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What plants keep mosquitoes away? These herbs and flowers really help!

Mosquitoes are an annoying problem in summer, especially if you want to spend relaxing hours outside in the evening. But instead of resorting to chemicals, you can drive away the biting pests with natural means. There are anti-mosquito plants that secrete different fragrances and keep the offenders away from the terrace or balcony. Some of them even produce pretty flowers that you can enjoy all summer long. This makes them an attractive addition to any garden, balcony box or patio tub! Here’s our list of plants that can help fight mosquitoes.

Herbs against mosquitoes

Lavender plant against mosquitoes

Lavender plant against mosquitoes

Botanical name: Lavandula angustifolia

The aroma that can cure insomnia and calm depressed minds is an irritant to mosquitoes, moths, flies and bugs. Plant lavender in a sunny location or tie dry lavender flowers into bunches to keep bugs out of your garden or home.

Height of growth: 20 to 50 cm
Flower: violet blue
Flowering time: July to September
Habitat: full sun
Hardy in zones 5 to 9
Still repels: moths, fleas, flies and spiders
Attracts butterflies and bees
Specialty: excellent for dry bouquets or for making lavender sachets as moth repellent or for relaxing and falling asleep

Lemon grass / Lemongrass against mosquitoes

Cymbopogon citratus Lemongrass in the garden

Botanical name: Cymbopogon citratus

The genus Cymbopogon includes a wide variety of grasses, including lemongrass, which is native to the regions of eastern and western India. Its citrusy fragrance effectively deters mosquitoes and many other pests. In addition to using the fresh stalks for culinary purposes, lemongrass oil is also used in preservatives, medicines and perfumes.

Lemongrass lemongrass in container against mosquitoes on the terrace

Lemongrass is a low-maintenance tropical plant that thrives in full sun and slightly moist, non-damp soil. It is a tender perennial that is hardy only in zones 9-10. Where winter temperatures drop below -6°C, lemongrass should be brought indoors for the winter. If you want to plant it in pots, choose one that is at least 30 inches wide and 30 inches deep. Lemongrass spreads quickly, so in a short time it will fill the entire container.

Height of growth: 100 to 190 cm
Habitat: Full sun
Hardy in zones 9 to 11
Still repels: flies
Special Characteristics: The green parts of the plant are used fresh in the kitchen as a spice and tea.

Citronella plant against mosquitoes

Citronella plant Cymbopogon nardus


Botanical name: Cymbopogon nardus

Although citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) and lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) are relatives and look similar, both have different properties. Citronella oil is used to make mosquito repellents, household disinfectants, perfumes, soaps, and deodorants. Lemongrass, on the other hand, can be used as an herbal tea. It smells like lemon, but it tastes milder and sweeter. Lemongrass contains the active ingredient citral, which has antimicrobial and analgesic properties. However, consuming citronella can prove harmful in the long run, causing skin allergies and lung damage.

Citronella is mainly grown for the extraction of citronella oil

Citronella and Lemongrass are distinguished by the color of their culms: those of Citronella grass are reddish-purple at the base.

Height of growth: 150 to 190 cm
Habitat: sun to partial shade
Hardy in zones 10 to 11
Still repels: flies
Special feature: grown mainly for the extraction of citronella oil.

Lemon balm against mosquitoes

Lemon balm in pot on balcony


Botanical name: Melissa officinalis

Lemon balm has a lemony scent that mosquitoes abhor. Its leaves can be dried and brewed into a wonderful lemony tasting herbal tea that helps you sleep. Lemon balm also likes it shady, which makes it ideal even for a north-facing balcony.

Height of growth: 60 to 90 cm
Flower: white, pink, bluish
Flowering time: only from the second year of growth, between June and August
Habitat: sun to partial shade
Hardy in zones 4 to 9
Still repels: fleas
Attracts butterflies and bees

Basil against mosquitoes

Plant basil against mosquitoes in balcony boxes

Botanical name: Ocimum basilicum

Basil is easy to plant where you need it – on the windowsill, in the balcony box or in patio containers. The reason for the aromatic smell of the popular kitchen herb is the high content of essential oils. In most basil species, it is between 0.3 to 1.5 percent.Ocimum gratissimum, known as African basil, and the shrub basilOcimum kilimandscharicumentain over 3 percent aromatic substances.

