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13 Mosquito Repellent Plants that Keep Mosquitoes Away from You

Mosquito repellent plants that keep mosquitoes away from your yard and house without you having to lift a finger are proof that Mother Nature is on our side when it comes to mosquitoes.

Green thumb of not, these are the plants you just can’t do without.

Because why should you douse yourself in bug spray in the comfort of your own house? Or feel reluctant to step out into your lovely garden for fear of being plagued by mosquitoes?

You shouldn’t. And you shall fear no more.

Here are your soon-to-be roommates, aka the best plants that keep mosquitoes away.

7 Mosquito Repellent Plants for the House

Think mosquito repellent plants and what comes to mind? Probably citronella. And sure, that’s a great choice but you don’t want your home smelling like bug spray all the time. Especially when there are also more pleasant smelling plants and herbs that keep mosquitoes away.

The best news? These anti mosquito plants are lovely company – not just for keeping the mosquitoes away, but also to add in your pastas, make digestion-easing teas, and have a natural air freshener that calms and relaxes your mind.

And no worries if you live in tight quarters – these easy-to-grow mosquito repellent plants hardly take up any space. You can fit them all into a windowsill herb garden to ward off insects looking to sneak in through the window.

Come, let’s meet the best plants that keep mosquitoes away from your home, aka your new favorite roommates.


It smells delicious, you can use it to whip up fresh pesto, and it keeps mosquitoes away – what more could you possibly want from a plant?

Turns out that yummy basil scent we all love is offensive to mosquitoes and flies. Even cooler – a 2009 study showed that the essential oil from this scrumptious herb is toxic to mosquito larvae.

There’s a wide variety of basil around, but opt for lemon or cinnamon basil as these are the most potent mosquito repellents. Whatever variety of basil you get – they need to be kept damp with proper drainage and plenty of sun.

Lemon Balm

Also known as horsemint and beebalm, this is one easy plant to grow and maintain. It’s a tough survivor that’s shade-tolerant and drought-resistant so there’s no green thumb needed to make it thrive.

On the other hand, it can grow a little too well and has been known to aggressively take over a garden.

Plus, it tends to attract pollinators like bees, which you might not want hanging around your garden area, so we recommend growing this herb in a pot indoors to avoid a lemon balm takeover.

When you’ve got enough lemon balm keeping mosquitoes away, feel free to nip some leaves off and dry them for a relaxing herbal tea. Lemon balm is known to soothe digestive upset, calm the mind, encourage good-quality sleep and even have anti-aging benefits!


Love Asian cuisine and hate mosquitoes? This is the herb for you!

Especially since this is the true citronella plant. What do we mean by this?

Well, when you think citronella, your mind probably conjures images of the broader-leafed “citronella geranium,” aka Pelargonium citrosum.

But that plant just sort of smells like citronella and actually has very little citronellal content! It won’t protect you from mosquitoes – that’s just a misunderstanding that’s been propagated for far too long.

The citronella that’s extracted to be used in mosquito repellents comes from various species of lemongrass, aka citronella grass.

So get thee some lemongrass instead of the citronella geranium – this is the one that contains the essential oils hated by mosquitoes. It’s also one of the most low-maintenance plants around and will thrive indoors as long as it gets plenty of sun.

Get yours here. 

Tip: Pretty much all lemon-y plants are hated by mosquitoes. So if you’re not a fan of lemon balm or lemongrass, go ahead and get yourself some lemon thyme or lemon verbena instead.


Most insects and even rodents despise the smell and taste of peppermint so peppering your house with peppermint plants is a smart, fragrant way to keep unwanted guests from sneaking in.

Not to mention that fresh peppermint leaves are a real treat to have around – you can blend them into green smoothies, add ’em to soup, and use them to liven up your iced teas.

You can even rub the leaves directly on your skin for a natural itch treatment if you get a mosquito bite.

Oh, as part of the mint family, peppermint grows like a weed and can spread aggressively through your garden. Once it takes over, it’s difficult to remove from power so grow these in pots!


Another delicious herb to add to your recipes, rosemary’s woody scent keeps unwanted pests like mosquitoes, moths and flies away while attracting more welcome guests like butterflies.

