Though small, mosquitoes are indeed annoying creatures. There are better ways to get rid of those little creatures than toxic chemicals or futile clapping! An easy and environment-friendly way to get rid of mosquitoes, is with the help of plants that repel these bugs. Plants have innumerable uses, and all of us are well-versed with them. But, there is one use of plants which very few of us know, which is, some plants have the property of being mosquito repellents. Given below, are some of these mosquito repellent floras.
This plant is so famous for deterring mosquitoes, that it is known as the mosquito plant! Pelargonium citrosum is the botanical name for this plant. It grows to a height of two feet, and blooms annually. The flowers of citronella plant are lavender in color. It requires warm weather to grow, so you need to protect it from frost. Plant it after the frost season, and bring it indoors during the frost season. Citronella plant is also used to make oil, which is used in perfumes and other herbal products. However, you may want to reconsider planting Citronella in your garden if you have a feline pet, as Citronella oil also repel cats!
Next on the mosquito repelling plants list, is rosemary. Rosemary is a shrub, but larger than the usual shrubs we see. It grows 4-5 feet tall, and has blue flowers. Rosemary grows really fast, and is known to be a drought-tolerant shrub. This leaves of the rosemary plant is also used for culinary purposes. So, planting it will surely serve multiple purposes.
You might already have marigolds in your garden, but did you know that they repel mosquitoes? Marigolds owe their mosquito repellent properties to their peculiar smell! There are two types of marigolds - the African and the French, and both have the property to repel mosquito. This plant grows 6 inches to 3 feet tall. They have to be grown in sunny areas, as their growth is slowed down when planted in the shade.
The green color of lemongrass will not only make your patio look bright and full of life, but this plant will also ward off mosquitoes. Lemongrass contains citronella oil, which is known for its bug repellent property. Lemongrass is found mainly in India. It is a perennial plant which grows up to two feet tall and requires a warm climate. Lemongrass oil is used as a pesticide, and as a preservative.
Our next pick is lavender, which belongs to the family of Lamiaceae. Known for increasing the beauty of one's garden, this plant also happens to be a mosquito repellent. Growing lavender plants is considered an easy job. This means, you won't have any difficulty while planting it. It grows up to 4 feet tall, and requires a sunny climate. Caring for lavender is easy as it hardly requires any attention.
Botanically called nepeta cataria, the catnip plant contains nepetalactone, which has recently been declared as an insect repellent. Catnip belongs to the mint family and grows a height of around 3 feet when planted in a sunny area, or an area of partial shade. It has white or lavender blooms, and is a perennial plant. The most unique feature of catnip, apart from being a mosquito repellent, is that cats love it. In fact, cats are so crazy for this plant, that you will need to put a fence around the plant to protect it! Catnip oil, extracted from the catnip plant, is used in the preparation of mosquito repellents.
Horsemint is another plant that repels mosquitoes. This plant will grow well in the sun, and it doesn't need any special care as such. It has pink blooms, and is a perennial plant like catnip. Butterflies are said to have an affinity for horsemint. Just like lavender, this too belongs to the family of Lamiaceae.
Though garlic is well-known for its culinary uses, very few people know that garlic is a mosquito repellent plant as well. The reason as to why garlic repels mosquitoes is unknown as of now. However, some say it is the strong smell of this herb that wards off the mosquitoes. The bulbs of garlic are specifically used as mosquito repellents.
Ageratum or floss flower, is an ornamental plant which you can found with blue, pink, white or violet blooms. Its offensive odor keeps mosquitoes away. It has a substance known as coumarin which is widely used in commercial mosquito repellents. You can crush the leaves for more odor, but do not rub the crushed leaves directly on the skin.
Basil leaves have a very pungent smell which keeps mosquitoes and other bugs at bay. All varieties of basil work as mosquito repellents but cinnamon basil, lemon basil and Peruvian basil are the best as they have a very strong fragrance. These herbs need a lot of sun, damp soil and proper drainage to grow.
There are others, such as lemon balm, penny royal and neem, which are also well-known mosquito repellent plants. So, if you thought that getting rid of mosquitoes was a costly affair, this article should have definitely made you think twice. Growing these plants in your backyard or garden will give you double benefit - freedom from mosquitoes and a beautiful, colorful garden.