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5 Easy to Grow Mosquito-Repelling Plants

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Before reaching for the chemical sprays, try planting these easy-to-grow plants which have natural mosquito-repelling properties…

By Posted Apr 28, 2011

mosquito repelling plants As the outdoor season approaches, many homeowners and outdoor enthusiasts look for ways to control mosquitoes. With all the publicity about the West Nile virus, mosquito repelling products are gaining in popularity. But many commercial insect repellents contain from 5% to 25% DEET. There are concerns about the potential toxic effects of DEET, especially when used by children. Children who absorb high amounts of DEET through insect repellents have developed seizures, slurred speech, hypotension and bradycardia.

There are new DEET-free mosquito repellents on the market today which offer some relief to those venturing outdoors in mosquito season. But there are also certain plants which are easy to grow and will have some effect in repelling mosquitoes from areas of your home and garden.

Here are five of the most effective mosquito repelling plants which are easy to grow in most regions of the US:

1. Citronella

Citronella Citronella is the most common natural ingredient used in formulating mosquito repellents. The distinctive citronella aroma is a strong smell which masks other attractants to mosquitoes, making it harder for them to find you. Although citronella is used in many forms, such as scented candles, torches and citronella ‘scented’ plants, the living plant is more effective because it has a stronger smell.

Citronella is a perennial ‘clumping’ grass which grows to a height of 5 – 6 feet. It can be grown directly in the ground in climate zones where frost does not occur. If grown in the garden or near the patio, it should be planted in the ‘background’, behind small decorative flowers and shrubs. In northern climate zones citronella can be grown in a large pot or planter, ideally with casters, so it can be rolled indoors during winter.

Gardening centers usually sell citronella as small plants in pots, ready to transplant to a larger pot or into raised garden beds on the ground. Once established, new plants can be propagated in early spring by splitting large clumps into smaller sections and replanting the new ‘starts’ in pots or other areas of the garden. Citronella plants are considered low maintenance, like most grasses, and they do best in full sun and well-drained locations. Periodic applications of nitrogen-rich fertilizers will ensure vigorous growth, but this treatment only needs to be applied once a year, preferably in early spring.

When purchasing citronella, look for the true varieties, Cybopogon nardus or Citronella winterianus. Other plants may be sold as ‘citronella scented’, but these do not have the mosquito repelling qualities of true citronella.

2. Horsemint

Horsemint Also known as Beebalm, Horsemint is an adaptable perennial plant which repels mosquitoes much the same as citronella. It gives off a strong incense-like odor which confuses mosquitoes by masking the smell of its usual hosts.

Horsemint is a fast growing, shade-tolerant and drought-resistant plant which reaches a height and width of 2 – 3 feet. It does well in dry, sandy soil and can tolerate salty conditions, which is why it is often found in coastal and beach areas. Horsemint seeds can be sown indoors in trays for later transplanting, or sown directly into the ground in late summer in colder climate zones. Midwest and Eastern growing zones are favoured for growing horsemint.

Mature horsemint plants can be divided in spring and fall by dividing into small sections and transplanting into permanent locations. Horsemint can also be planted in pots for moving indoors in cold climate zones.

Horsemint leaves can be dried and used to make herbal tea. Its flowers will also attract bees and butterflies to your garden.

3. Marigolds

Marigolds Commonly grown as ornamental border plants, marigolds are hardy annual plants which have a distinctive smell which mosquitoes, and some gardeners, find particularly offensive. Marigolds contain Pyrethrum, a compound used in many insect repellents.

Marigolds prefer full sunlight and reasonably fertile soil. Although marigolds can be planted from seed, starter plants are inexpensive and readily available at most garden centers. Although an annual, marigold will often reseed itself in favourable conditions, or the gardener can easily collect seeds for future germination. Established plants will need to be thinned, and flowers should be dead-headed to promote additional blooms.

Potted marigolds can be positioned near entrances to your home and any common mosquito entry points, such as open windows. The smell may deter mosquitoes from going past this barrier. While marigolds can be used as border plants around the patio, we do not advise putting marigolds on the patio table since the bright blooms may attract wasps.

Besides repelling mosquitoes, marigolds repel insects which prey on tomato plants, so you may want to plant a few marigolds in your tomato bed for added protection.

4. Ageratum

Ageratum Also known as Flossflowers, Ageratum emits a smell which mosquitos find particularly offensive. Ageratum secretes coumarin, which is widely used in commercial mosquito repellents.

