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Plants That Repel Mosquitos

Spring and summer are amazing times to enjoy the outdoors. But what if your spaces are overrun with pesky mosquitos? It may be a good idea to add a few of these plants that repel mosquitos!

There are many plants you can use either in the ground or in planters that will help repel mosquitos. Of course, nothing is 100%, but these won’t hurt to try. Lemongrass, mint, basil, and garlic are just a few of the plant varieties that might help you keep the mosquitos away!

Plants That Repel Mosquitos

Most of the plants on this list are fairly strong scented. We might love the smell and/or taste but the mosquitos will not which makes your patio or yard a less desirable place for them to hang around.

And many of these can be found at any garden center and can be planted in pots/planters or in the ground. If you have enough patio space, you can find a few large plants and make a grouping of several of these for maximum effect.



First up – Lemongrass.

Lemongrass is one of my favorites. You buy a plant from the garden center, dig a hole at least twice the size of the root, and pretty much throw it in the ground. I’ve planted lemongrass in sandy soil, clay-like soil, good soil, and it grows and thrives.

It tends to do better in the ground in my planting zone (8a) but I’ve also had much success in planters. Get a big enough planter because these roots grow big and tough. I did notice that my lemongrass in the ground grew noticeably larger than the planters – at least 3-4 times the size of the one in the planter.

It can be a perennial in more tropical zones but I’ve found it dies over the winter in my zone (8a).

Lemongrass prefers full sun. If you have dogs, you have to watch them or they might like to chew on the leaves – it’s not harmful, but you want the plant to grow.

Water it regularly and watch it thrive!


Mint plant

Be careful with Mint.

I love mint – it smells great, it’s super easy to grow, and you can grow it in the ground or in planters. You can pretty much start a plant from anything it seems.

But – it will spread like crazy and invade your whole space if you aren’t careful. I made the mistake of planting mint in the ground beside our back patio once and I was pulling stray mint plants up for years!

Mint smells amazing and will deter mosquitos, but it’s best grown in planters if possible. It prefers full sun but you can also grow in partial shade. Mine gets only morning sun for a few hours and it thrives.

It will grow in zones 3-8 and is a cold-hardy herb.


Basil plant

Basil is good to eat and also repels mosquitos!

Not only will you be growing another fresh herb to use in salads, dressing, sauces, or pasta, but growing basil will help repel the bugs!

Another easy-to-grow herb, basil is widely available, grows well in planters or herb gardens, and also can be grown in the ground.

Keep a planter by the back door or your seating area – even if you don’t prefer the taste, it’s a pretty plant to have.

It’s grown as an annual in most zones (10 and above may be perennial) and basil does not tend to love cold weather. Wait until your last frost to plant outdoors.


Garlic cloves and bulbs

Another strong-smelling plant – Garlic!

See the pattern of strong smells? Garlic is one of the most pungent-smelling vegetables to grow. It belongs to the onion family and I feel like you either love it or you hate it.

Garlic prefers to grow in well-drained soil and you can plant it straight from the cloves. You can plant based on your planting zones and garlic will grow in nearly every zone. Check your zone and find a variety suited for your area.

The pointed end of the clove goes up and push the other end 1-2″ into your prepared soil. It will be helpful to use a little compost and fertilizer.

A few garlic plants in the garden or patio areas will help to repel mosquitos and give you plenty of fresh garlic to eat!


Lavender in a pot

Lavender is one of the prettiest mosquito repelling plants.

Not only is it a beautiful plant with delicate purple flowers, but lavender smells heavenly. Apparently, the mosquitos don’t think so, but most people do.

Lavender is a perennial herb in most areas. It can be grown in the ground or it looks stunning in planters as well. It grows best in Zones 5-9 and does not like soggy roots. Give it plenty of sun and enjoy!


Thyme closeup

Do you see a repeating pattern of herbs?

Even if you aren’t fond of cooking with tons of herbs, they can be hugely beneficial in the gardens. Thyme is another herb that can repel mosquitos and is a favorite of bees.

It’s also easy to grow and find like the other herbs on the list. You can pick up some at any garden center. It can be grown in zones 5-10.

Give it adequate water, but it can be drought resistant and thyme prefers full sun. If you have enough, snip a few leaves to crush up for soups, chicken dishes, stews, turkey, and so much more.


Closeup of citronella leaves

One of my favorite plants that repel mosquitos is citronella.

Citronella plants have interestingly shaped leaves and will grow excellent in a planter. It does need regular watering to get established but is quite drought tolerant after.

It can grow 2-3 feet tall, will be a perennial in zones 9-11 but will still thrive as an annual in colder climates.

Citronella is best used as a plant to repel mosquitos by crushing the leaves to release the oils that can be rubbed on the skin. It smells exactly like you think it would if you’ve ever burned citronella candles.

I love citronella as a patio plant in a large planter and it will thrive with little care.


Rosemary in pots

You guessed it – another herb!

Rosemary is seriously one of the easiest herbs to grow. It has the ability to grow fairly large – or you can trim it back to keep it contained.

Plant rosemary in a sunny location in well-drained soil and give it room to spread. It can get 3 feet high and 5 feet wide. It will grow in zones 6-10.

It’s a highly aromatic herb with woody stems that are perfect for cooking in addition to repelling mosquitos. Rosemary has very pretty foliage that is perfect for flower beds. It’s an evergreen perennial as well.


Marigold flowers

A gorgeous flower that also repels mosquitos – Marigolds!

Marigolds are typically seen in their traditional orange and yellow hues. They have compact flowers on dark green stems.

These are perfect flowers to plant near a patio, walkway, in your garden, or in a container. Marigolds are a very versatile plant that repels mosquitos.

They can be grown in zones 2-11 and require full sun for maximum blooms.

Hopefully these are helpful plants that will keep you bite free!

So – do these plants completely eliminate mosquitos? Nope.

But they will go a long way in adding beauty to your landscaping or patios and porches and they are also plants that repel mosquitos. Nothing is going to completely guarantee that you won’t see a few blood-thirsty pests, but these plants will help!

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