While the living plant is great for discouraging mosquitoes from dropping by, you can also dry some rosemary sprigs to burn when you want to drive out mosquitoes that’ve gotten trapped in your house.

It’ll smell wonderful to you but pests find the scent offensive.

Rosemary is pretty easy to grow and keep, but keep in mind that they do best in hot and dry climates so if you live somewhere with cold, harsh winters – you’ll want to keep them indoors.


Mmmm. Lavender. So pretty, so relaxing, so wonderfully scented and best of all – such an effective natural pest repellent great for keeping mosquitoes, moths and flies away.

It’s all thanks to its lovely fragrance, which we humans love but is thought to hinder a mosquito’s ability to smell – which is great news ’cause that’s how they find you.

But that’s not all lavender’s scent is good for – the smell of lavender is also known to aid relaxation, banish stress and promote restful sleep. So feel free to snip off and dry a few sprigs of lavender to place in wardrobes (helps repel moths while keeping your clothes smelling beautiful) as well as to tie into bouquets to place around your home.

As for the living lavender plant? They’re not as delicate as they look and will thrive as long it get full sun and proper drainage.  No green thumb required.

Venus Fly Trap

Alright, the above mosquito repellent plants are beautifully-scented and wonderful for keeping mosquitoes away, but they’re of littleĀ help when a mosquito manages to sneak in.

Enter the Venus fly trap.

A beautiful conversation piece as well as a ruthless carnivorous plant that’ll devour any pest that dares to come too close, the Venus fly trap won’t just eat mosquitoes but flies, moths, spiders, and whatever creepy crawly that’s unfortunate enough to brush past more than one of its tiny, sensitive hairs.

The downside is that they do require a little more maintenance than the average anti mosquito plant, but it still consists of the basics: plenty of sun, water (must be pure, no minerals), and damp soil.

A fascinating natural mosquito killer, if there ever was one. Get one here

6 Plants that Keep Mosquitoes Away from Your Yard and Garden

What can you do to make your property the least mosquito friendly place possible (aside from the obvious tips like getting rid of any standing water)?

Turns out gardening is the answer. But not just any sort of planting and pruning – you want to get yourself an army of anti mosquito plants.

And don’t let the lack of a green thumb turn you off – these natural mosquito repellent plants are easy to plant and maintain. Some will even reseed and grow themselves!

Lemongrass, aka Citronella Grass


You knew this one was coming, didn’t you?

If you’ve ever used a natural mosquito repellent, you’ve seen (and smelled) citronella’s effectiveness in keeping mosquitoes away.

And although there is a huge range of citronella products – candles, torches, topical repellents – the easiest way to take advantage of this mosquito-repelling plant is to let it live in your yard.

And this potent smell is a very good thing. How it works is simple: it’s strong aroma is so strong that it masks other attractants (i.e. you) to mosquitoes, making it harder for them to find you.

Another reminder: you’ll want to make sure that you get lemongrass, aka citronella grass, and not the more commonly seen citronella geranium, aka Pelargonium citrosum.

How easy is it to grow? You can order yourself some starter lemongrass plants right on Amazon. Feel free to keep them in pots around the house or you can then transplant to a larger pot or directly into the ground. Again, make sure you’re getting real citronella and not just ‘citronella scented’ plants!

Citronella plants are thankfully low maintenance and like most grasses, will thrive in full sun and well-drained locations. To keep it thriving, give it some nitrogen-rich fertilizer every year, preferably in the early spring.

Where can I grow it? Citronella is a perennial ‘clumping’ grass that can be grown directly in the ground if you live in a part of the world where frost doesn’t occur. If you reside in frosty climates, plant the citronella in a large pot or planter, preferably with casters so you can roll it indoors during the winters.

If you’re going to plant it in the garden or patio, keep in mind that citronella grows to around 5 to 6 feet – which means you’ll want to plant it in the background, behind your flowers and shrubs so it doesn’t obstruct the view of your garden.



They’re beautiful…and they repel mosquitoes? Seriously, what more could you want from a plant? These pretty, useful plants definitely pay for the share of land they occupy.

