It’s warming up, shorts and tank tops are making their way out of storage, and it's time to soak up the sun. The best season of the year is here! The only downside? Having to repel mosquitoes.
Once mosquitoes start biting (and your guests start scratching), it’s over! Luckily, there are several ways to naturally repel annoying bugs like mosquitoes with a few different plant varieties. We have a list of the top 6 plants that will repel pests for you, so you can fire up the grill and keep your party going bug free.
P.S. If you start itching (ha!) to snag one of these mosquito-repelling plants, most of them are available for delivery straight to your door!
1. Lemon Grass
Lemon Grass is an attractive shrub that’s easy to grow in containers or in the ground. Distinct for its long blades that grow upwards, this plant is perfect for a contemporary style—and it keeps those buzzy nuisances out. Experts recommend the mosquito-repellent Lemon Grass for growing zones 9 through 11. However, if you live in a colder zone, simply place it in a pot and bring it indoors in the winter.
This grass has a natural citrus scent that repels mosquitoes while filling yards with a lovely aroma. Place a few around your patio, line your walkway with them, or place them on your deck. Your guests will be amazed that they aren’t getting oodles of mosquito bites—no sticky bug spray required!
2. Eucalyptus Trees
Eucalyptus trees have beautiful blue-green foliage and peeling bark that attracts the eye. The trees can provide year-round color in warmer climates, delivering attractive hues while other trees are dormant. Also, as an added bonus, this tree will grow in containers.
Whatever the variety, these mosquito-repellent trees also have a pleasing aroma similar to mint or pine, only sweeter. Their fresh scent repels mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas to boot. Each leaf has a pocket filled with eucalyptol, an organic pest-repelling oil. Place a few fresh leaves around your house, in window sills, on shelves, and under your pet’s bed to keep bugs away.
Citronellas are a smaller shrub option that grow about 1-2 feet tall and 1-2 feet wide. Also, they make excellent container plants. These mosquito-repellent shrubs are fast growers that quickly reach their mature size and produce thick green foliage to attract attention. Plus, they have a better cold tolerance than the other plants on this list. If you live above growing zone 5, keep your citronella indoors during the winter.
Nicknamed the mosquito plant for a reason, these compact shrubs have a natural citrus fragrance to repel mosquitoes and other flying nuisances. Their size and smell make them perfect to be placed anywhere: in the garden, on the deck, or at the kitchen window. They’ll even grow in hanging containers! Before your guests arrive, crush one of its fresh leaves to make the fragrance stronger.
4. Lemon Balm
Mosquito bites are less likely to occur in a yard full of Lemon Balm. Like the citronella plant, Lemon Balm has a strong smell due to its high levels of the chemical citronellal. It smells like lemon (go figure!) and even has a lemony flavor that bugs like mosquitoes and gnats hate.
Plant it around your porch or deck to enjoy the pleasant scent when you're outside. For extra anti-mosquito protection, you can take a couple fresh Lemon Balm leaves, crush them, and rub them on exposed skin that's often targeted by mosquitos (arms, legs, ankles, neck, etc.). However, make sure to ask your doctor first so as to avoid any allergic reactions. The effects of Lemon Balm are useful, but let's keep everyone safe!
The geranium plant isn't just beautiful—it's mosquito-repellent, too! These shrubs normally blossom in the summer, but some (like the Geranium Rozanne) even bloom until mid-fall. They grow quickly and can be planted in hanging baskets, in pots, or as garden bedding near your deck or patio.
Mosquitoes and other insects hate the flowers' sweet smell, so place them around your outdoor entertaining spaces to keep the bug bites away. It's low maintenance, deer resistant, and perfect for filling in your garden's bald spots.
6. Phenomenal Lavender
Another compact shrub to repel mosquitoes and fleas is Phenomenal Lavender. Plant it in the ground or in a container. It grows 1-3 feet tall, and 1-3 feet wide, so it can be an attractive bushy shrub if left unpruned. Along with repelling bugs, it provides a burst of color every summer when its purple flowers start to bloom.
The lavender oil found in Phenomenal Lavender is used for a variety of things, like perfumes and aromatherapy, but most importantly it will keep mosquitoes and fleas away all summer. It makes the perfect accent shrub while attracting attention to your garden.