Ageratum is a low-lying annual ornamental plant which reaches heights of 8 – 18”, and is easily recognized by its blue flowers, although there are varieties with pink, white and violet blooms. This plant will thrive in full or partial sun and does not require rich soil. It is often displayed in rock gardens where low-lying plants are favoured.

Although the leaves of Ageratum can be crushed to increase the emitted odor, it is not advisable to rub the crushed leaves directly on the skin.

5. Catnip

Catnip Catnip is a natural mosquito repellent. In August 2010, entomologists at Iowa State University reported to the American Chemical Society that catnip is ten times more effective than DEET, the chemical found in most commercial insect repellents. According to Iowa State researcher Chris Peterson, the reason for its effectiveness is still unknown. “It might simply be acting as an irritant or they don’t like the smell. But nobody really knows why insect repellents work.”

In the laboratory, Peterson put groups of 20 mosquitoes in a two-foot glass tube, half of which was treated with nepetalactone, a biologically active characteristic constituent of catnip. After 10 minutes, only an average of 20 percent – about four mosquitoes – remained on the side of the tube treated with a high dose (1.0%) of the oil. In the low dose test (0.1%) an average of 25% – five mosquitoes – stayed on the treated side. When the same tests were conducted using DEET (diethyl-meta-toluamide), approximately 40 to 45% – eight to nine mosquitoes – remained on the treated side. A ten-fold higher concentration of DEET was required to obtain results similar to those of the Catnip.

Catnip, Nepeta cateria, is very easy to grow. This perennial herb is related to mint, and grows readily both as a weed and a commercially cultivated plant in most areas of the US.

While catnip will repel mosquitoes in close proximity to the plant, some people apply crushed catnip leaves or catnip oil for more robust protection. Bear in mind, however, that cats will respond to you similarly as they would respond to the plant itself. Cat owners may want to choose an alternative plant for repelling mosquitoes.

While the plants mentioned in this article have been shown to have mosquito-repelling properties, there are environmental variables that can mitigate their effectiveness. A breeze may direct odors in the opposite direction if advancing mosquitoes, reducing the plant’s effectiveness. New formulations of non-toxic mosquito repellents are commercially available, and are advised for people who want to enjoy the outdoors without the annoyance of persistent mosquitoes.

Visit Eartheasy’s online store to buy non-toxic pest control and mosquito repellent products.

Posted in Organic Garden Tags , , , , ,
  • @larryphoto

    So funny… I gotta admit I didn't even know Citronella was a plant. I guess I thought it was just a chemical lol

    • Hi LarryPhoto – I thought the same!! 🙂

    • disqus_VNcYWPWJrf

      Me too Larry LOL

  • samantharuth11

    i'm just wondering, why is NEEM tree not included? because i believe the tree is famous from repelling pest. i have one in my house and glad to say we don't suffer from any mosquito raid. Plus, its least toxic even the process products.

  • Marcie

    I used to plant many marigolds and ageratums as these are two of my favourite plants.
    Now that I think of it, it's true that wherever I had these plants, the mosquitoes were not as bad.
    Now I know why.

  • eddy

    wooww…good information…I also plant Citronella and i know mosquito hate the scent…

  • allison,K

    Hey that's awesome! I never knew catnip kept mesquitos away, I'll have to look in to transplanting it from our ditches to our back yard, how do you suggest extracting the oils from the plant?

    • Greg Seaman

      there is no need to extract the oil to deter mosquitoes. of course, catnip oil could be processed and used as a spray, but that's a little beyond the scope of this article.

  • Sirit

    May I suggest adding the Neem tree to your list, as this is a time tested deterrent to mosquitoes. The Neem tree can be grown outdoors in hot climates, and in cooler climates it can be grown in a large pot and moved indoors during the cold weather. Many benefits are associated with Neem, which can be learned in Google search.

    • Can’t you also use neem oil to repel pests in your garden?

      • April Leigh

        Yes it does. If you spray it around. Brightest Blessings and Good Luck!

  • Viruthagiri

    Only 5. Any other mosquito-repelling plants out there?

    • Greg Seaman

      Yes, there are other plants which repel mosquitoes, such as rosemary, basil, lavender, lemon balm, and other strong smelling plants which block the mosquito's sense of smell. The plants listed above are chosen for their relative effectiveness, as well as being easy to grow.