Height of growth: 30 to 60 cm
Flower: white
Flowering time: July
Habitat: Full sun
Winter hardy from zone 10
Still repels: flies

Basil blooms in July with white flowers

Rosemary against mosquitoes

Rosemary against mosquitoes on terrace

Botanical name: Rosmarinus officinalis

Rosemary is a woody perennial semi-shrub that is thought to keep mosquitoes, moths and flies away. This evergreen, drought-tolerant member of the mint family does best in partial shade to full sun.

Rosmarinus officinalis in tub with pansies

Rosemary is one of the very old incense plants. Burning rosemary sprigs releases fragrances and active ingredients that are unpleasant enough for most insect species to repel. To let rosemary’s essential oils evaporate, simply place a few sprigs on a grid over a lantern.

Height of growth: 90 to 150 cm
Flower: purple
Flowering time: March to May or in September
Habitat: Full sun
Hardy in zones 5 to 9
Still repels: pests in the vegetable patch, flies.
Attracts butterflies and bees
Can be burned and used as incense against mosquitoes

Catnip against mosquitoes

Catmint in a tub outside

Botanical name: Nepeta cataria

Catnip is another member of the mint family. This aromatic herb contains an ingredient called nepetalactone – it magically attracts cats but repels insects. The plant can also be placed indoors.

Height of growth: 90 to 150 cm
Flower: violet, white, pink, violet-blue
Flowering time: June to September
Habitat: sun / partial shade
Hardy in zones 3 to 9
Still repels: termites, cockroaches

Catmint is a bee friendly plant

Peppermint

Peppermint Mentha x piperita on balcony against mosquitoes

Botanical name: Mentha x piperita

Peppermint contains mainly menthol, which mosquitoes do not like. It grows best in pots rather than in the garden because it spreads aggressively. Once established, it can be difficult to remove.

Height of growth: 50 to 100 cm.
Flower: purple, white, pink
Flowering time: June to September
Habitat: Full sun
Hardy in zones 3 to 11
Still repels: spiders

Flowers against mosquitoes

Scented geranium against mosquitoes

Scented geranium against mosquitoes

While most varieties of the Pelargonium family are grown for their colorful flowers, scented geraniums are prized primarily for the pleasant fragrances of their leaves. There are many varieties of this annual plant, but lemon, lime, orange and peppermint pelargoniums are most effective for mosquito repellent. Plant them in a sunny spot, let the soil dry out before watering, and don’t bother fertilizing, as scented geraniums do best in somewhat lean soil. Scented geraniums are super easy to propagate by cuttings with or without rooting hormones.

Scented geranium against mosquitoes on the balcony

Popular types of scented geraniums for mosquitoes:

  • Pelargonium citrosum -lemon geranium.
  • Pelargonium tomentosum – peppermint scented geranium
  • Pelargonium nervosum ‘Lime’ – lime scented geranium
  • Pelargonium x citriodorum ‘Prince of Orange’ -Orange scented geranium

Height of growth: 30 to 90 cm
Flower: pink, purple, white
Flowering time: June to September
Habitat: Full sun / partial shade
Hardy in zones 10 to 11
Still repels: flies
Attracts butterflies

Common Liver Balm

Common liverwort flower against mosquitoes

Botanical name: Ageratum houstonianum

Liver balm contains coumarin, an active ingredient used in mosquito repellent sprays. This attractive annual flower makes an excellent bedding or balcony plant. The beautiful flowers are pleasing to the eye from May to fall.

Height of growth: 15 to 60 cm
Flower: white, pink, blue
Flowering time: June to September
Habitat: sun/half shade
Hardy in zones 10 to 11
Still repels: flies, deer, wild rabbits
Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds
Toxic to pets if they nibble on the plant

Marigold

Tagetes as a balcony flower in a box against mosquitoes

Botanical name: Tagetes

Tagetes are among the most popular garden beauties. These beautiful, sun-loving flowers are often grown by farmers as companion plants to keep pests out of the vegetable patch . The ingredients in marigolds, known as tagetone and limonene, keep bugs, aphids and mosquitoes away.

