Outdoor PestsMosquitoes

What Plants Keep Mosquitoes Away?

Plants Keep Mosquitoes Away

Mosquitoes are some outdoor pests that make evening relaxations during the warmer months difficult. They can ruin gardening plans, disrupt barbecues, and turn an otherwise fun activity into a nightmare.

If you are not a fan of chemical-based mosquito sprays, there are a good number of plants that can deter these disease-causing insects.

In this guide, we will consider some and how to use them.


Chemical-based mosquito repellant sprays are effective in deterring mosquitoes. However, many of these sprays are known to cause allergic reactions and short-term respiratory issues.

Thankfully, there are lots of easy-to-grow plants that can keep these disease-causing insects.

Best of all, many of these mosquito-repelling plants are great spices for several dishes and can also be used for home decor.

If you would like to go natural in keeping mosquitoes at bay from your home, below are some plants you can consider:

  • Citronella
  • Lavender
  • Marigolds, etc.

Here are some options. You can read the guide to learn more and how to apply them in deterring mosquitoes.

In the following sections, we will discuss eight mosquito-repellant plants you can grow in your garden or planters.

These flowering plants are easy to grow. Afterward, we will answer some questions about mosquito infestation and how to handle them with natural plants.

8 Plants That Can Keep Mosquitoes Away

Mosquitoes Plant

Mosquitoes are not insects anyone wants to share their home with. But, depending on where you live, mosquito bites can further expose you to malaria, yellow fever, Zika virus, and other deadly diseases.

These blood-sucking bugs depend on human scent to locate their potential victims. But unfortunately, some of their significant attractants are sweat and the carbon dioxide expelled from breathing.

Fortunately, some plants can mask these human scents and confuse mosquitoes. Below, we analyze some of them:

1. Catnip

Catnip Plant

Although cats and other feline animals love this plant, mosquitoes can’t stand it. The reason is not hard to figure out — catnip contains nepetalactone, a chemical that naturally repels insects.

Whether you let it grow out in a garden or crushed, catnip leaves release this chemical that terrifies mosquitoes on contact. However, you can still produce the same result using catnip essential oil.

However, catnip can grow wild when not checked. So, it is advisable to grow this plant in a pot or some containers to control its bloom.

2. Citronella

Citronella Plant Floral

Citronella is a constant ingredient in most bug-repellant products like sprays and candles. So, seeing its name in our list should come as no surprise.

Many people do not know that this chemical comes from the grass they can grow in their garden. Instead, commercial manufacturers rely on citronella oil which experts say evaporates fast and lasts a few hours.

But with an entire citronella grass bush growing in your yard, you can get round-the-clock protection from mosquitoes. Its low-maintenance nature further distinguishes it from other bug-repelling plants.

Although it performs better with adequate sunlight, you can still grow citronella in pots during winter. However, growing them in planters is often the best option because citronella grows fast and can extend up to five feet.

So, a planter helps keep their size in check and saves you the stress of gardening.

3. Lavender

Lavender Flower

The sweet scent of lavender flowers does more than relax the nerves. It masks human scent from hungry mosquitoes.

Scientists have found lavender essential oil can hold off mosquitoes for up to six hours. Imagine the effect of a fresh lavender supply directly from the source right outside your window.

You can grow these bug-repelling flowers in pots arranged on your window sill or garden to keep bugs away. Its pleasant aroma gets the job done while inducing a relaxing sleep.

The lavender flower does not need much to grow and can thrive in almost every climate. Watering it once or twice a week can keep its drought-resistant roots going.

Position these flowers in the direction of sunlight and leave a little space between each plant. This allows them to grow properly without struggling for resources.

4. Marigolds

Marigolds Flower

These pretty flowers get their mosquito-repelling abilities from their strong scent, appealing to humans and repulsive to bugs. In addition, marigolds contain pyrethrum, a chemical found in many commercial bug repellants.

As a result, the natural plant can ward off more insects than mosquitoes. The other targets of the marigold plant include flies, beetles, nematodes, and aphids.

Marigolds are low-maintenance flowering plants and perform better when planted near sunlight.

We recommend you plant them in almost-dry soil and snip out dead flowers to encourage a healthy bloom.

5. Rosemary

Rosemary Herb

Although a potent kitchen herb for most enthusiasts, rosemary can serve more than one function. It doubles as a mosquito-repelling plant, whether as a living plant or a chopped branch.

Rosemary bushes thrive in warmer climates, but if grown in planters, they can withstand the harsh winter. The multipurpose plant makes for excellent home décor and a nutritious food spice.

To frighten mosquitoes, you can hang up a few twigs from your rosemary bush inside your house.

To transform your dishes, you can also sprinkle some of these seasoning herbs over your pot.

6. Basil

Basil Plants

Besides the aroma it adds to dishes, basil can help protect your family from mosquito bites. This is because it contains certain chemicals that kill mosquito eggs before they mature.

That way, the mosquito population in your home automatically reduces. In addition, Basil plants further draw pollination agents to your garden, which helps your flowers to thrive.

This nutritious herb performs better in damp soil and under plenty of sunlight. So, you can grow them alongside similar plants in your garden or separated in planters.

You don’t need to pluck the leaves, slather them on your body, or do anything extra to repel mosquitoes. The pungent aroma from your garden or planters is enough to keep these flying pests away from you.

7. Lemongrass


Lemongrass is a staple feature in many Asian recipes. It resembles a tall grass bush with a strong citrus scent.

Although this citrus scent makes it a kitchen favorite, mosquitoes can’t stand it. So, you can cut some blades of lemongrass from your garden and hang them around your house to pursue mosquitoes.

However, note that lemongrass is fragile and will not grow in too-cold climates.

But they are easy to plant if you stay in a warmer region. Simply plant in moist soil, facing sunlight, and fertilize often.

8. Mint

Mint Plant

Mint does more than repel mosquitoes. Its oil extract can help soothe itchy mosquito bites.

Peppermint, a plant in the mint family, has medicinal and culinary purposes asides from its bug-repelling properties.

Its leaves add flavor to cocktails, fresh pots of tea, certain Asian dishes, and fruit salads.

All mint varieties have the same flavoring and mosquito-repelling effect. However, they can grow fast and wild. So, either grow them in pots to control their size or harvest them often.


Many mosquito-repellant plants rely on their natural scent to keep mosquitoes away — some, like basil and rosemary, double as delicious food spices.

We reviewed eight easy-to-grow plants to help end your mosquito torment season. So if you want to divest from chemical bug sprays and unhealthy repellants, go through this list and pick some alternatives.

If you are growing plants like citronella that grow fast, we advise you to grow them in planters and not in your garden. Pot/planters can help you keep plant growth in check and save the stress of gardening.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Mosquito Repellants Work?

Chemical mosquito repellants protect you from bug bites by making it difficult for these bugs to land on your skin.

Conversely, plant repellants disguise your natural scent, so mosquitoes can’t identify you.

Why Should We Avoid Mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes cause more than just itchy bites; they are a pressing health concern.

These flying bugs can spread diseases like malaria, yellow fever, Zika virus, and more.

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