As the warm weather arrives, so do mosquitoes—those pesky little insects that can turn a pleasant outdoor experience into a constant battle. While bug sprays and citronella candles are popular choices, there’s a natural and visually appealing alternative: plants that repel mosquitoes.
These botanical guardians not only add beauty to your garden but also act as powerful repellents, ensuring you can enjoy your time outdoors without the irritating buzz and itchy bites. In this article, we’ll explore 30 incredible plants that repel mosquitoes, each offering a unique twist to your mosquito-free sanctuary.
Citronella Grass (Cymbopogon nardus)
Citronella Grass is known for its strong, citrusy fragrance, which mosquitoes find repulsive. It contains natural compounds like citronellol and geraniol, which interfere with the mosquitoes’ ability to locate their prey, effectively keeping them away.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
Catnip contains a compound called nepetalactone, which is highly effective at repelling mosquitoes. Studies have shown that nepetalactone is even more potent than DEET, a commonly used chemical repellent. The strong scent of catnip masks human scent, making it an excellent choice for repelling mosquitoes.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
Lemon Balm emits a refreshing lemon fragrance that mosquitoes find overwhelming. The volatile oils present in this plant, such as citronellal and citral, are responsible for repelling mosquitoes by masking the scents that attract them.
Lavender is well known for its beautiful purple blooms and soothing aroma. However, mosquitoes find its scent repulsive. Compounds such as linalool and linalyl acetate in lavender oil disrupt mosquitoes’ ability to locate their targets, making it an effective natural repellent.
Marigolds produce a distinct scent that repels mosquitoes. They contain compounds like thiophenes, limonene, and linalool, which mosquitoes find highly unpleasant. Planting marigolds in your garden acts as a natural barrier against these pesky insects.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Mosquitoes detest the refreshing scent of peppermint, but people love it. The high concentration of menthol in peppermint plants confuses and repels mosquitoes, making it a natural and fragrant way to keep them at bay.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Rosemary’s fragrant aroma, reminiscent of pine and lemon, acts as a powerful mosquito deterrent. It contains compounds like camphor and eucalyptol, which mosquitoes find repugnant. Planting rosemary in your garden can help repel mosquitoes effectively.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Basil is not only a versatile herb for culinary purposes but also a natural mosquito repellent. Its pungent aroma comes from essential oils such as citronellol and eugenol, which make it unappealing to mosquitoes.
Lemon Thyme (Thymus citriodorus)
Lemon Thyme, with its citrusy scent, naturally repels mosquitoes. It contains citronellol and geraniol, compounds that mosquitoes find offensive. Crushing the leaves of lemon thyme releases the fragrance and enhances its mosquito-repellent properties.
Lemon Verbena (Aloysia citrodora)
Lemon Verbena emits a strong lemon fragrance that mosquitoes detest. The plant contains citral and geraniol, compounds that interfere with mosquitoes’ ability to detect and home in on their targets, effectively repelling them from your outdoor space.
Geraniums are not only visually stunning with their vibrant flowers but also possess mosquito-repellent properties. They produce a strong scent that mosquitoes find offensive, primarily due to the presence of citronellol, geraniol, and linalool. Planting geraniums around your garden acts as a natural deterrent against mosquitoes.
Lemon Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora)
Lemon Eucalyptus is renowned for its refreshing scent and its ability to repel mosquitoes. It contains a compound called citronellal, which is similar to the one found in citronella grass. This compound masks human scent and confuses mosquitoes, keeping them away from your outdoor areas.
Garlic (Allium sativum)
While garlic is known for its culinary uses, it also acts as a powerful mosquito repellent. Consuming garlic can make your body emit a scent that mosquitoes find repulsive. Additionally, when garlic is planted in the garden, it releases sulfur compounds that mosquitoes dislike, creating a natural deterrent.
Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)
Pennyroyal is a mint-like plant that repels mosquitoes as well as other pests like fleas and ticks. Its strong minty aroma, derived from the compound pulegone, acts as a natural insect deterrent. Planting pennyroyal around your garden or using its leaves as natural repellents can help create a bug-free environment.
Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
Tansy has long been used as a natural insect repellent. It contains volatile compounds such as camphor and thujone, which mosquitoes find displeasing. The strong, distinctive fragrance of tansy acts as a barrier, effectively repelling mosquitoes from your outdoor space.
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)
Lemongrass shares similarities with citronella grass and offers mosquito-repellent properties. Its strong lemony scent comes from citral and geraniol, compounds that confuse and deter mosquitoes. Planting lemongrass in your garden or using its essential oil can help create a mosquito-free environment.
Bee Balm (Monarda)
Bee Balm, also known as Wild Bergamot, not only attracts pollinators but also repels mosquitoes. Its vibrant blooms release a citrusy fragrance that mosquitoes find unpleasant. The plant contains compounds such as thymol and carvacrol, which act as natural insect repellents.
