Plants that repel mosquitoes

Mosquito Female Aedes Albopictus Human Blo

If you are a serious gardener, you spend a great deal of time outdoors.

While there are many things you can do to keep mosquitoes away, there are a few plants that will beautify your yard and help repel mosquitoes.

As one more way to keep mosquitoes away from you and your yard, try planting these attractive plants.

HORSEMINT

Native Americans used it as a treatment for colds and flu. It has natural fungicidal and bacterial retardant properties because it’s essential oils are high in thymol.

ROSEMARY

This terrific herb we use for seasoning is also a fantastic, natural mosquito repellant. It’s been used for centuries to keep pesky mosquitoes away. Rosemary is a native of the Mediterranean, so it likes hot, dry weather and well-drained soil. It is hardy in USDA zones 8-10, and must be grown as a pot plant in colder climates. If you happen to live in a part of the country where rosemary doesn’t grow, you can get a good quality rosemary essential oil; mix 4 drops with 1/4 cup olive oil. Store in a cool, dry place. When it comes to fresh plant oils as natural mosquito repellants, there’s every reason to have the plant in your yard, if they will grow in your region. It is an inexpensive and attractive way to increase the appearance of the landscape and have natural mosquito repellants available as well.

MARIGOLDS

Mosquitoes do not like its scent any better (and some humans feel the exact same way). Marigolds are sun-loving annuals that come in a number of sizes and shapes for almost any landscape.

AGERATUM

This charming little bedding plant contains coumarin, and mosquitoes detest the smell. It is used in the perfume industry and is even in some commercial mosquito repellants. Do not rub ageratum on skin, though. It has some other less desirable elements that you don’t want to keep in your skin in volume. Ageratums are annuals, and the come in a muted blue and white that compliments most other plantings.

MOSQUITO PLANTS

There are two types of plants that are known as mosquito plants. One is a member of the geranium family which was genetically engineered to incorporate the properties of citronella. Citronella only grows in tropical areas, but it’s a well known repellant for mosquitoes. This plant was created to bring the repellant properties of citronella to a hardier plant. It will grow where any geranium will flourish. Many have questioned its usefulness as a mosquito repellant, but it is attractive enough to warrant planting for it’s ornamental value.

The other type of mosquito plant is agastache cana. As you may guess, hummingbirds are quite attracted to it.

It’s a New Mexico native, also found in parts of Texas. It is, in fact, a member of the mint family and its leaves do have a pungent odor when crushed. In its native habitat, it is perennial, and is generally hardy in USDA Zones 5a-9a. It blooms late summer to early autumn, so it grabs hummingbirds on their annual migration. The long, medium pink flowers reel in butterflies also.

CATNIP

One of the most effective mosquito repellant plants is ordinary catnip. Recent studies have shown that it is ten times more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes. It’s a short lived perennial throughout most of the United States. It’s easy to grow from seed, and quickly reseeds.

With all these plants, the leaves must be crushed to release the aroma. Otherwise mosquitoes can not smell them. And, with rosemary and catnip, you can simply crush a few leaves and rub on your skin and clothing to enhance the result.

So, next time you’re revising your plantings, consider using some of these attractive plants to do more than just enhance the landscape. You can have pretty ornamentals for Critter Control and drive mosquitoes away.

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