Long summer days bring lots of outside time - but what do you do when your backyard is infested with mosquitoes and you can’t enjoy five minutes outside without finding yourself covered in bug bites?
There are yard treatments that can help repel mosquitoes, but the added chemicals aren’t desirable and can be dangerous to pets or young children. A more natural way to repel the pesky mosquitoes that show up in your backyard every summer is to scatter mosquito-repelling plants around your yard to fend them off.
Thankfully, many mosquito-repelling plants also have other great qualities like repelling other pests, attracting pollinating insects, and many can even be used in the kitchen as well! Here are our 10 favorite plants that will help keep the mosquitoes away from your family this summer.
10 Plants that Repel Mosquitos
Citronella. One of the most popular and well-known plants for repelling mosquitoes, citronella works best when the leaves are gently rubbed to help release the oils inside of them (the oils can be rubbed on the skin for an even more effective repellent). Citronella is closely related to lemongrass, and is very easy to care for.
Rosemary. Rosemary is considered an evergreen shrub and is a fast-growing plant that flowers during the spring and summer months. It does well in both containers and in the garden, and is very fragrant.
Lavender. Lavender is in the mint family and is an easy-to-care for perennial that loves full sun. It has a beautiful scent and can be dried to use in potpourri or other arrangements around your home.
Basil. This fragrant herb can be treated as a perennial if you live in an area that doesn’t freeze over the winter. It’s great for cooking with and repelling mosquitoes. Be sure to keep your basil pruned - once it begins to flower the growth can stop, so you need to pay close attention to ensure it continues to grow.
Lemongrass. This plant not only repels mosquitos and other bugs, but it smells delicious as well! It can be used in cooking and is easily frozen, making it a great double-duty plant. This plant can be quite invasive and may take over your lawn, so plant in a container if you’re concerned about it.
Garlic. Growing garlic in your garden should help repel some of those pesky mosquitoes in your backyard. You can even purchase bug sprays for the yard that contain garlic in them, and some people swear that simply eating more garlic will reduce your appeal to mosquitoes!
Marigolds. These bright and sunny flowers are great at repelling all kinds of bugs - it’s often recommended to use them in your garden to prevent insect infestations. They love a lot of sun, so be sure to plant them in a place where they’ll get plenty of it.
Catnip. This plant is somewhat famous for being a favorite of cats, but it’s also great for repelling mosquitoes, flies, and deer and is also drought-tolerant.
Ageratum. Also known as Whiteweed, this perennial plant both repels mosquitoes (and deer) and attracts bees and other pollinating insects. It’s a powerhouse in the garden and is a great addition to any backyard.
Lemon Balm. This plant is in the mint family and can be treated as either an annual or a perennial depending on what gardening zone you live in (it will not survive freezing climates). It grows quickly and can spread very rapidly, so it may be best to use a container for this plant. It is deer resistant and attracts pollinating insects - it can also be used as an herb in drinks, salads, and more.
What mosquito-repelling plants have you tried in your yard?