  • Ann

    This is great! Thanks for sharing these suggestions – the plants are attractive and practical!

  • paperbagsblog

    I always just assumed that Citronella in anti-mosquito products would be more concentrated. I happy to hear that the plant works better. I just have to find some to plant. Catnip would be a good idea as well, if it wasn't for all of the stray cats in the neighborhood.

    • Sarah Giesbrecht Braun

      I had tons of it (catnip) all over and no stray cats to be seen. It is great to treat anxiety-just pick and chew or make a tea. It also has other human remedic qualities.

  • Citronella and Catnip are options I’ve used with success, I will be sure to look into the other recommendations that you’ve posted.

  • dbe

    With the mosquito season coming up this is some timely information. Unfortunately the deet compound gives me a rash so I need to find some natural alternatives.

  • Karin

    Citronella is widely used here in the Philippines. I wonder if there are any other alternatives because I'm not sure if the other suggestions will flourish here, considering our climate and all other factors.

  • guest

    Citronella is widely used in the UK, mainly in the form of outside candles which keep the little critters at bay.
    My wife swears that a spray moisturiser from a certain mlm cosmetic company works well!

    • Bonnie

      Is there a way to extract the oil from a citronella plant to put into homemade candles?

  • Voice In The Dark

    Wish I would have known about these amazing plants when I lived in Miami and had to fight off hoards of nasty biters all year round!

    These wonderful plants should be the staple at any home garden where mosquitoes congregate!

  • Excellent idea. I have two youngsters at home, who love to play around in the garden I hate the idea of spraying chemical stuff on them to prevent mosquito bites. This is a great alternative. Thanx a bunch!

  • fresnolofts

    Catnip is ten times more effective than DEET? That is amazing and it means we have no reason to use DEET. Thanks for the valuable information.

  • maría

    The photo that comes with the citronella entry IS NOT citronella. Please correct.

  • quintessencecreations

    I just bought a few of these plants. Wondering how many to plant and how far to space them to ensure mosquitos stay away. Example, does one plant keep mosquitoes away for 1 foot or more or less? I want to first remove them from my patio, and then work on the gardens and yard.

    • Greg Seaman

      You'll have to use your judgement, depending on the size of the plant and the site conditions. I have seen some homes with one or two of these plants on a patio or deck.

      • Dave

        Hi Greg, You seem very knowledgeable, I have a question for you(or anyone else), do you happen to know the Spanish name for these various plants? Or where I could find out?
        I live on a remote beach in Mexico with the mangrove swamp 50′ behind my house, There’s also a brackish water lagoon 100′ behind that. Needless to say, a “paradise” for breeding mosquitoes.
        I have literally dozens of bats every night, and hundreds of dragonflies every day, but there’s no way they can keep up with the mosquito population.
        Thanks and stay bite free!

        • Hi Dave,
          I do not have the Spanish translations for these plants. You could go to Wickipedia and get the Latin names, then Google the Latin names with “+ Spanish” in the search box. It shouldn’t be too difficult to find out.
          Improving bat habitat will help. You can buile a bat houe pretty easily (we also sell them) and the population should increase with the availability of shelter space.

        • lisseth

          Hi!Dave the citronella for mosquitos the name in spanish is zacate de limon or hierba de limon or hierva Luiza it depends wich part off Mexico you live!! you also can try Mary golds known as sempasuchill or refered to as the Calendula mexicana,also you can get Ageratum and is the same in spanish language Ageratum,so I find 3 plants you can find in Mexico hoppe it helps you alot, good luck…

  • wedding favors

    This is good to know that there are mosquito-repelling foliages that we can plant at home. No need for us to by off-lotions for mosquitoes. There are some Asian countries that are suffering from a mosquito virus and most of them died because of low immune system. And it doesn't really matter if you are an adult or a child. People should have these plants at home. 🙂

  • Ferdinand Cabrera

    This is great! Thanks for sharing these suggestions – the plants are attractive and practical!good information…I also plant Citronella and i know mosquito hate the scent…

  • Ron

    Thanks for your post about these kind of plants that will get rid of mosquitoes. There are so many mosquitoes in our home and I like to get rid of them. Spraying insecticide won't work because I think mosquitoes can avoid it. I will plant these repelling plants so that my house will be mosquito-free.

