soil. If you plan on keeping your plant in a container, be sure to water it every day.
Tip: When purchasing, be sure to ask for citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus) not citronella plant (Pelargonium citrosum). While the plant smells similar, it does not contain the same mosquito-repelling oils the grass does. If you purchase the plant instead of the grass, you’ll still have mosquitoes flying around.
If you notice that lemongrass looks very similar to the citronella grass above, that’s because they’re from the same family. Citronella actually comes from lemongrass, so it makes sense that both plants can repel mosquitoes. The biggest difference between the two is that while citronella cannot be consumed, lemongrass is delicious and can also be used to cook with. Plant some lemongrass in your garden and watch it grow as much as 4 feet tall in one season!
This pleasant smelling plant will help to repel biting insects such as mosquitoes. It’s recommended that you grow peppermint in a pot rather than in the ground because it spreads quickly and aggressively. You don’t want to trade in a bug problem for a mint infestation. That being said, make sure your plant gets lots of sun and plenty of water to keep it growing. Keep it in a small planter on a patio table so you can easily reach out and add some to your summer beverage of choice.
Your pet cat will love the addition of this plant to your garden. Catnip is a member of the mint family and contains nepetalactone, an essential oil that helps repel mosquitoes. Similar to mint, catnip spreads quickly, so you’ll have to keep an eye on nipping flower heads when they appear. Catnip is also easy to care for. While it grows best in full sun with well-draining soil, partial sun and any type of soil will do. Try adding some to your backyard or balcony and enjoy a mosquito-free space with your feline friend.
Rosemary is an all-star herb that is a great addition to any garden. Not only does it smell and taste great, it also repels mosquitoes and actually helps protect your vegetables from infestation. If you’re not already growing rosemary in your garden, what are you waiting for? Rosemary can be planted in the ground or put into planters for easy access when cooking. Make sure it gets a lot of sunlight with well-drained soil to keep it thriving.
Now that you know some beautiful and delicious options when it comes to plants that keep mosquitoes away, all that’s left to do is pick which ones to add to your garden. Think about which plants will work best with your environment and start with those. This way you can stay mosquito-free and enjoy your outdoor space all spring and summer long!