Mosquitoes can be a HUGE nuisance when enjoying the outdoors. If you are like me you perhaps don't want to continue to keep spraying yourself and your family with chemicals. The toxins keep the mosquitoes away, but may not be that great for us to use for prolonged periods of time.
There are ways to keep the mosquitoes at bay that won’t burn your lungs and lead you to shower twice a day. I really considered my plantings this summer and decided to have them work double duty for me.I wanted pretty containers on my deck and I also wanted to deter those pesky mosquitoes.
We live next to a forest preserve and across the street there is a creek that runs right alongside several ponds. A haven for mosquitoes. These mosquitoes love my fully shaded back yard and they love my kids even more.
My planters are full of leaves that we can grab, crush and rub along our arms and legs. Below is a collection of plants that repel mosquitoes – naturally!
- Citronella – a tall plant and the source for citronella oil. Citronella is a beautiful perennial clumping grass that emits a strong aroma. Citronella is very easy to grow, and can get to be a very tall – 5 or 6 feet high! You can grow citronella in pots and place it around a porch or patio, or you can plant it directly in a yard or garden bed.
- Lemon Balm – a member of the mint family, the plant also known as horsemint and beebalm is a very easy plant for beginning gardeners to grow – even if you don’t have a green thumb! Lemon Balm is a very hardy plant, it resists drought, and it grows well even in shade. It is a very fast growing and sometimes aggressive plant, so you might want to contain it to a pot.
- Peppermint – biting bugs don’t like the scent of peppermint, so you can crush up the leaves and rub it on your skin to ward them off
- Creeping Thyme – great as as ground cover or for a trailing element to a container planting
- Basil – many expert gardeners recommend trying lemon basil or cinnamon basil to deter insects
- Rosemary – flowering plant that is often used to flavor lamb, fish and potato dishes, but crush a few stems when outdoors to keep the bugs at bay
- Marigolds – they contain Pyrethrum, an ingredient found in many insect repellents, and they have a unique aroma which bugs find repulsive. The flowers themselves are beautiful and can make a great border or addition to any flower bed. Try placing them around borders of your home, and mosquitoes might not want to cross over!
- Lavender – this beautiful flowering herb gives off a pleasant aroma that is calming to humans yet repels mosquitoes
My containers are protecting my family from bites this summer. I think I might even fill a few more pots with the citronella so I don't run out.