13 Plants That Repel Mosquitoes: Keep Those Pesky Biters Away!

best plants that repel mosquitoes

Last Updated on December 10, 2023 by Kimberly Crawford

In the U.S.A., swarms of mosquitoes are particularly all over the place at the Metro Atlanta region as claimed by Orkin Pest Control.

If you’re anywhere near that region or your county is experiencing an upsurge of these potentially dangerous vampire bugs then you should try out the list of 13 different plants that repel mosquitoes! This list was taken from Natural Living Ideas and can be planted in pots or directly on your lawn.

11 Plants That Repel Mosquitoes
11 Mosquitoes Repellent Plants

1. Citronella

Citronella - Mosquitoes Repellent Plants

It makes sense to put in citronella on this list because it’s one of the most common ingredients for mosquito repellents. It’s therefore quite strange how many people are unaware of what citronella is!

It’s a rather beautiful perennial plant or clumping grass that you can plant in your garden and is known for emitting a strong aroma that the bugs stay away from.

Its aroma is capable of masking other smells, which in turn keeps mosquitoes from targeting things they’re normally attracted to.

The citronella smell is much stronger than repellents containing it as an ingredient. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to grow your own strong repellent that can grow to 5-6 feet high versus buying commercial repellents every time.

Read also: 7 plants that repel spiders

2. Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm - Mosquitoes Repellent Plants

Another effective plant for keeping mosquitoes away from turning you into a snack is lemon balm. It’s a member of the mint family and is known by other names such as bee balm and horsemint.

Beginning gardeners can easily grow this even if they lack the green thumb to do so. It’s one of the hardiest and most resilient plants out there.

Even in the shade where most plants wilt, it grows quite effectively. This is because it is fast-growing and borderline aggressive, with its growth similar to Kudzu grass or oregano.

To keep its growth from going out of control, you should have it contained within a pot. This ensures that your garden isn’t overrun by it.

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3. Catnip

Catnip - Mosquitoes Repellent Plants

If you have cats around, they should be tickled pink by the fact that the feline equivalent of marijuana is rather effective in deterring mosquitoes from invading your home and feasting on your flesh as well as their furry hides.

According to a study back in 2010, researchers discovered that catnip is 10 times more effective than DEET as a mosquito repellent.

By the way, DEET is a common bug repellent ingredient for your information. Like lemon balm, it is quite easy to grow for novice non-gardeners out there.

What’s more, your pet cats will most certainly be euphoric to have that supply of catnip around. Keep them full by pinching the growing flower buds and stems as they sprout.

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4. Marigolds

Marigolds - Mosquitoes Repellent Plants

The marigold is a hardy and bright annual plant. It’s also a topnotch choice when it comes to all-natural mosquito repelling.

This is because it contains a substance known as pyrethrum, which is found in many insect repellents. It has a unique aroma that’s repulsive to bugs. You can also plant them beside tomatoes to keep insects from eating the tomatoes up.

In regards to the flowers, they’re quite exotic and gorgeous in the eyes of many, such that they can make a great addition to your flower bed or border for your planter’s box.

They’re best used as home plant borders in order to secure the perimeter of your house and keep those bloodsucking bugs and their harmful diseases at bay.

Read also: 7 plants that repel ants

5. Basil

Basil - Mosquitoes Repellent Plants

Basil is not just an important culinary ingredient. It’s also a plant. If you’re a cook, then planting some basil will kill two birds with one stone, with one bird representing your cooking needs and the other bird representing your mosquito repelling needs. This is one of the quickest and easiest all-natural repellents for bugs out there.

Furthermore, it doesn’t hurt to have a delicious fresh herb available to you to add to your favorite recipes, particularly when you’re making pesto.

Basil comes in a multitude of varieties, so it’s encouraged that you experiment and find out which ones you like the best and grow the most easily in your particular garden. For insect deterrence, plant cinnamon basil or lemon basil. It’s one of the easiest herbs to keep alive, thankfully.

Related20+ Plants That Repel Snakes

6. Lavender

Lavender - Mosquitoes Repellent Plants

Lavender is known the world over as a stunningly attractive flowering plant with a purple plume and a scent described as soothing and calming.

However, did you know that this regular perfume ingredient is also a well-known mosquito repellent as well? This is quite encouraging, since the lavender in and of itself is always a welcome addition to any home.

Grow the lavender indoors near a sunny window. It should make for a gorgeous potted bouquet for rustic decorative settings. Keep the bugs away from within your home by doing this or you can place it at a flower bed in order to keep the bugs away from your other plants like tomatoes and potatoes. As an added bonus, lavender is a delicious herbal tea ingredient as well.

