|If you are a serious gardener, you spend lots of time outdoors. And, for sure, you would
rather be tending your plants than swatting mosquitoes.
While there are many things you can do to keep mosquitoes away, there are some 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
Horsemint has a scent similar to citronella. Horsemint grows wild in most of the Eastern
United States, from Mexico, Texas up to Minnesota to Vermont. It is partial to sandy
soils and will grow in USDA Zones 5-10. 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.
This wonderful herb we use for seasoning is also a great, natural mosquito repellant. It
has 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 does not grow, you can get a good quality rosemary
essential oil; mix 4 drops with ¼ cup olive oil. Store in a cool, dry place. When it comes
to fresh plant oils as natural mosquito repellants, there is every reason to have the plant in
your yard, if they will grow in your area. It is an inexpensive and attractive way to boost
the appearance of the landscape and have natural mosquito repellants on hand as well.
Organic gardeners have used marigolds as companion plants to keep aphids away.
Mosquitoes don't like its scent any better (and some humans feel the same way).
Marigolds are sun-loving annuals that come in a variety of shapes and sizes for almost
any landscape. They are quite easy to grow from seed.
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.
Don't rub ageratum on your skin, though. It has some other less desirable elements that
you don't want to keep on your skin in quantity. Ageratums are annuals, and the come in
a muted blue and white that compliments most other plantings.
There are two types of plants that are called mosquito plants. One is a member of the
geranium family that was genetically engineered to incorporate the properties of
citronella. Citronella only grows in tropical places, but it is a well known repellant for
mosquitoes. This plant was created to bring the repellant properties of citronella into a
hardier plant. It will grow where any geranium will thrive. Many have questioned its
usefulness as a mosquito repellant, but it is attractive enough to warrant planting for it's
The other kind of mosquito plant is agastache cana. Its common names include Texas
hummingbird mint, bubblegum mint, giant hyssop, or giant hummingbird mint. As you
might guess, hummingbirds are quite attracted to it.
It is 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 aroma when crushed. In its native habitat, it
is perennial, and is usually hardy in USDA Zones 5a-9a. It blooms late summer to early
fall, so it catches hummingbirds on their annual migration. The long, medium pink
flowers reel in butterflies as well.
One of the most powerful mosquito repellant plants is ordinary catnip. Recent studies
have shown that it is ten times more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes. It is a
short lived perennial throughout most of the United States. It is easy to grow from seed,
and quickly reseeds. Aside from its intoxicating effects on cats, the leaves make a very
With all of these plants, the leaves must be crushed to release the aroma. Otherwise
mosquitoes can't smell them. And, with rosemary and catnip, you can simply crush a few
leaves and rub on your skin and clothing to enhance the effect.
So, next time you are revising your plantings, consider using some of these attractive
plants to do more than just enhance the landscape. You can have pretty ornamentals that
also drive mosquitoes away.
About the Author
Scottie Johnson is a life long mosquito warrior and freelance writer dedicated to
eliminating mosquitoes from your life. She is also an organic gardener. For more
information about mosquito control in your home and yard, visit her website at
http://www.mosquito-kill-net.com/mosquito-plants.html Copyright 2004 All rights reserved.
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