Chrysanthemums not only add a burst of color to your garden but also contain a natural insecticide called pyrethrum. Pyrethrum is a powerful mosquito repellent, and its extract is commonly used in mosquito repellent products. The presence of pyrethrum in chrysanthemums makes them an effective choice for repelling mosquitoes.
Lemon-scented geranium (Pelargonium crispum)
The lemon-scented geranium releases a strong lemon fragrance that acts as a natural mosquito repellent. Its leaves contain essential oils rich in citronellol and geraniol, making it an effective deterrent against mosquitoes. Planting lemon-scented geraniums near seating areas or crushing their leaves can enhance their mosquito-repelling properties.
Catmint (Nepeta faassenii)
Catmint, like its relative catnip, contains the compound nepetalactone, which mosquitoes find repugnant. Planting catmint in your garden or keeping potted plants near entrances can effectively repel mosquitoes. The minty scent that catmint emits serves as a natural repellent, keeping these unwanted insects at bay. It’s a low-maintenance plant that produces beautiful lavender flowers, adding both beauty and functionality to your mosquito-free sanctuary.
Alliums, including onions, garlic, and chives, have a pungent scent that mosquitoes find highly unpleasant. When planted in your garden, these bulbs release sulfur compounds that repel mosquitoes effectively. By incorporating alliums into your landscape, you not only create a natural barrier against mosquitoes but also enjoy the added benefit of culinary versatility.
Mexican Marigold (Tagetes lucida)
Mexican Marigold, with its strong and spicy aroma, is an excellent mosquito repellent. The plant releases natural compounds like thiophenes and limonene, which mosquitoes find repulsive. Its vibrant yellow blooms not only add visual appeal to your garden but also serve as a natural deterrent against these bothersome insects.
Nasturtiums are not only known for their bright and colorful flowers but also for their ability to repel mosquitoes. The peppery scent emitted by nasturtiums masks human scent, making it difficult for mosquitoes to detect their targets. Planting these flowers as a border or in hanging baskets can create a natural barrier against mosquitoes while adding a touch of beauty to your outdoor space.
Pyrethrum (Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium)
Pyrethrum is a species of chrysanthemum that contains natural insecticidal properties. Its flowers contain a compound called pyrethrin, which is widely used in mosquito repellents due to its effectiveness. Pyrethrin affects the nervous system of mosquitoes, effectively repelling them and preventing their bites.
Pennyroyal Geranium (Pelargonium tomentosum)
Pennyroyal Geranium, also known as the “Mosquito Plant,” is specifically bred for its mosquito-repellent properties. When the leaves of this geranium are crushed, they release a fragrance reminiscent of citronella. The scent acts as a natural mosquito deterrent, making it an ideal choice for mosquito-prone areas in your garden.
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Sage, with its earthy and herbal aroma, naturally repels mosquitoes. It contains essential oils such as thujone and camphor, which mosquitoes find unpleasant. Incorporating sage into your garden not only adds beauty but also creates a natural defense against mosquitoes, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space without constant mosquito interference.
Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans)
Pineapple Sage is not only a visually striking plant with its vibrant red flowers but also a powerful mosquito repellent. Its leaves release a delightful pineapple scent that mosquitoes find repulsive. The fragrance masks the human scent, making it difficult for mosquitoes to locate their targets and effectively repelling them from your outdoor areas.
Sweet Fern (Comptonia peregrina)
Sweet Fern is a native plant with aromatic leaves that naturally repel mosquitoes. Its pleasant fragrance acts as a deterrent, keeping mosquitoes at bay and allowing you to enjoy your outdoor activities undisturbed. The unique texture and foliage of Sweet Fern also add visual interest to your garden.
Lemon Beebrush (Aloysia triphylla)
Lemon Beebrush, also known as Lemon Verbena, emits a strong lemon scent that mosquitoes find highly unpleasant. The plant contains essential oils such as citral and geraniol, which are effective in repelling mosquitoes. Planting Lemon Beebrush near seating areas or crushing its leaves to release the fragrance provides a natural defense against these pesky insects and ensures a mosquito-free environment.
Stone Root (Collinsonia canadensis)
Stone Root is a lesser-known plant that possesses mosquito-repellent properties. Its unique fragrance acts as a deterrent, making it an intriguing addition to your mosquito-fighting arsenal. While the exact mechanism is not fully understood, the scent emitted by Stone Root confuses and repels mosquitoes, keeping them away from your outdoor spaces.
These 30 remarkable plants offer a variety of mechanisms to repel mosquitoes and create a pleasant outdoor experience. Some plants, such as Citronella Grass, Catnip, and Lemon Eucalyptus, mask human scent, making it difficult for mosquitoes to locate their targets. Others, like Marigold, Tansy, and Chrysanthemums, emit scents or compounds that mosquitoes find repugnant. By incorporating these plants into your garden, you create a natural barrier that deters mosquitoes, reducing the annoyance of bites and the risk of mosquito-borne diseases.