The Low Marigold (Tagetes patula) grows well in a window box, tub or pot, while the Erect Marigold (Tagetes erecta) is mostly used as an annual bedding or cemetery plant.

Height of growth: 15 to 45 cm
Flower: orange-brown to yellow
Flowering time: June to October
Habitat: Full sun
Sensitive to frost, not hardy
Still repels: deer, wild hares
Attracts butterflies and bees

Golden balm / Indian nettle

Flowering perennial that keeps mosquitoes away from the terrace

Botanical name: Monarda

Golden balm is a very decorative perennial that originated in North America and enchants with its fragrant flowers between June and July. While it is popular with bees and butterflies, it repels mosquitoes with its minty, herbal scent. Golden balm contains thymol, which is also found in thyme and pine.

Lemon monard in pot on terrace against mosquitoes

A particularly pretty representative in terms of mosquito repellent is also the lemon monard (Monarda citriodora). The plant tastes and smells like lemon. According to a 2013 study that examined the effect of Monarda essential oils as a repellent against the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti, theMonarda bradburiana BeckandMonarda fistulosa L. also showed. (wild bergamot) showed good repellency.

Height of growth: 30 to 60 cm
Flower: white
Flowering time: July
Habitat: Full sun
Hardy in zones 3 to 9
Attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds
Uses: The leaves can be boiled for a tea. Golden balm tea contains thymol, which is said to help with gingivitis of the mouth and throat and upper respiratory diseases.

Tumbleweed Sage

Flower sage against mosquitoes on the terrace

Botanical name: Salvia nemorosa

Unlike its well-known relative, the common sage (Salvia officinalis), the flowering sage (Salvia nemorosa) is not edible, but an attractive ornamental perennial. Its very aromatic scented leaves and flowers are heavily attracted to bees, bumblebees and butterflies. The other advantage is that its fragrance deters mosquitoes and other flying pests.

Height of growth: 30 to 40 cm
Flower: deep purple or violet-blue
Flowering time: June to September
Habitat: full sun
hardy, easy to care for
bee friendly

Steppe sage Salvia Nemorosa against mosquitoes

Green plants against mosquitoes

Eucalyptus plant against mosquitoes

Lemon eucalyptus Eucalyptus citriodora in tub on terrace

Botanical name: Eucalyptus citriodora, Corymbia citriodora

The lemon eucalyptus releases a pleasant citrus scent that not only keeps mosquitoes away, but also beats sandflies, ticks and other pests into flight. The reason for this is the citronellal contained throughout the woody plant. In Australia it is cultivated as a forest tree. As a tub plant on a balcony or terrace, the plant reaches a height of around 1.5 – 2.5 meters. Younger trees you repot every two years, older eucalyptus trees you need to transplant less often. Pruning is done in early spring.

Height of growth: 150 to 250 cm
Flower: yellow
Flowering time: June – August
Habitat: sun to partial shade
not hardy, must be overwintered at 10-15 degrees in a bright room
Uses: From the leaves you can make tea or prepare a bath for colds

Plant against mosquitoes in the room

Incense plant against mosquitoes

Incense plant against mosquitoes on north balcony

Botanical name: Plectranthus coleoides

The frankincense plant has been given the name moth king because it is known to repel moths, mosquitoes and other pests due to its spicy scent. The plectrantus can also be used as a houseplant, but not everyone likes the intense smell. Since the plant develops very long hanging shoots, it is best suited for planting in hanging baskets and balcony boxes. Frankincense plant prefers to stand in partial shade and feels comfortable even on the north balcony. However, the plant also tolerates sunny locations quite well.

Height of growth: 30 to 100 cm
Flower: purple and white
Flowering time: March to September
Habitat: Shady to semi-shady
Perennial, but not frost resistant, evergreen
Still repels: moths, fleas, flies and spiders

Incense plant in hanging basket with petunias on terrace