  • Mosquitos are pretty are pretty bad around here. I never really thought marigolds or catnip could do that. I find that extremely interesting. May have to try the latter as I have 4 cats here. By the way is it just mosquitos or any insects that enjoy biting people (ie gnats)?

  • Philip William

    As much as I love flowers, I just discover that they can be repellents too! Great article with great info

  • Claudette Rudolph

    I purchased a citronella plant from a garden center in the spring. It has oval shaped leaves that are a light sage color with a darker green along the center. The leaves are kind of fuzzy. They smell like citronella when you crush the leaves but I can't fint a picture of this plant in any of the web sites. Was wanting to know if this is a perennial. Also, can I plant it in the ground now that it's fall or should I take the pot indoors?

    • Greg Seaman

      True citronella is a grass, either Cybopogon nardus or Citronella winterianus. You can go to Google images and put these names in the search box, and many images will appear. This will help you indentify your plant.
      If you live in a frost free growing zone, then you can plant citronela in the ground this fall. In colder zones where frost occurs, you will have to plant in a pot, preferably on casters, which you can roll indoors for winter.

  • wooww… This is awesome! I have been looking for a nice information like this about mosquito repellents.

  • Anything to keep flies away?

    • Greg Seaman

      Yes. Here is our page on natural, non-toxic insect control. Scroll down and you'll the section on flies.

      • Thank you, sir. I just spent so much time reading over your website, especially your About section. Fascinating story. Incredible your family gets to work together like it does – I am especially impressed by your web designer son. This website is beautiful, solid, and so functional. I'm a beginner web designer myself, he's definitely an inspiration!

        You all are, as a single Dad wanting to work from home to be around my daughter as much as possible – amazing how profitable these websites can be. I started getting active in website development and marketing after I left the military and am building a couple 'eco' type sites of my own. Had to do something, not much call for an ex-infantry guy. 😉

        So happy for your success while spreading a great message!

        Thanks for your quick response! All the best!

        • Greg Seaman

          Thomas, your reply is very gratifying, thank you!
          When first thinking about starting the Eartheasy site, my thinking was that the effort would not be wasted. Even if, as a business, the site failed, I would still have the 'success' of putting forward a message I believed in. As it turned out, the business has been a success, but the response from site visitors like yourself is the reward I value most.
          Our culture needs pioneers to explore ways of living sustainably, and the more people participating, the better. I encourage you to have faith in your projects, and if you have questions along the way, feel free to consider me one of your resources. My email is

  • Rose

    Does it matter which variety of horsemint/beebalm you plant?  There’s a lot of different kinds, do they all have mosquito-repellent properties?

  • Jennifer

    Are all of these pet (cat & dog) safe?

    • DBLori

       Catnip is poisonous to cats.  Go figure…

      • pam

        wow… and I bought my catnip plant at the pet store! Are you sure?

        • I live in Ky and old herbal medicine for newborn babies is catnip tea. My grandfather made some for each of his grandkids and great grandkids. Helps with the colic. Cleans all the mucus out of them when they are born and the rest well with it. I have given the receipe to many friends who were desperate when there new babies had the colic and they loved it after trying it.

      • Brcas

        I raise catnip and my cats play with it and eat it all the time.  No problem.  I wonder if maybe the catnip you had was treated with some type of insecticide before it was harvested.  My cats roll in it, play in it, and eat it with no problems. 

      • Therushings6809

        Catnip is readily sold for cat play.  And petsmart has live catnip at their registers. Although I was told its like pot for cats I’ve never heard of it being harmful! Hence the reason I refuse to plant it with so many stray cats around my house… Aren’t they attracted to it?

        • April Leigh

          Yes cats are attracted to Catnip! We had 3 cats for 6 years and every summer they would roll in the Catnip so much ,that it was crushed to the ground by August! Pretty funny to watch! Maybe if the Catnip were planted with another plant such as Lemon Grass or Citronella, it wouldn’t seem so tempting to the cats? Or if it were planted in a high traffic area like a path to the front door or back doorway?

  • Krista

    Any ideas on their scientific names and where they are native? I don’t want non-native, invasive plants in my yard! 

    • Pelicanfeet

      I have almost all of these in a flower bed, none are going to take over. But I will say, we still have many many mosquitoes! One bed holds cintronella, bee balm & catnip, all large plants and you still get attacked by the blood sucking monsters. You could try wallering in em, might help Lol.

