Ah, mosquitoes—the uninvited guests that turn our peaceful outdoor evenings into itchy, frustrating experiences. We’ve all been there, swatting at those buzzing bloodsuckers while dreaming of a mosquito-free oasis. Thankfully, Mother Nature has bestowed upon us a natural defense system in the form of perennial plants that can help keep those pesky mosquitoes at bay.
In this listicle, I’ll introduce you to 19 fantastic perennial plants that not only add beauty to your garden but also act as natural mosquito repellents. Bid farewell to chemical sprays and say hello to a more eco-friendly and fragrant way of keeping these annoying insects away.
So, grab your gardening gloves and let’s dive into the world of mosquito-repelling perennials!
1. Citronella Grass (Cymbopogon):
Let’s start with a classic—citronella grass. This tall and aromatic grass is renowned for its mosquito-repellent properties. Its strong lemony fragrance acts as a natural deterrent, keeping those bloodsuckers at bay.
So, grab a few pots of citronella grass, place them strategically around your outdoor seating area, and enjoy a mosquito-free evening. Plus, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even make your own citronella candles using the essential oil extracted from this plant. Talk about multitasking!
2. Lavender (Lavandula):
Lavender is not only a feast for the eyes with its beautiful purple blooms but also a feast for the nose—and not in a way mosquitoes enjoy. The delightful scent of lavender repels mosquitoes, making it a must-have in any mosquito-fighting garden.
Plant lavender in sunny spots, along walkways, or even in containers near seating areas. Not only will you enjoy the aroma, but you’ll also have a serene space free from those buzzing annoyances.
3. Marigold (Tagetes):
Marigolds are like the sunshine of the garden, bringing vibrant colors and joy to any space. But here’s the best part—they also repel mosquitoes! The strong scent of marigolds acts as a natural bug deterrent.
Plant marigolds in your garden borders or place pots of marigolds near windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home. And who can resist the cheerful charm of these flowers?
4. Catnip (Nepeta cataria):
If you have a furry feline friend, you might already be familiar with the mesmerizing effects of catnip. But did you know that catnip also repels mosquitoes? Yes, it’s true! While your cat goes crazy with joy, mosquitoes stay far away from this aromatic herb.
Plant catnip in your garden beds or create a natural mosquito repellent by crushing the leaves and rubbing them on your skin. Just make sure your cat doesn’t claim all the catnip for themselves!
5. Basil (Ocimum basilicum):
Ah, basil—the king of herbs and a staple in many delicious dishes. But it turns out that mosquitoes are not fans of this fragrant herb. The strong scent of basil masks the odors that attract mosquitoes, making it an excellent addition to your mosquito-repelling arsenal.
Plant basil in pots or in your garden beds, and not only will you have fresh basil at your fingertips for culinary adventures, but you’ll also keep those pesky insects away.
6. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis):
Rosemary is more than just a culinary delight—it’s a secret weapon against mosquitoes too! This woody herb emits a delightful aroma that repels mosquitoes, making it an essential addition to your garden.
Plant rosemary in pots near seating areas or create a hedge of rosemary along your patio to create a mosquito-free zone. Plus, you can harvest fresh rosemary whenever you need it for your cooking escapades. It’s a win-win situation!
7. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis):
With a name like lemon balm, you can already guess its citrusy powers. Lemon balm not only adds a refreshing touch to your garden but also deters mosquitoes.
Crush a few leaves and rub them on your skin for a natural mosquito repellent effect. You’ll be smelling fresh and keeping those annoying bugs at bay. It’s a lemony win against mosquitoes!
8. Peppermint (Mentha piperita):
Minty fresh breath? Yes, please! But how about minty fresh protection against mosquitoes? Peppermint, with its potent aroma, is highly effective in repelling mosquitoes. Plant peppermint in pots or use it as a groundcover around your outdoor seating areas.
You can even use it to make your homemade mosquito repellent spray. Just be cautious, as peppermint can be invasive, so keep it contained or plant it in pots.
9. Geranium (Pelargonium):
Geraniums are not only pretty faces in the garden but also excellent mosquito repellents. Their lemon-scented varieties, such as Citronella Geraniums, are particularly effective in keeping mosquitoes away.
Place pots of geraniums near windows and doors or plant them in garden beds to create a protective barrier. Not only will you enjoy their colorful blooms, but you’ll also bid farewell to those pesky bloodsuckers.
10. Lemon Thyme (Thymus citriodorus):
Lemon thyme is like a lemony superhero in the world of mosquito repelling plants. This fragrant herb not only adds a burst of lemony flavor to your dishes but also deters mosquitoes. Plant lemon thyme in pots or along garden borders for maximum effect.
Plus, you’ll have a fresh supply of lemon thyme at your disposal whenever your culinary adventures call for it.
