Easy Grow Mosquito Repellent Plants
As the summer approaches it's important to be well prepared for bug bites and pesky mosquito pests. Stocking up on mosquito repellent each year can be exhausting and expensive, but there's another way to reduce the mosquito infestation around your home; mosquito repellent plants contain natural compounds distasteful to mosquitoes, helping keep them away from your garden.
Citronella is the most common natural mosquito repellent and is included in many natural-based sprays. Citronella works as mosquito repellent plants because they emit a powerful scent that masks attractants for mosquitoes, making it harder for them to find and irritate you.
Citronella takes the appearance as long blades, or a clump of 'grass', growing to around 6 feet in the garden. Like most grass-type plants, citronella is low maintenance and can thrive well in sunny conditions and shady corners of the garden.
Horsemint are perennial mosquito repellent plants that work in the same way as citronella by giving off a strong odour to confuse the bugs and mask the smell of its usual human hosts.
It's a fast growing plant which can thrive in shade and drought conditions, usually found on the beach or coastal areas and growing to 3 feet. Horsemint can also be dried to make herbal tea, and the plants themselves will also attract bees and butterflies to your garden.
Marigold contains Pyrethrum, used in many natural insect repellents, and lets off an odoour that is distasteful to mosquitoes. However, these mosquito repellent plants are somewhat high maintenance; they require fertile soil, average sunlight conditions and thinned to remove dead flowers and allow additional blooms.
Marigolds will also repel other insects from your home. They're usually used to keep insects and bugs away from tomatoes, but can be planted on the patio or around the garden to help your home look fresh and keep pests away.
Recent studies at Iowa State University in 2010 showed that catnip is ten times more effective than DEET and other mosquito repellent plants. Catnip is easy to grow and is relatively similar to mint and other herbs; it doesn't produce and overbearing smell and can be used to produce herb bags or oils for the skin. However, if you own a cat, you may want to consider avoiding catnip plants.