  • Jane MF

    Are these ok to grow in an area with horses?  We always have to be careful on what can poison a horse. 

    • Vegashag

      None of these plants listed are hazardous to horses.

  • Lady_arndt

    And now we need an article with plants that repel CATS! I hate cats digging in my garden boxes and leaving their stinky crap everywhere. Frackin gross!

    • Tracy

      Moth Balls work great to repel cats. Just put a few in around your plants and the cats won’t come near.

      • DanSerrano

        Mothballs are very bad for cats to be around. It shuts down heir kidneys :o(

    • Stonebred

       catnip actually works quite well for this.  they cats typically are attracted to the plant, but then shortly after reaching it they get disoriented and go home.  we’ve done this in our gardens with great success in the past.

    • Tim

      Lay out  25 to 50 set mouse traps close to the area you don’t want the cats going… They will learn to stay away from them… eventually.

    • Farmer_Lynn

      Most animals including cats and dogs do not like orange oil. If you break up all your citrus peels and evenly distribute them in your flower beds, cats will leave the area as soon as the smell the peels. Replenish the peels ever two week or so. Nor harm no cat ;o)

    • goodday78332

      Cayan pepper is great as a cat repelleant. I sprinkle it in my flower boxes and it works.. They do sneeze for awhile but they learn their lesson.

    • marigolds…

    • Laura Sheffield

      Placing dried white sage around the base of plants the cats bother will deter them. It works!

  • jnc51247

    We need drought resistant and especially deer resistant plants.  Our summers are very dry and we live in a little forest here in Oregon – the deer are more plentiful than the rabbits.

    • Centexsr0830

      The Horsemint is a “native” plant, grows abundantly here in TX, in all areas.  Tolerates dry conditions & can be used in dried flower arrangements, too!

    • Beamer Smith

      If it’s so dry there, how do you have a mosquito problem?

  • jnc51247

    Thanks for these tips!!!  Sooo good to know.  We are always surprised when people in our area kill bats!  Bats eat up to 1000 mosquitoes an hour.  It takes 6 months to reproduce a little mosquito eater bat.  They are our friends folks.  Please don’t kill the bats.  We have a year round pond, can’t imagine what our property would be like without the bats.

    • Nancy

      You can purchase Bat Houses from some retailers.  Raise your own!  They are truly amazing creatures. 

      • Roland E Gauthier

        Great post, living here in Tropical North Borneo we for sure have our share of creepy crawlies, out of them all only 3 bothers me the most, Mosquitoes,Land Leeches and ones in the water if we are living in the city or suburbs areas we dont have to worry so much for leeches, but if you go trekking be sure dress properly because when it rains it will seem like you are a slice of beef with wolves around you, they literally hop,toss,crawl, and are fast and plentiful, most are on the ground or leaves,,,,besides them Mosquitoes seems to be the biggest problem world wide, so i like to share with you to avoid around your home much as possible dont grow banana trees,coconut trees and other trees that seems to have leaves with armpits, its there they will lay eggs and many… I just eradicated over 30 banana trees…They just so horrible and annoying….so just wanted to share with you…Happy Gardening.

        • Wow, the leeches sound creeply. Interesting tip about trees with armpits attracting mosquitoes. Thanks for your comments!

          • CP

            anything which will hold standing water for more than two or three days will allow mosquitoes to breed, so turn buckets upside down when not in use, put a table spoon or two of vinegar in shallow bird baths, or a small fountain to keep the water agitated will also deter mosquitoes from breeding. Put up multistory bird houses for swallows etc who also keep mosquitoes down, as well at bat boxs.

          • Good tips. Also clear out the damp leaves in the evestrough.

    • HeatherB


      I live in the Uk – if anyone did try to kill bats or even disturb them it is £5,000 fine!  They cannot even be evicted from your house or business.  Can’t believe some people would kill them.  They are useful in keeping “critters” down otherwise we would be inundated with pests! 

      • Stephanie Huffman Fulton

        I have nothing against bats. But they are not welcome in my home.

      • Steven Eaton

        Ive heard bat droppings (guano?) can be toxic to humans.

        • LeaArmstrong

          Bat urine and bat droppings can be harmful to humans. You can get Salmonella from the droppings and Leptospirosis from the urine which is flu like symptoms but can cause liver or kidney damage but usually isn’t fatal. You might just be wishing it was! I only know because I helped my son do research on bats for a project. They are VERY beneficial to have around but I certainly wouldn’t want one living in my house.