Their little secret: marigolds contain Pyrethrum, a compound found in many insect repellents.

Thanks to this, not only do they repel mosquitoes, but they’re particularly effective against insects which prey on tomato plants so if you got some tomato beds…well, you know what to do.

How easy is it to grow? You can get marigold seeds or starter plants from gardening shop, floral departments or even on Amazon. We recommend opting for the starter plants since they’re inexpensive and you’ll get a ready-made mosquito repellent you can start using right away.

If there’s plenty of light and fertile soil, marigolds will often do the work for you and reseed themselves. Other than that, they need a little more maintenance than citronella since established plants will need to be thinned but overall, the upkeep is minimal.

Where can I grow it? Marigolds like full sun and fertile soil so if you’ve got a yard that fits the description, you’re good to go.

We recommend placing potted marigolds right by the entrances to your home as well as windows – you’ll get both decorative flowers and a natural mosquito repellent! Oh, and ‘though you might like to use these pretty pest repellents to get rid of mosquitoes on your patio – don’t. Their bright blooms may attract wasps.

Horsemint, aka Beebalm


Another mosquito-confusing scent-masker, horsemint has a deep incense-like smell that will help you evade mosquitoes.

As you probably know by now – mosquitoes, along with many annoying biting pests, are attracted to certain odors in human skin. Yes, they like your body odor. And if you’re an active sort that sweats a lot, they’re going to be especially attracted to you.

So strong scents like horsemint are a godsend since they both mask your human scent and serve as a turnoff to mosquitoes.

As if that wasn’t good enough – horsemint leaves also make a deliciously healthy herbal tea.

How easy is it to grow? This stuff grows fast. It’s also shade-tolerate, drought-resistant and can thrive in dry, sandy soil and even survive salty conditions.

Where can I grow it? Horsemint’s a survivor so even if you live in coastal and beach areas, horsemint will easily make itself at home in your yard.

Horsemint does particularly well in the midwest and eastern zones, but if you live somewhere that gets frosty, you’ll want to plant them in pots so you can move them indoors when it gets cold. It shouldn’t be too hard to transport – they only reach a height and width of about 2 to 3 feet.

Keep in mind that horsemint flowers tend to attract bees and butterflies so you’ll most likely want to keep the plants in your garden, not the patio.

Catmint, aka Catnip


The same catnip that makes your cat act like an enamored kitten is also a darn effective natural mosquito repellent.

‘Though nobody yet knows how it works, entomologists from Iowa State University recently reported to the American Chemical Society that nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip, is ten times more effective than DEET!

How easy is it to grow? So very easy, peasy. This perennial herb is related to mint and it grows as a weed, thriving as soon as you give it a chance to.

Where can I grow it? Keep in mind: Your catnip might bring all the cats to the yard. Catnip will grow pretty much everywhere so choose wisely, especially if you’ve got lots of neighborhood strays – that means planting the catnip well away from flowers, veggies, or herbs you don’t want happy cats to roll all over on!



Not only do they repel mosquitoes, but petunias also do a great job of keeping pests like tomato hornworms, asparagus beetles and squash bugs away.

And did you notice that they’re also beautiful?

How easy is it to grow? Very easy – even if your thumbs aren’t even close to green.

Where can I grow it? Pretty much anywhere that gets some sun – plant them in your garden (vegetable gardens can benefit from petunia’s pest-repelling powers), in containers or hanging baskets to adorn your patio with their variety of bright colors.

Ageratum, aka Flossflowers


Yet another plant with a scent that mosquitoes can’t stand, ageratum contains coumarin, which is commonly found in commercial mosquito repellents.

Just keep in mind that ‘though coumarin is used in topical mosquito repellents, you shouldn’t try to make a home made repellent by crushing ageratum leaves directly on your skin – this can be an irritant.

How easy is it to grow? Pretty easy as it doesn’t need too much sun.

Where can I grow it? Ageratum does well in full or partial sun and isn’t too fussy about soil richness either. It also doesn’t get very tall – reaching heights of around 8″ to 18″ – so keep this in mind when you’re planting.

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