What Plants Repel Mosquitoes? 5 Plants Your Garden Needs


Did you know you can plant lavender, Marigold flowers, Citronella grass, and catmint to naturally repel Mosquitoes?

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Welcome to the green side of defense against one of summer’s most persistent foes – mosquitoes. As we embrace the summer heat and long for those serene evening moments outdoors, these unwelcome guests often have other plans. But what if I told you that your garden could be your shield?

This blog unveils the best thing in natural mosquito repellent! Say goodbye to mosquito bites and hello to lush, fragrant plants that are nature’s own repellents! We’re diving into the world of botanical warriors – beautiful plants that add beauty to your spaces and also work tirelessly as backyard mosquito repellents. From the fragrant lavender with its strong smell to the robust marigolds, transform your outdoor areas into a mosquito-free zone, all while embracing the power of nature’s natural ingredients.

My Top Picks: Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

Keep reading to discover how these plants can naturally enhance your living space and keep those pesky mosquitoes at bay.

How Do Plants Have the Power to Repel?

When delving into the world of mosquito-repelling plants, it’s essential to recognize key features and aspects that contribute to their effectiveness. It’s not just about picking any plant that’s labeled as a mosquito deterrent; it’s about understanding the traits that enhance their repelling powers. Here is what I’ve considered in these reviews:

  • Scent Strength: Mosquitoes rely heavily on their sense of smell to find their next meal. Plants with a strong fragrance, such as citronella, lavender, and catmint, can mask other attractants, making it harder for mosquitoes to land their bite.
  • Oils and Compounds: Certain plants produce natural oils and compounds like pyrethrum and citronella, which are proven to repel mosquitoes. Not every pretty flower has what it takes; we’ve selected ones that pack a punch.
  • Growth Conditions: A plant’s mosquito-repelling ability can be influenced by its growing conditions. I’ve focused on plants that are adaptable to a range of environments and are easy for most gardeners to grow.
  • Perennials vs. Annuals: The longevity of your mosquito-repellent plants matters. Perennials offer lasting protection, while annuals may need to be replaced each year. In our recommendations, we’ve highlighted the plants that provide lasting benefits.
  • Maintenance and Care: High-maintenance plants are not always practical. The ideal mosquito-repelling plant should be one that demands minimal care, allowing you to enjoy your mosquito-free garden with ease.

The Best Mosquitoes Repelling Plant Roundup


The lavender is a formidable foe against pesky mosquitoes due to the potent essential oils it contains. These oils confuse mosquitoes by masking the scents that they find attractive, essentially hindering their ability to locate us. As an added benefit, the lavender’s delightful fragrance and striking purple blooms contribute to the overall aesthetics of any garden, making it a sensory feast for homeowners but a repellent to unwanted insects.

  • Pros: One of the most significant advantages of lavender is its drought resistance, making it ideal for gardeners concerned with water conservation. Additionally, it adds an appealing visual and olfactory layer to your outdoor space.
  • Cons: Although this plant is hardy, it still requires specific conditions to thrive—full sun and well-drained soil are non-negotiable. Without these, the plant’s health and mosquito-repelling capabilities may be compromised.

a bunch of Marigold Flowers outside

Marigold Flowers

In my experience with nurturing a variety of plants, marigold flowers stand out not just for their joyous bursts of color but for their practicality too. Their inherent aroma, which comes from an ingredient called pyrethrum, is a common element in insect repellents, proving its efficacy in keeping mosquitoes at bay. This attribute makes marigolds an excellent choice for placing near areas where people gather, such as patios and doorways, to serve as a living insect deterrent.

  • Pros: Marigolds offer remarkable versatility in planting. They can flourish in pots, borders, or interspersed among other flora, effortlessly becoming a part of any garden ensemble. Beyond repelling mosquitoes, they are a natural pest deterrent for common garden nuisances such as aphids and whiteflies, contributing to healthier growth for surrounding plants.
  • Cons: Vigilance is key with marigolds; they can be quite vigorous and may spread more than desired if not regularly pruned and maintained. Their hardiness is a double-edged sword, requiring a gardener’s careful oversight to prevent them from taking over other areas of the garden.

Citronella Grass

From my gardening endeavours, I have found that few plants are as synonymous with mosquito repellency as citronella grass. This robust, clump-forming perennial is the botanical cornerstone behind many commercial mosquito repellants—and for good reason. When grown in its natural form, citronella grass releases an unmistakable aroma that effectively masks other attractants to mosquitoes, providing a protective shield for nearby spaces.

  • Pros: One of the most striking benefits of citronella grass is its high natural concentration of mosquito-repelling oil. Moreover, it can serve an ornamental purpose with its lush, fountain-like appearance, adding movement and tropical flair to your garden’s aesthetic.
  • Cons: Citronella grass requires ample space to grow and achieve its full potential as a repellent. It also prefers lots of sunlight, so it’s best reserved for gardeners with plenty of sunny outdoor spaces. Additionally, in colder climates, it must be treated as an annual or moved indoors to survive the winter.


