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15 Aromatic Plants that Help Keep Mosquitos Away

Geranium plant.

The other night I was at the playground with my kids. It was one of the first warm evenings of the year so it felt fabulous to be outside in the evening. While observing my 2 year old son climb and slide, I looked down at my legs and counted 8 mosquitoes on my legs below the knees. That started a slapping event keeping them away. I ended up with a few bites that night, but it’s nothing like the damage mosquitos can cause in other parts of the world.

Mosquitoes bring deadly diseases like dengue fever, chikungunya, and yellow fever. To solve such problems, we most likely prefer mosquito sprays and coils that usually contain toxic compounds like allerthin, permathrin, and esbiothrinm, which are harmful to our health.

While it’s rare those deadly diseases happen in North America or Europe, mosquitos are pesky insects that we’d simply prefer not to get eaten by them.

The good news is, you can prevent and overcome such problems by growing plants at your home that are known and proven to be effective for their mosquito repellent properties. It’s a great natural way that will help in keeping you and your family safe from the annoying mosquito bites while spreading pleasant fragrance in the garden and inside your home.

Include these 12 aromatic plants in your garden, give up harmful chemical mosquito repellents and enjoy a much more calming and relaxing home free from the nasty mosquitoes. I should have had one of these hanging in a pot around my waste while out at the playground with my kids.

1. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus plant.

Eucalyptus is known as a biopesticide that contains globulol, cuminal aldehyde and cineole compounds and helps repel mosquitoes. Plants that have aromatic leaves are utilized in herbal preparation. If you wish to grow it indoors, opt for a small eucalyptus variety.

2. Geranium

Geranium plant.

Geraniums are scented plants that are also popular for repelling mosquitoes and are recommended by most gardening sites and gardeners themselves. The most effective type of geranium is the lemon scented because of its similarity to citronella. It is one of the best to keep nasty pests away. This type of plant also has gorgeous blooms, which can be used for a decorative piece that is incredibly attractive.

3. Rosemary

Rosemary plant.

Rosemary is quite another gorgeous bloom and is most known for its use in flavor dishes, but not only that, it can also be used as a great repellent for mosquitoes. Whether you want to keep this plant inside your home or outdoors, make sure that it gets full sun. If you want to use it as a repellent, both the cuttings from it and the live plant are very effective for driving the annoying disease-carrying insects away.

4. Pennyroyal

Pennyroyal plant.

Another popular natural insect repellent plant that is very effective for battling mosquitoes is the pennyroyal. Plant it outdoors, preferably around your house. It will help keep the pests away. Indoors, you can keep a fresh pennyroyal in a vase in a room, it can kill mosquitoes that are in the area and keep potential newcomers away. Another way is to keep crushed pennyroyal stems in your pockets when you feel like you’re going to be exposed, this guarantees that you’ll keep the bugs away.

5. Garlic

Garlic plant.

Garlic is known as a natural bug repellent in a lot of ways. One way is to mix garlic with natural aromatic oils to make mosquito repelling body sprays. Another way is to cut garlic, produce a fine powder and sprinkle it around your house.

6. Peppermint

Peppermint plant.

This type of plant is a hybrid mint, which can be easily available around the world. It grows up to 30-90 centimeters tall with smooth stems, square in cross-section and typically thrives in moist areas. Mints grow in any soil type at 60-80 F temperature as well as in cool weather conditions. When peppermint grows, it spreads fragrance and keeps pests away. The extracted peppermint oil has carboxyl esters and high menthol content that effectively works as mosquito repellent and calms your body and senses.

7. Lavender

Lavender plant.

Lavender has sweet, floral, fresh and herbaceous aroma. It is used as a natural repellent for mosquitoes. The pleasant scent of lavender is offensive to insects, especially mosquitoes. Plant it in pots situated near doors and windows or in the garden to best harness it. Apart from that, the fabulous aroma of lavender helps as well in promoting a calming and relaxing sensation.

8. Basil

Basil plant.

Known for its strong scent, the basil herb makes a great natural repellent for mosquitoes. It gives off a scent even without crushing or touching its leaves. It is found that essential oils from basil (Ocimum) provided high mosquito protection levels to as much as 100 percent, according to a 2011 study published in the Malaria Journal. You can grow basil in pots or place it in your garden to keep the insects away. You can rub a handful of basil leaves onto your skin or exposed area to keep the annoying insects away from you.

9. Marigolds

Marigolds plant.

Marigolds are mostly seen in summer as they thrive in humid conditions and in full sun with reasonably fertile soil. This plant has pyrethrum, a compound used in many bug repellents. Pyrethrum is a natural insect repellent made from heads of the flower. The aroma that it produces is offensive to mosquitoes, which keeps them away from entering your house.

10. Catnip

Catnip plant.

Catnips have a characteristic scent that is ten times more effective mosquito repellent than other types of plants. You can plant it in a shaded area or a sunny area and in alkaline soil. Rub the crushed catnip petals onto your skin or exposed area. It also has a compound called Nepetalactone, which keeps insects away.

11. Lemon Balm

Lemon balm plant.

Lemon balm’s green leaves have the aroma of lemon with a hint of mint, in short, it belongs to the mint family. It is not only known for its healing properties, it is popular for warding off insects while as well attracting necessary pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Quick tip: Crush a handful of lemon balm leaves in your hand and rub them into the exposed are of the skin.

12. Citronella Grass

Citronella grass plant.

Officially known as the citrosum plant, citronella can be grown in your garden or yard for insect control. It carries the citronella fragrance in its foliage. When its leaves are crushed and rubbed into your skin, the scent is really pleasant plus it helps to naturally keep the mosquitoes away.

Start growing these 12 fragrant plants in your garden or in containers. They will surely add beauty to your garden and keep the annoying mosquitoes and other bugs away—as a bonus, your whole family’s health will be improved.

Chart setting out 15 plants that repel mosquitoes

Source: ProFlowers

13. Bee Palm

Bee Balm.

The bee balm plant, also known by its botanical name of Monarda is a native in North America that enjoys woodland surroundings. This plant is a great addition if you’re looking to add color in your garden.

14. Floss Flower

Floss flower.

Ageratum houstonianum, commonly known as Floss Flower is a Mexican native, which blooms from late spring through summer. It adds a desirable blue flower color to the garden while being a good mosquito repellent plant.

15. Lemongrass


Lemongrass is a tall, perennial grass that is native to tropical and sub-tropical climates of Africa, Australia and Asia. India is the best and highest producer of lemongrass.

16. Sage

Sage plant.

Garden Sage or Salvia Officinalis is native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean region but strives in warmer climates. This plant have many benefits, as it can cure numbers of illness and can be used in cooking.

Inspiration for this post: Natural Living Ideas (with permission).