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12 Plants that Repel Mosquitos From Your Backyard Living Space

12 Plants that Repel Mosquitos From Your Backyard Living Space

Warm, sunny weather is here and so are some unwelcome pests — mosquitoes. While chemicals such as bug sprays and lanterns can repel these pests, below are 12 plants that will add focal points and beauty to your outdoor living areas while also controlling the mosquito population. Add our plant recommendations to your garden beds or in pots around your patio to enjoy a mosquito-free summer.


  • Citronella

While one of the most common ingredients in mosquito repellents, citronella is actually a perennial clumping grass that emits a strong aroma. Citronella plants, just like their counterparts candles, overpower other scents and keep mosquitos away, and are actually stronger than the products that contain citronella. Citronella is very easy to grow and can grow to five or six feet tall. The plants can grow in pots around a patio or porch or planted directly in a garden bed.

  • Catnip

Catnip won’t just keep your feline pals happy, but you will be as well! Also, Catnip is 10 times more effective than DEET, the strongest active ingredient in bug repellents. Very easy to grow, be careful not to plant catnip near your other flowers, vegetables or herbs if you have cats in your home. The cats will love the catnip so much, they can destroy the other plants close by.

  • Lemon balm

Also known as horsemint or beebalm, lemon balm is an easy plant for beginners – even if you have a brown thumb. Very hardy, lemon balm is a great plant for Texas as it can resist drought and even grown in shade. Make sure it’s planted in a pot, as lemon balm is very fast growing and aggressive and can easily overtake a garden.

  • Marigolds

Known as a colorful and hardy annual plant, marigolds also contain Pyrethrum, an ingredient found in many mosquito repellents. The colorful flowers are a great border flower around garden beds, especially near entrances.

  • Basil

Not just good in your favorite dishes, basil is also good as a quick and easy mosquito repellent. Many experts recommend trying cinnamon basil or lemon basil to rid those pesky insects.

  • Lavender

Lavender is a beautiful flowering plant known for its calming scent. While people love putting it in their bedrooms and homes for the relaxing aroma, mosquitoes can’t stand it. Lavender grows well inside at a sunny window or it grows well in a flower bed or pot.

  • Rosemary

Rosemary adds a fantastic flavor to pork or fish dishes, but while you grow it in your herb garden, it acts as a great mosquito repellent and will attract butterflies instead!

  • Garlic

While studies have shown that eating garlic unfortunately does not act as a mosquito repellent, you can grow garlic in your flower bed or vegetable garden, and the mosquitos will stay away.

  • Geranium

A beautiful flower and plant, geraniums can be grown in gardens or in hanging pots. When in hanging pots, the plant will cascade over the side and have a fantastic focal point to your porch or patio while repelling those pesky, flying insects.

  • Lemongrass

Not only is lemongrass a great addition to your kitchen cabinet, it’s a great addition to your mosquito defense system. Containing citronella, lemongrass can grow up to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide and does well in a pot or in the ground in a sunny, well-drained location.

  • Mint

Mint grows best in pots. Known for its aggressiveness, it will help keep nearby areas free of insects when placed strategically in a garden or patio. The oil found in mint can also be extracted and combined with apple cider vinegar and cheap vodka (or witch hazel) to make a homemade mosquito repellent.

  • Pitcher Plant

A carnivorous plant, pitcher plants trap and ingest insects. Through a combination of their nectar, color and fragrance, these beautiful plants lure insects into their “pitcher”. Ants, flies, bees, wasps, beetles, snails and slugs are the most common prey as well as mosquitoes.  They need a sunny area that stays moist or in a pot sitting in a saucer of water.

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