Having added catmint to my botanical arsenal, I’ve been impressed by its exceptional repellent properties. Research has shown that catmint is potentially more effective than DEET, one of the most common chemicals in bug sprays. The variety offers a sprawling coverage of soft, lavender-blue flowers, which not only makes it visually appealing but provides a steady fortress against mosquito invasions.

  • Pros: What makes catmint a particularly appealing choice for gardeners is its ease of maintenance and hardiness. It withstands a variety of environmental conditions and is impressively robust in its growth, leaving little room for weeds to settle in.
  • Cons: However, this same robustness can be a drawback. If left untended, catmint can spread extensively and may require frequent pruning to keep it in bounds. It’s essential to plan for its vigor to ensure it complements rather than competes with your garden design.

backyard of a house filled with marigold flowers

Buying Guide

When selecting plants for mosquito repellence, consider:

  • Your Space: Match the plant to the location for optimal growth and mosquito-repelling efficacy.
  • Care and Maintenance: Some plants, like ‘Sweet Romance’® lavender, thrive in full sun and well-drained soil, while others like marigold flowers are more adaptable.
  • Form and Function: Choose between seedlings, potted plants, or seeds based on your needs.
  • Complementary Aesthetics: Many mosquito-repelling plants offer beautiful blooms and pleasant fragrances, enhancing the aesthetics of your space.
  • Multipurpose Plants: Plants like rosemary and basil offer culinary uses and health benefits alongside mosquito repellence.
  • Local Regulations and Environmental Impact: Choose environmentally friendly plants that comply with local regulations.


Here is a great list of plants that are also great as an insect repellant:

  • Rosemary Plants: This aromatic herb is effective against mosquitoes and great for cooking.
  • Basil: Its potent aroma makes it a natural pest deterrent.
  • Scented Geraniums: Known for their lemony scent, these are effective in repelling mosquitoes.
  • Bee Balm: Attracts pollinators while keeping mosquitoes away.
  • Mint: Its strong scent is excellent at repelling mosquitoes. Plant in pots to control its spread. Mint is truly one of the best plants, but sometimes can be considered an invasive species because it is an aggressive grower.

Natural is always better than commercial mosquito repellents. Other natural alternatives include citronella torches and essential oils. Maintain good mosquito control practices like removing standing or stagnant water and keeping your garden tidy.

Aside from plants, there are additional natural alternatives to keep mosquitoes from spoiling your outdoor experience. Citronella torches can provide ambient lighting while emitting a mosquito-repelling scent. Similarly, essential oils derived from many of the plants mentioned can be used in diffusers or applied topically after proper dilution to keep the pests away.


With the information provided, it’s clear that selecting the right plants to repel mosquitoes can be both effective and add charm to your living space. My top product recommendations are Lavender, Marigold Flowers, Citronella Grass, and Catmint for creating a mosquito-free environment.

  • Citronella is a standout choice for its mosquito-repelling properties and strong scent.
  • Lavender not only repels mosquitoes but also adds a delightful fragrance and aesthetic appeal.
  • Marigolds offer dual benefits as pest deterrents and their color flowers bring vibrant additions to any garden.
  • For cooking enthusiasts, Rosemary and Basil are both aromatic and effective against mosquitoes.
  • Catmint surpasses DEET in effectiveness, making it a powerful ally in your garden.
  • Incorporating these plants into your space can significantly reduce the presence of mosquitoes.
  • Remember to maintain good mosquito control practices alongside planting these botanicals.

Plants That Repel Mosquitoes FAQs

Do these mosquito-repelling plants really work?

Yes, the plants mentioned such as citronella grass, lavender, and marigolds have been proven to have mosquito-repelling properties. They produce natural oils and strong aroma or scents that deter mosquitoes by masking the attractants that lure them or by directly repelling them with the scent.

How should I arrange these common garden plants to maximize their mosquito-repelling effects?

To maximize the mosquito-repelling effects, it’s best to position the plants in areas where you spend the most time outdoors, such as around seating areas, doorways, and windows. Additionally, clumping them together can create a stronger scent barrier against mosquitoes.

Can I use these plants indoors to repel mosquitoes?

While these plants are most effective outdoors, some like lavender and rosemary can be used indoors as well. Place them near open windows or in rooms that tend to attract mosquitoes. However, ensure they have adequate sunlight and air circulation to remain healthy and effective.

How often do I need to water and maintain these plants?

Watering and maintenance depend on the specific plant variety. Typically, these plants prefer well-draining soil and should not be overwatered. Check the soil moisture regularly, and water them according to their individual needs. Trimming and occasionally replacing the plants will keep them healthy and effective at repelling mosquitoes.

Are there any safety concerns for pets with these mosquito-repelling plants?

Most mosquito-repelling plants are safe for pets, but certain varieties like certain geraniums and members of the mint family can be harmful if ingested in large quantities. Always check if a plant is safe for your specific pets before integrating it into your home or garden.

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