9 Best Plants to Keep Mosquitoes Away

Plants to Keep Mosquitoes Away

Ah, the great outdoors! Nothing beats the tranquility of sitting in your garden, sipping a cold drink on a warm evening. But often, this serene picture is ruined by the relentless buzzing of mosquitoes.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to keep these pesky insects at bay without resorting to sticky, smelly chemical bug sprays?

Enter the superhero plants of the natural pest control world! In this blog, we’ll dive into the best plants that not only beautify your space but are effective at repelling mosquitoes, ensuring your outdoor activities remain pleasant and itch-free.

While many of us are quick to pick up a bottle of mosquito repellent from the nearest store, there’s a greener and more fragrant way to deter these flying pests. By strategically placing certain plants around your home and garden, you can create a natural barrier that keeps mosquitoes away. Not only do these plants offer a natural mosquito control method, but they also add a lovely fragrance and aesthetic appeal to your surroundings.

Mosquito-Repelling Plant Care

Let’s explore some of the most effective botanical warriors that can help you reclaim your outdoor peace.

Best Plants to Keep Mosquitoes Away

1. Marigold

plants mosquitoes hate

Marigolds are not just pretty orange and yellow blossoms; they are also tough on mosquitoes. These vibrant flowering plants are known for their pungent smell that repels mosquitoes as well as other pests like tomato hornworms and squash bugs.

Planting marigolds around the borders of your garden or in pots near entryways can act as a natural bug barrier. Plus, they’re incredibly easy to grow and care for, making them a popular choice for both gardening novices and experts.

By incorporating marigolds into your garden, you not only add a splash of color but also keep your outdoor spaces free from mosquitoes.

Super-Power: The secret behind marigolds’ mosquito-repelling power lies in their essential oils, which are often extracted and used in various bug repellent products. Their strong scent masks the smell of carbon dioxide and lactic acid emitted by humans, which are the primary attractants for mosquitoes.

2. Lemon Grass

what plants repel mosquitoes

Lemongrass is a favorite not just in the kitchen for its culinary uses but also in the garden for keeping mosquitoes at bay.

Citronella grass requires full sun and well-draining soil to thrive, making it perfect for sunny garden spots. Besides its mosquito-repelling qualities, lemongrass can also be harvested for its stalks, which are used in Asian cuisine, offering a dual purpose—culinary and pest control. This plant is not only functional but also adds a touch of tropical flair to any garden setting.

Super-Power: This tall, perennial plant is a natural source of citronella oil, a popular ingredient in mosquito repellents. Planting lemongrass along walkways or around the patio can provide a protective shield against mosquitoes. Its lemony scent, while pleasant to us, is a strong deterrent for mosquitoes.

3. Catmint

insect repellent plants

Step aside, cats; this plant isn’t just for your feline friends! Catmint is renowned for its ability to repel mosquitoes thanks to its high nepetalactone content, which is even more effective at keeping mosquitoes away than DEET.

The lovely lavender-blue flowers and the minty fragrance make catmint a delightful addition to any garden. It’s incredibly hardy and easy to grow, thriving in less-than-ideal soil conditions.

Catmint can be used in border planting or as a ground cover, spreading its mosquito-repellent properties throughout your garden.

With catmint, you get to enjoy a buzzing garden, albeit without the mosquitoes!

Super-Power: Its robust growth and attractive flowers not only keep the mosquitoes at bay but also attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies.

4. Basil

plants to repel mosquitoes

Basil does more than just enhance the flavor of your pizzas and pastas; it also wards off mosquitoes. This herb emits a strong scent that mosquitoes find particularly offensive. Planting basil in pots on your patio or in your garden not only keeps mosquitoes away but also provides you with fresh herbs for cooking. It’s a win-win!

Different varieties of basil, including sweet basil and lemon basil, have varying levels of effectiveness,but all are known for their mosquito-repellent properties.

Super-Power: Besides its culinary uses, basil’s strong aroma masks other attractants to mosquitoes, making it an excellent choice for natural mosquito control. Keep a few pots around, and you’ll notice a significant reduction in these pesky insects.

