Nature offers us so many great natural defences to the things that bother us. There are few pests more bothersome than the hated mosquito. They drop in uninvited to our parties and try to help themselves to a drink, from us! Luckily we have a dozen options that you can grow in your garden that will help you make mosquitos buzz off. Just a reminder, like with many organic options, while effective these options will require more regular application than things like DEET.

  1. Citronella Grass (Lemongrass) – That smell that is given off when burning citronella candles or lanterns is actually the oil that naturally comes from this plant! A herbal grass that is native to Asia, it’s not only the original mosquito plant, it can be used in a ton of Asian dishes. Just be careful when handling this plant because it can cause skin irritations in some people.
  2. Ageratum – The beautiful and easy to grow bedding plant that you love for it’s blue flowers also packs a powerful repelling punch. Ageratum contains Courmarin which mosquitos can’t stand. Just be sure to leave ageratum in your pot or garden and don’t rub on your skin as it can cause irritations.
  3. Beebalm (Monarda) – An adaptable perennial that acts like an invisible shield for you. This plant gives off a strong incense-like odor that confuses mosquitoes and masks your smell. Crush the leaves to let out the fragrant oils locked inside.
  4. Catnip – You already know this plant for being popular with… cats! Less known is the oils inside catnip are high potent and proven to be 10x more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET. Best use is to crush the leaves and rub on your body to release the oils. Just remember when you use catnip you’ll be repelling mosquitos but quite popular with neighbourhood cats.
  5. Citronella Plant (Citronella Geranium or Mosquito Plant) – Widely known as the plant for keeping those pesky bloodsuckers away, this geranium has the citronella gene embedded in it to give us that lovely smell. Sadly not as effective at keeping mosquitos away when placed on your porch, if the leaves are crushed and rubbed on your skin the effectiveness goes way up. Easy care and great scent make this a popular plant to grow, just don’t be oversold on it’s potency at combatting our arch nemesis.
  6. Garlic – Not just good for keeping vampires at bay, the other bloodsucking creature we fear also isn’t a fan. You can cut up and sprinkle garlic around your yard or better yet make a garlic spray for around your yard.
  7. Lavender – It’s not just easy on the eyes, this perennial herb has a scent we love to use in soaps and shampoos but mosquitos hate it. Plant some around your outside area and you can even use the leaves to make a natural insect repellent.
  8. Lemon Basil – One of the few plants that give of scent without having to disturb or crush the leaves. Lemon basil is most potent variety along with cinnamon basil.
  9. Lemon Thyme – Another lemon scented plant makes the list. At this point you’re seeing a pattern, mosquitos don’t like the scent of lemon. Crushed up lemon thyme is about 60% off the strength of DEET, powerful stuff and a great help in keep the ‘skirters at bay. Just remember to reapply regularly.
  10. Marigold – You probably already know that most insects can’t stand the smell of marigolds, add mosquitos to that list. The distinct scent of marigolds keeps mosquitos at by and is also great in your vegetable garden as a companion plant. Grow marigolds in containers that you can move around to your seating area or plant near your outdoor area.
  11. Peppermint – The strong scent that we love to infuse in our gum, toothpastes and drinks is not popular with mosquitos. Grab a few leaves of mint, crush and rub on your body to give yourself a protective barrier.
  12. Rosemary – That’s right, the popular herb that adds big flavour to your food also keeps those little pests at bay too. It’s been used for hundreds of years for repelling mosquitos. The oil of rosemary is also potent.

If you’re going out to your garden, enjoying time on the patio or going for a walk in the woods there are several plant options you can crush and apply directly on your skin like a repellent wipe. These plants include lavender, thyme, citronella plant and catnip.