Spring has arrived and we are enjoying the outdoor fun now. While the prospect of warmer weather has us all a bit giddy, don’t forget the unwelcome intruders that tag along with the sunny summer weather – the annoying mosquitoes. Here are 10 plants that can beautify your garden as well as repel mosquitoes naturally!
Most bugs despise the smell and taste of peppermint, so planting it around your home is a great way to keep them from dropping by uninvited! Plus, if you do happen to get bitten, peppermint leaves rubbed directly onto the skin make a great itch relief treatment! Added bonus for the wonderful minty smell that makes a delicious addition to food and beverages!
Another great choice for a mosquito repelling plant is lemon balm. A member of the mint family, the plant also known as horsemint and beebalm is a very easy plant for beginning gardeners to grow- even if you don’t have a green thumb! Lemon Balm is a very hardy plant, it resists drought, and it grows well even in shade. It is a very fast growing and sometimes aggressive plant, so you might want to contain it to a pot, where you can move it to wherever you like to ensure that it doesn’t take over your garden! Besides, you can dry the leaves and use them to make a healthy herbal tea!
Basil is the love of herbs or king of herbs. Most gardeners grow basil, and you can grow on the windowsill all year around. Basil, as many other herbs, a great cut and come again crop. Not only will you have a quick and easy mosquito repellent, you will also have a delicious fresh herb on hand to add to all of your favorite recipes! There are many different varieties of basil around, many expert gardeners recommend trying lemon basil or cinnamon basil to deter insects.
Your feline friends will be happy to know that catnip is a great mosquito deterrent! In fact, in a 2010 study, researchers found that catnip is 10 times more effective than DEET, the ingredient commonly found in bug repellents. It is a very easy plant to grow, and if you have cats in the house, they will surely be happy to have it around. However, be careful not to plant catnip in with other flowers, veggies, or herbs if you have cats around your garden. They will surely roll around in the catnip and smash everything
Rosemary is a beautiful flowering plant that is often used to flavor lamb or fish dishes, but did you know that it is also a natural mosquito repellent? It’s perfect to add to your herb garden or flowerbed to keep bugs away, and it even attracts butterflies! Plus you can simply snip a few springs off every time you need to add extra flavor to your recipe!
You probably know that lavender is a gorgeous purple flowering plant with a soothing, calming scent. But, did you know that it is also a natural mosquito repellent? Grow it indoors near a sunny window, or outside in your garden or flower bed to keep the bugs away. While you’re at it, make a delicious herbal tea, or use lavender to fill your home with a wonderful calming aroma. Even though lavender is a smell often enjoyed by humans, lavender repels mosquitoes because mosquitoes dislike the scent lavender gives off. It can be planted in gardens or made into oil and applied to the skin.
A bright, hardy annual plant, marigolds are a great choice for repelling mosquitoes. Marigolds contain Pyrethrum, an ingredient found in many insect repellents, and they have a unique aroma which bugs find repulsive. The flowers themselves are beautiful and can make a great border or addition to any flower bed! Try placing them around borders of your home, and mosquitoes might not want to cross over!
This beautiful flowering plant is a great choice for mosquito repellent. When planted in a hanging container, the colorful blooms will cascade over the side of the pot, providing a beautiful visual piece as well as a very useful bug repellent!
Ageratum, also known as floss Flower, is a low-growing ornamental plant which reaches heights of 8 – 18” and is easily recognized by its lavender-blue flowers. This plant will thrive in full or partial sun and does not require rich soil. Taller wild ageratum blooms in late summer or fall. It emits a smell that repels mosquitoes and an ingredient widely used in commercial mosquito repellents. Crush the leaves of Ageratum to increase the emitted odor, but don’t rub on the skin.
Citronella Grass is a plant which, when crushed, releases an oil. This oil can be placed directly on the skin to act as a mosquito repellent, or mixed with other oils and liquids to make repellants.
Bonus: GarlicStudies have shown that EATING garlic does not repel mosquitoes, while having garlic around DOES! Make sure to add some garlic to your flower bed or vegetable garden for added protection!