Thursday, 7th December 2023

Mosquito-repelling plants

By Sereba Agiobu-Kemmer
29 July 2017   |   5:10 am
While candles and oils are considered generally effective at keeping mosquitoes away, they do have some drawbacks, including their toxicity and the increased risk of fire.

Lavenders and poppies in rock garden

Gardeners face many challenges, but perhaps the most exasperating are the persistent pests especially mosquitoes. Not only do we not want them near our precious plants, we do not want them biting our families, friends and pets. In addition to leaving itchy, swollen bites, these pests have been known to carry and transmit deadly diseases including malaria, West Nile and Zika viruses.

While there is plenty of chemical products on the market that claim to wipe out mosquitoes, using harsh synthetic agents can do more harm than good. Fortunately there is a more natural way to combat this pest problem; introducing anti mosquitoes plants and flowers into the garden. The following are the best mosquito-repelling plants to plant in the garden:

Citronella grass: (Genus Cymbopogon Citratus) lemongrass
If mosquitoes are a yearly struggle for your garden, chances are you’ve likely invested in more than one citronella candle.

While candles and oils are considered generally effective at keeping mosquitoes away, they do have some drawbacks, including their toxicity and the increased risk of fire.

To fully harness the power of “citronella” in a more natural way, bring a “citronella” fragrant plant like lemongrass, lemon verbena, citrosum (mosquito plant), lemon balm, bee balm, catnip, wormwood, geranium (i.e. pelargonium) various mints, and lemon thyme into the garden. The fresh light scent of “citronella” plants is appealing to humans but repellant to mosquitoes. Citronella’s fragrance will protect neighbouring plants from unwanted mosquitoes and other unwanted insect pests, while its leaves can act as all-natural bugs spray when crushed onto the skin or bonfire.

Marigolds: (tagetes, Asteraceae) Two genuses African marigold and French marigold
Marigolds add bright color to the garden while also protecting it from buzzing mosquitoes. These flowers, which thrive in direct sunlight and fertile soil, contain pyrethrum, an ingredient often included in insects sprays. In addition to warding off mosquitoes, these plant’s blossoms and foliage are also effective at protecting tomato plants from a variety of critters. Unfortunately, some people are just as repelled as their garden pests by the scent of marigolds. If you are not enthusiastic about their fragrance, you can use these plants for back-of-garden pest control.

Lavender is quite appealing, from its dusty floral scent to its whimsical stalk of purple flowers. Mosquitoes have a much different opinion of this lovely plant, whose scent actually repels them, along with moths and flies. Plant lavender in the garden to protect your other sprouts, and rub lavender oil on the skin to protect yourself.

This has the power to do more than flavor favourite dishes. In fact, this hero is extremely effective at repelling mosquitoes. Rosemary, which prefers full sunlight, can be grown inside or outside the house. Notably this plant maintains its repellant qualities even after its been trimmed.

You can even harness its anti-mosquito powers during bonfires by simply tossing a bundle of it into the flames. Your fire will take on a herbal scent, which will keep mosquitoes from getting too close to your guests.

The great thing about this is that you can plant these fragrant mosquito repellant plants in containers for the apartment balconies and patios to ward them off while you are relaxing, and as companion plants in your vegetable beds to protect from unwanted pests.

Nothing stops you from planting a mix of all these for both their mosquito-repelling qualities and their beauty.

In this article