If you’re tired of dealing with pesky mosquitoes and other annoying bugs, why not turn to nature for a solution? There are several plants you can add to your garden or patio that act as natural bug and mosquito repellents. Not only will these plants help keep bugs away, but they also add beauty and fragrance to your outdoor space. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best mosquito repellent plants.
Lavender is not only a beautiful and aromatic plant, but it also acts as a natural bug repellent. The strong scent of lavender is disliked by many insects, including mosquitoes. Plant lavender in pots or in your garden to enjoy its fragrance and keep bugs away. Bonus: lavender attracts bees and butterflies, making it a great addition to any pollinator garden.
While we all love the smell of basil, mosquitoes, moths, and flies are not fans. Use basil to repel flies and moths in your garden, and crush leaves and rub on your skin while your working in the garden as a mosquito repellent!
This plant comes in many varieties, and it makes a wonderful ground cover for dry, rocky areas. Thyme certainly earns its reputation as a mosquito repellent plant.
Herb Seed “Bomb”
Our Herb Seed “Bomb” makes everyone a gardener. Simply unwrap, place in the ground, and watch it grow!
Keep the bugs at bay and pluck herbs from your garden for fresh mint tea or mojitos!
Mint, lemon basil, thyme, and lavender.
Mint is another natural bug repellent, but one that you should use with care because it spreads aggressively and may take over a planting. Plant it in pots and place it near doorways.
This beautiful grassy plant is packed with citronella, which is one of the best-known alternatives to synthetic repellents like DEET. Crush the leaves and rub on the skin (test a small area first).
This member of the onion family is known for tall spikes that produce gigantic balls of purple flowers (although there are also smaller varieties). Alliums are one of the best defenses against a variety of pests, including cabbage worms, aphids, carrot flies, and slugs, as they dislike the smell.
Use these flowers as a border planting around your home to keep out bedbugs, fleas, lice, roaches, ants, and more. These plants contain naturally-occurring pyrethrin, an insecticide. They repel ticks, spider mites, Japanese beetles, and other garden pests. Try making this DIY pest spray!
Known for their many colors and a profusion of flowers, petunias help repel leafhoppers, squash bugs, tomato hornworms, and aphids—simply plant near brassicas (cruciferous veggies), beans, basil, tomatoes, grapes, corn, and peppers. Roses also do well when this natural insect deterrent is planted nearby.
The marigold is one of the most well-known insect-repelling plants and with good reason — they have a scent that will keep pests like mosquitoes, nematodes like cabbage worms, and other pests away. Plant marigolds to attract beneficial insects that attack and kill aphids. Ladybugs are especially fond of aphids.
10. Mosquito Plant
Mosquito Plant (citrosa geraniums or Pelargonium citrosum) is an attractive tropical plant with lacy green foliage and beautiful flowers and a member of the geranium family. It is prized for its citrus aroma that comes from the oils in the foliage. They’re certainly beautiful plants to grow in the backyard, but if you’re planting them because of the promise of fewer bugs flying around your yard, you’ll have to crush the leaves to obtain any bug-repelling properties. Unfortunately, the effects are not very long-lasting—only for about 30 minutes.
Remember, these plants are not a foolproof solution and may not completely eliminate mosquitoes and bugs. However, they can certainly help reduce their presence and create a more pleasant outdoor environment. Combine these mosquito repellent plants with other preventive measures, such as removing standing water and using screens on windows, for optimal bug protection.
Be sure to check out Farmers’ Almanac’s Gardening By the Moon calendar to pick the best days to plant!
Amber Kanuckel is a freelance writer from rural Ohio who loves all things outdoors. She specializes in home, garden, environmental, and green living topics.