5. Rosemary

plants to repel mosquitoes

Rosemary is another culinary herb that doubles as a mosquito repellent. Its woody scent is something mosquitoes are definitely not fans of.

The essential oils within rosemary can also be used to make natural mosquito repellent sprays. Plus, it’s perfect for adding a flavorful twist to meats and vegetables on the grill.

So, next time you’re firing up the BBQ, have some rosemary nearby to keep the mosquitoes away while you cook.

Super-Power: This hardy perennial is ideal for dry climates and thrives in containers, making it suitable for different garden settings. Plant rosemary in your garden or keep potted plants on your porch to enjoy its aromatic benefits.

6. Mint

plants that keep mosquitoes away

Mint is not only refreshing in drinks and desserts but also acts as a strong mosquito repellent.

Its vigorous growth makes it easy to maintain, though it’s best kept in pots to prevent it from overtaking other plants in your garden.

Whether it’s peppermint, spearmint, or any other variety, mint plants are effective at keeping mosquitoes at bay. You can even crush the leaves to extract the oil and apply it as a natural mosquito repellent. Plus, having fresh mint on hand is always great for impromptu mojitos!

Super-Power: The strong, minty aroma repels mosquitoes and can be intensified by rubbing the leaves to release more of its essential oils.

7. Allium

mosquito plants

Alliums, with their globe-like flowers, are not only a stunning addition to any garden but are also excellent at deterring mosquitoes.

These plants belong to the onion family and are effective against a wide range of insects, including mosquitoes, aphids, and even carrot flies.

Tall and majestic, alliums can add architectural interest to your garden. They are perennials, so they’ll come back year after year, providing long-lasting mosquito control and aesthetic appeal. Whether you choose giant alliums or the more subdued chives, they are sure to enhance your garden while keeping those pesky mosquitoes away.

Super-Power: Their strong smell is what keeps the pests at bay, making them ideal for planting in vegetable gardens and flower beds.

8. Geranium

plants that repel mosquitoes

Scented geraniums, particularly the lemon-scented variety, are another excellent choice for a mosquito-repellent garden. These plants are often confused with citronella grass due to their similar lemony scent, which is effective at repelling mosquitoes.

Geraniums need regular watering and prefer sunny spots. Their beautiful blooms and citrusy aroma make them a dual-threat—decorative and functional. Keep them near your most-used outdoor areas to repel mosquitoes and enjoy their colorful display all season long.

Super-Power: They thrive in pots and hanging baskets, making them versatile for various garden styles and sizes.

9. Catnip

bug repellent plants

Catnip is arguably one of the most potent mosquito-repellent plants, outperforming even commercial repellents in some studies.

This easy-to-grow herb emits a scent that mosquitoes find extremely unappealing. Planting catnip around your yard can significantly reduce the mosquito population. Just be prepared for the neighborhood cats who might also be attracted to your garden!

Simply steep the leaves in boiling water, strain the mixture, and spray it around your outdoor areas. Not only is this an effective way to keep mosquitoes away, but it’s also completely safe for the environment.

Super-Power: In addition to its mosquito-repellent properties, catnip can be used to create a natural bug spray.


Embracing plant-based solutions for mosquito control not only enhances your garden’s beauty and biodiversity but also reduces your exposure to harmful chemicals.

By incorporating these plants into your outdoor space, you engage in a more natural, safer approach to keeping mosquitoes away. Whether you choose marigolds for their brightness, basil for its culinary uses, or catnip for its superior repellent properties, each plant offers a unique blend of benefits and protection.

Remember, the more pungent the aroma, the better the mosquito-repelling ability. So, start planting and enjoy your outdoor moments without the buzz and bother of mosquitoes!

Johan Perez
Johan Perez is an experienced agriculturalist with over twenty years in the field. He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Sciences and has contributed extensively to research on sustainable farming practices. Johan has also written for numerous agricultural periodicals, offering expert advice on farming technologies and methods. In his free time, he enjoys outdoor adventures, which often inform his professional insights into ecological agriculture.

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