Related15 Best Plants That Repel Roaches

7. Peppermint

Peppermint - Mosquitoes Repellent Plants

The minty taste and smell of peppermint are repulsive to most bugs. Therefore, planting it in your garden makes perfect sense if you wish to turn it into a mosquito-free zone of sorts.

It should keep away all those bloodsuckers from turning it into their nesting grounds uninvited and whatnot.

You can even get a measure of bite relief in case you’ve been bitten by bugs by putting peppermint leaves on the area. Just rub it around and get a soothing sensation on the painful or itchy bite when push comes to shove.

It has a notable mint smell that should make your garden smelling quite delicious and refreshing. You can even add it to your food and drinks if you so wish.

8. Garlic

Garlic - Mosquitoes Repellent Plants

Garlic is notably stinky so it should repel quite a number of mosquitoes—as well as humans too if you have garlic breath—right?

No. Unfortunately for those who love eating Italian food that has loads of garlic, consuming garlic itself isn’t an effective mosquito repellent at all unless you eat a huge amount of it to really give yourself strong garlic breath.

The good news is that planting garlic does repel mosquitoes since it acts as a stronger source of that garlic smell everyone is familiar with.

You should add garlic in your vegetable garden or flower bed for additional protection. The planted version of garlic doesn’t only keep mosquitoes away; it can also serve as your supply for your culinary and health needs.

Related10 Plants That Repel Flies Naturally and Keep the Home Bug-Free

9. Pennyroyal

Pennyroyal - Mosquitoes Repellent Plants

Only a few people have probably heard of pennyroyal, but if you can get your hands on this plant it can serve as a natural or bug repellent when push comes to shove.

It’s quite the adorable flowering plant that you can add to your flower bed with no issues. It should blend in well with those marigolds at least.

You can depend on the pennyroyal plant as a groundcover as well because they’re quite the attractive flowers as far as butterflies are concerned. There are even cooks who use the pennyroyal to add some flavor to their fish dishes.

Research the recipe if you wish to know more about it and this unusual yet special plant that has plenty of benefits.

10. Rosemary

Rosemary - Mosquitoes Repellent Plants

Rosemary is a popular ingredient when it comes to flavoring fish or lamb dishes. Its plant form is also a popular mosquito repellent.

It deters the bugs from snacking or feasting on you because it’s so sweet-smelling, which is also certainly the case for lavender, peppermint, and lemon balm. Why should something so sweet smell so repulsive to bugs?

It’s because insects experience strong smells in ways that are different from humans. At any rate, rosemary is the perfect addition to your flowerbed or herb garden to keep the bad bugs away.

However, it’s attractive to good bugs like butterflies and the like. A few sprigs of it should add flavor to a steak dinner as well. Rosemary is a regular culinary ingredient just like garlic and basil.

11. Geraniums

Geraniums - Mosquitoes Repellent Plants

Keep the mosquitoes away from your house and your skin with this beautiful flower. The bloodsuckers should avoid your geraniums when they’re planted on a hanging container.

Its colorful blooms should then cascade over the pot’s side, thus offering a gorgeous visual while acting as a bug repellent at the same time.

The leaves of your geraniums will turn yellow and rot if you water them too much. These can tolerate huge periods of dryness or dry soil much better than dealing with long periods of wetness or wet soil. Keep the soil fairly dry and minimize moisture. Don’t water the leaves; just directly water the soil.

12. Lemongrass

4 lemongrass repel mosquitoe

This plant is another good repellent for many insects and pests like roaches, mites, fleas and mosquitoes.

It also releases a very strong smell that mosquitoes hate. This strong, concentrated smell is due to its high citral oil level (which is also the reason why it is good for a lot of soup-based dishes).

13. Sage

6 sage repel mosquitoes

It is not only good in making your dishes more aromatic, it is also very beneficial in putting those mosquitoes off.

You will need to plant them so that you will have a steady supply of sage leaves to burn in your fireplace to release that mosquito-repelling scent that it distinctly has. It is used in organic, mosquito-repellent candles.


11 Mosquitoes Repellent Plants

Mosquitoes are annoying bugs that don’t only irritate your skin with itchiness. These vampire bugs can also serve as carriers of diseases like malaria and dengue. It therefore pays to have all-natural mosquito repellents.

Just remember that you can amplify the positive effects of these repellents by breaking their leaves then rubbing the oil directly on your skin. Certain plants smell quite good too, as in the case of lavender and peppermint. Garlic stinks though so maybe you should keep it planted instead.