11. Lemon Verbena (Aloysia citrodora):
If you’re a fan of zesty lemon fragrances, then lemon verbena is the plant for you. The leaves of lemon verbena emit a strong lemon scent that mosquitoes find repulsive. Plant this delightful herb in your garden and enjoy its aromatic benefits while keeping mosquitoes at bay. Lemon verbena tea, anyone?
12. Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium):
Pennyroyal is like the ultimate warrior against mosquitoes. Its minty aroma is highly effective in repelling mosquitoes, making it a valuable addition to your garden.
However, exercise caution as pennyroyal can be toxic to pets when ingested in large quantities. Keep it out of reach or avoid planting it if you have furry friends around.
13. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus spp.):
Eucalyptus trees not only create a tranquil atmosphere but also produce an oil that mosquitoes can’t stand. Crush the leaves and rub them on your skin to enjoy the bug-repelling benefits of eucalyptus.
You can even place branches of eucalyptus in vases around your outdoor areas for a natural mosquito deterrent. Embrace the calming aroma while bidding farewell to those buzzing invaders.
14. Bee Balm (Monarda):
Bee balm is a true multitasker in the garden. It not only attracts beneficial pollinators but also repels mosquitoes with its aromatic leaves.
Plant bee balm near patios or seating areas to create a mosquito-free zone while enjoying the vibrant blooms and the delightful presence of bees and butterflies.
15. Alliums (Allium spp.):
Alliums are like the superheroes of the flower world, fighting off not only vampires but also mosquitoes. These ornamental flowering plants, including onions, garlic, and chives, emit a pungent aroma that repels mosquitoes. Plant alliums in your garden beds or use them as border plants to keep those buzzing pests away.
16. Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare):
Tansy is a powerful mosquito repellent, with a scent that mosquitoes find particularly unpleasant. Its fern-like foliage and yellow button-like flowers make it an attractive addition to your garden. Plant tansy in pots or garden borders to create a protective barrier against mosquitoes.
17. Sage (Salvia officinalis):
Sage is a versatile herb that adds a savory touch to your culinary creations. But did you know it also repels mosquitoes? The aromatic leaves of sage emit a scent that mosquitoes find repulsive, keeping them at bay.
Plant sage in your garden or use it as a natural mosquito repellent by crushing the leaves and rubbing them on your skin. Sage has your back in the battle against mosquitoes.
18. Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum spp.):
Chrysanthemums not only brighten up your garden with their stunning blooms but also contain a natural insecticide called pyrethrum. This insecticide repels mosquitoes and other insects, making chrysanthemums an excellent choice for a mosquito-free garden.
Plant them in your garden beds and enjoy their pest-fighting properties while marveling at the beauty of their colorful petals.
19. Mexican Marigold (Tagetes lucida):
Also known as Mexican mint marigold or Texas tarragon, this herb boasts a strong aroma that mosquitoes find unappealing. Plant Mexican marigold in your garden beds or pots and enjoy the double benefits of its mosquito-repelling properties and its culinary use as a tarragon substitute.
Tips for Using Mosquito-Repelling Plants:
Location, location, location:
The key to maximizing the mosquito-repelling effects of these perennial plants is strategic placement. Plant them near seating areas, patios, or around doorways and windows to create a protective barrier against mosquitoes.
Crush and apply:
For an extra boost of mosquito protection, crush the leaves of certain plants like catnip, basil, and lemon balm and rub them directly onto your skin. Not only will you smell delightful, but you’ll also ward off those pesky insects.
Consider combining mosquito-repelling plants with other beneficial plants like herbs, flowers, and vegetables. This companion planting approach creates a harmonious ecosystem that naturally deters pests while promoting biodiversity in your garden.
Don’t forget standing water:
While mosquito-repelling plants can help reduce mosquito populations, it’s essential to eliminate any standing water in your garden or outdoor areas. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so empty birdbaths, buckets, and other containers regularly to prevent mosquito breeding grounds.
Essential oil extraction:
If you’re feeling adventurous, try extracting essential oils from plants like lavender, citronella grass, or eucalyptus. Use these oils to create your DIY mosquito repellents, candles, or lotions. Not only will you enjoy the natural aroma, but you’ll also enhance your mosquito protection.
With these 19 perennial plants that naturally repel mosquitoes, you can transform your garden into a fragrant and mosquito-free haven.
From the classic citronella grass to the versatile basil and the soothing lavender, these plants not only add beauty and charm but also act as a natural defense against those annoying bloodsuckers. Embrace the power of nature and bid farewell to chemical sprays, enjoying a peaceful and mosquito-free outdoor experience.
So, let your garden thrive with these mosquito-repelling wonders and create an environment that’s as delightful to you as it is unwelcome to mosquitoes. Happy gardening and mosquito-free adventures await!