Nobody I know seems to loathe mosquitoes as much as me… but that’s probably because, when I’m out, NOBODY ELSE seems to get bitten by them! I am obviously the mosquito equivalent to a gourmet dinner while my friends and family are essentially plain toast.
Anyway, if you, like me, are absolutely delicious to these little winged monstrosities, then you’ll be glad to know that today’s post is all about which plants repel mosquitoes.
Yes, there are other ways to keep biting insects at bay. However, I am just sick of spraying myself with chemicals (especially if I’ve bothered to wear perfume), and citronella candles never seem to do the trick for those of us that are truly delectable. I know the smoke from a fire pit or BBQ will keep insects away, but who really wants to sit in smoke?!
Anyway, without further ado, here are the answers to your question:
Which Plants Repel Mosquitoes?
Right at the top of the list is lavender, one of the hardest-working and most stylish garden plants there is. Lavender looks great in any space, from formal French flower beds to cute and cluttered cottage gardens. It’s gentle fragrance is perfect for sensory gardens and, conveniently, repels mosquitoes too.
Lavender is pretty hardy, and makes for a good garden border plant. You just need to plant it in a sunny spot with well-draining soil and it should thrive. Plus, you can trim and dry the stems to use them in homemade beauty products and relaxation aids.
Geraniums are another versatile plant that mosquitoes seem to really dislike (again, thanks to their aroma). They’re a great contender for hanging baskets, but geraniums come in so many colours that they will look great in any corner of your garden. They come in different heights, too perfect for pots, planters and flower beds alike.
Marigolds are all-round winners, as they not only repel mosquitoes, but will keep a whole variety of insects away from your other precious garden plants. Check out our post on companion planting for more tips like this!
Marigolds don’t like the frost, so wait until the weather starts warming up (just a little) before you plant them – in the ground or into containers. Although they’ll probably die off when winter comes back around, they’re self-seeders, so should reappear next year.
If you’re planning an outdoor herb garden this year, make sure basil makes the list. Although it does prefer to live indoors in the UK, it’s mosquito-repellent properties make it worth hardening for your garden.
Basil is actually toxic to mosquito larvae, so if you have any water features (like ponds or water bowls) where these bugs can breed, planting basil can keep their numbers down. Plus, you’ll get to benefit from pesto galore and as many Caprese salads as you can handle.
Time to strike a deal with your cat: you supply it with a cache of catnip, and your cat rolls around in it to release its mosquito-repelling chemical into the air. Although some of the plants in this list are anecdotal, SCIENCE has stated that “catnip repels mosquitoes more effectively than DEET”.
Just be aware that planting a patch of catnip will result in some very spaced-out moggies, and your garden may become the new hangout for neighbouring felines, too.
Bergamot, sometimes known as bee balm, is another all-round garden winner. Its frilly pink flowers look and smell fantastic in any flower bed and it grows best in low, moist areas (which is where mosquitoes typically breed).
While it keeps mosquitoes at bay, it also attracts butterflies and bees – making it ideal for planting around insect hotels.
We all know that garlic is good for warding off nasty, bitey, blood-sucking things… and that includes mosquitoes! Garlic is also super easy to grow – simply divide an existing bulb into cloves and plant them. They’ll gradually multiply into a complete bulb again.
Ideally, garlic needs lots of sunshine and some well-draining soil for healthy growth. Growing them in pots as part of an indoor herb garden is great, but if you’re growing them outside or in larger containers, make sure to leave about 12cm between cloves. You’ll know it’s ready when the leaves start turning yellow at the base.
So, now you know which plants repel mosquitoes, you can finally grow a wonderful, fragrant garden and enjoy it at any time of year. Relax on your patio in the early evening, or enjoy a beautiful dinner al fresco – without being a meal yourself!
Don’t forget to take a look at ways to encourage ‘good’ bugs and beasts into your garden, as well as our info on natural pest control for snails and slugs.