          • Interesting comments. Thanks

          • steve johnson

            You can get Leptospirosis from any animal, rabbits, dogs, cats, etc. Bats can carry it, but that doesn’t mean that all of them do carry it.

          • LeaArmstrong

            True but we were talking about bats so that’s what I was commenting on.

      • Teri Smith

        Odd that they can’t be remove from the home, the guano has a very high ammonia content and would quickly make a family sick in close quarters, especially when closed up for winter. Here in the states you can get good bat wranglers who will remove the bat from the home and release it outside and inform the owner where they came in so they can repair or put a screen up. I adore bats but wouldn’t want a colony in my home. Bat boxes are so easy to make and a properly made one will protect bats even in the winter.

      • Hudson Isabella

        Bats have a bad reputation with the ‘guano’ being toxic. That’s why people are anti bats.

    • Bill

       It is also against the law to kill bats. Bats are protected.

    • I agree totally
      Can you tell me and I hope this doesn’t sound stupid we live on a farm lots of cats but this year planted a few tomato plants in extra large pots near house has used coffee grounds in past I hate oranges but would moth balls or such as that affect the quality of the taste of the tomatoes oh yea and we got snow last night on the first of May but what do you expect we are in Iowa

      • Once your tomtoes get past the starter stage the cats should not be a bother, assuming that your cats are walking on the beds. I suggest you do not use moth balls – they do work well as a deterrent but they are chemically hazardous, especially when in proximity for food crops.

      • CrabbyOldBikch

        Ms. Pamela~Mothballs-no. I wouldn’t. Orange peels might work lemon would work better, but only thing I ever used in my XXL potted house plants was a cover-layer of weed block under river rock. The water and dirt won’t splash out when you water, it keeps the dirt level more even–no wash-out spots, no open dirt to attract diggers. I bought a sack of them at the garden store many years ago and just kept it for houseplants.

      • ruth

        I put plastic forks upside down in my flowerbeds keeps the cats out

      • freedomdove

        The only thing I’ve found that works to keep cats and squirrels from digging in the soil is to cover it with a physical barrier. I’ve used chicken wire, window screen, and burlap–depending on the situation each time. Fabric landscaping cloth or old cotton fabric sheets would also work. Whatever it is just needs to allow water to go through it. I lay the protective barrier over the soil in the bed or on top of the soil-less potting mix in the container, cut it to size just inside the border, and pin it down with garden U-pins. Then I use scissors to make holes in the barrier of choice where I plant the seedlings (if using chicken wire, I cut it with tin snips). I usually safety-pin the material back together at the cuts after planting because the squirrels like to dig right next to the plant base (not necessary with chicken wire b/c you can bend it back into place, being careful not to poke the stem, and it usually stays that way).

        That in itself helps with cats but isn’t squirrel-proof unless you’re using chicken wire, so I also lay down a thick layer of pine-bark mulch on top of the barrier (I do this anyways to conserve water). The combination seems to deter them quite a bit, though the sneakiest ones may still find a way through unless you’re covering your beds with window screen hoop houses (which I do with my strawberry beds b/c laying barrier on the soil is impractical because of how strawberries propagate).

        After years of dealing with digging animals in my raised beds and containers, I’ve found that physical barriers are pretty much the best and most efficient way to go. Mulch alone doesn’t work, and neither does the physical barrier alone sometimes. It really needs to be a combination unless you’re absolutely sure to tack down the physical barrier in such a way that the animals won’t bypass it. Putting mulch on top of the barrier makes it much harder for them to dig into the actual soil and I’ve found that they usually just move on rather than go through so much trouble.

        • Great information, thanks!

          • freedomdove

            Thank you and you’re welcome. 🙂

    • jd13hbronzbac

      Growing up there were many bats around. Starting at dusk and into the night we’d stand in the street and throw pebbles up in the air. The bats would chase them down almost to us. We’d entertain ourselve for hours doing this. Particularly when one of the kids might be afraid of them! We were bad….

    • Niki O’Donnell Beldin


    • ashley kujan

      Amen to the bats! Those crazy humans just like to kill stuff…

    • Jeremy Alexander

      Probably because bats carry many deadly diseases. We’ve had two young girls and a young boy become very debilitated due to infections from bat bites at schools in our area over just the last couple years. They don’t need to be killed, but you don’t want them in your yard.

  • sharon bowler

    I have a question about the citronella. We do get frost here (Seattle) most years, sometimes a lot sometimes hardly any.  Since it’s a perennial, what would I be wheeling into the house? A planter with dormant bulbs or roots, or a big 5-6 foot very fragrant plant? I actually like the smell of Citronella, but I don’t think I’d care for it in abundance, in the house all winter long.

    • Guest

      Hi, Sharon! We had a few potted citronella plants here in Langley, BC one summer; they weren’t like the one pictured in this article, but rather reminiscent of a geranium (run an Image search on citronella – you’ll see what I mean). The care too was just like for a geranium. Before the first frost I just brought a couple of plants indoors and set them on a sunny windowsill. They happily wintered over and you couldn’t really smell them unless you got within a foot or two (yeah, you need quite a few for them to be effective for, say, a small patio).
      This year, besides increasing the variety of mosquito-repelling plants, I’m going to test the effectiveness of spraying the deck balusters with neem oil (it’s very stinky, but you get used to the smell after a few minutes). It’s extremely effective applied directly to the skin, but then you’d have to wash it off if planning to go out, or welcoming guests (although, it’s an awesome skin conditioner, so you might simply try to convince them to slather it on too, lol)).

    • Centexsr0830

      I live in central TX.   My Citonella Geranium wintered very well.  Purchased 2 more for the back porch.  Try a hanging basket!  They can get fairly large, 18″ x 24″.

  • M L Spies_66

    Where can u find some of these plants to buy

    • Kissintulips10

      honestly catnip and citronella u can buy at walmart. so i am sure that lowes or home depot have them also

    • Please try your local hometown nurseries before you shop at big box stores.

  • Libbysmom3

    Are any of these plants dangerous to pet dogs and/or cats????

    • mon

      No. they are herbs and use to spice foods.

  • Ryanmagill

    Awesome!  I’m gonna buy some catnip tomorrow!

  • Steve Guziec

     I can’t seem to find these in plant or seed form. Any suggestions for good sites or places near Chicago?

  • carlacrawley

    i’m going to look for an article on what plants are poisonous to dog, cats, and other pets. 

    Some of these may be in my yard growing and I don’t even know it. Thanks,

  • DeeDee

    Will any of these harm my labs who love to eat any grass plants I plant?

    • Bob Bullock

      Catnip might give him a buzz.

  • “While catnip will repel mosquitoes in close proximity to the plant, some people apply crushed catnip leaves or catnip oil for more robust protection. Bear in mind, however, that cats will respond to you similarly as they would respond to the plant itself. Cat owners may want to choose an alternative plant for repelling mosquitoes.”

    I think this is REALLY important, especially if you have BIG cats that REALLY like you!

  • Lauren

    Most outdoor cats aren’t going to be bothered by catnip, so no worries about attracting them. At least, that’s how it works in my yard, and I have 3 bushy catnip plants growing.
    It’s not poisonous to dogs (or cats, obviously). My big dog likes to roll it it, and then I get a good laugh because the inside cats rub and slobber all over her.
    It won’t hurt you if you rub it on your skin (unless you’re allergic) and it can even be eaten for a minty breath freshener or brewed into a tea to help you sleep.

  • lifesaver1

    Lemon Grass is also a wispy grassy plant [and edible by humans too!] which will repel mosquitos, rodents & snakes! The mature clumps can eventually be divided & replanted, so you can have many around your garden/yard. They have a pleasant lemon scent as well.

  • TheOneOnTheRight

    Dwayne, I’m normally not an advocate of violence – and I love cats – but that right there was funny!

  • Indrajit Shukla

    This site provides Very nice knowledge.

  • heather miller Dbn

    definately going to try this! desperately trying to cope with mosquitoes. thank you.

  • K chigodora

    HHMMM…. catnip…it nips cats in the bud? tsk tsk. my son’s cat already rubs himself allover my leg enough already. will try electronic mosquito repellants instead i think

  • These would be great deck plants. Planted marigolds within an established viola border on year…next year no violas! Remember this keeps all insects away even those u want.

  • andrew

    good to know all of these

  • Melissa Madrigal

    Wheres the neem tree on your site for mosquito repellant plants. thats the best and covers more area

Blog > Organic Garden > 5 Easy to Grow Mosquito-Repelling Plants