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11 Perennial Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

There are very few things more irritating than mosquitoes invading your garden. If you’re sick of those little bloodsuckers ruining your well-earned garden time, you don’t need any sprays or nets, just simply have the right plants. Read on to find out about some perennial plants that repel mosquitoes from your garden.

White daisies

Perennial Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

If you’re looking for a natural insect repellent, you are in luck. There are some wonderful plants that work great for this purpose. Here’s a roundup of my favorite choices of perennial plants that repel mosquitoes and other insects. 

1. Cinnamon Basil

This perennial plant contains cinnamate which is the thing that gives it its flavor. The plant has a range of practical uses outside of mosquito repelling, such as enhancing the flavor of other nearby fruits. It stops a lot of other bugs from invading your garden too, and it’s extra tasty in a nice cool beverage as you soak in the sun rays! 

Cinnamon Basil with small pink and purple flowers

Buy cinnamon basil from Amazon.

2. Marigolds

You most commonly see these kinds of plants in their annual form, but they can self-sow depending on your climate and will constantly come back without you having to make any extra effort.

These beautiful flowers are a popular choice among gardening enthusiasts owing to their bright yellow and orange colors. Their strong scent is what makes them appealing to gardeners wanting to remove pests though. They repel rabbits, deer, and a wide variety of insects.

When planting them near fruits and vegetables they act like as natural insecticide barrier.

Marigolds flowers

3. Lavender

Lavender is ideal for those who live in dry, sunny climates and is a perfect addition to your garden. It smells beautiful and it’s commonly used for aromatherapy.

Use it indoors in pretty sachets to repel any indoor insects. It takes a while for them to fully get established, but they will make flowers within the first year. It may be worth planting your lavender in pots but you could also plant them directly into the ground. We have a great guide on how to grow lavender here.

Lavender field

4. Rosemary

Rosemary can grow pretty big (up to 3-4 feet tall and 5 feet wide!) but don’t be fooled – it makes a fantastic plant for your large planter. The popularity of rosemary comes from its scent and what it can add to cooking.

This popular scent is good at keeping mosquitoes away and is very practical too. Just remember to bring it indoors if you live in a climate above Zone 6 and you get particularly harsh winters. 

Rosemary flowering plants

5. Peppermint

This plant can grow very quickly and take over the garden in an instant, so you need to make sure that it’s properly contained! It’s more than worth the effort though, as it repels not only mosquitoes but spiders and mice.

Pick and dry some to make delicious teas that help digestion. This versatile plant is bound to keep the mosquitoes at bay with a bunch of practical uses to boot. 

Peppermint plants

6. Feverfew

These daisy-looking flowers make a great addition to any garden. They don’t take much room in the garden, so pop a few of them between your existing plants. They have a favored scent for most people but will repel most insects. 

Insects hate the smell of feverfew and the pyrethrum oils it contains. feverfew is also used to relieve symptoms of migraines and makes good tea. Before doing this, however, consult with a doctor. 

Feverfew flowers field

7. Sage

Not only is sage great for cooking, but it will also keep mosquitoes away. Just add a few leaves to your outdoor fire, and you can enjoy a nice mosquito-free evening. Sage has an easily recognizable heady scent that smells nice to most gardeners but that will keep those pesky insects away. 

Sage plant

Indoor Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

Okay, so we’ve covered some great perennial plants for the outdoors that repel mosquitoes. What about when the pests get indoors? There are indoor plants that work for repelling mosquitoes too! 

8. Citronella Plants

As far as mosquito repellents are concerned, this is one of the most commonly known. This is mainly because it’s a component in a lot of commercial mosquito repellents like candles or torches that people use outside, on their porches, or at picnics. 

The plant has a nice lemon smell and is very effective at getting rid of mosquitoes.

Citronella plants

9. Catnip

This is another member of the mint family that grows very quickly and is great at sending the mosquitoes packing. Make sure you put the plant in front of a window with lots of sun. Water it regularly and pinch the flowers out so you can get more leaves. After a couple of seasons, you will probably need to re-pot them. Obviously, make sure the plant is safe away from any cats if you have any.

A cat lying on top of a rock with a catnip plant next to it

10. Lemon Balm

The citrus scent of this plant is super pleasant to have in the house, but it’s not quite so pleasant for mosquitoes! It’s a very easy plant to grow and you can simply put it in a sunny window. It has a lovely fragrance that you and your household can appreciate but that mosquitoes will not. 

Make sure you remove any flower buds that appear on the plant as the leaves will lose their scent and won’t be as effective at getting rid of mosquitoes. It can also get quite big so it’s a good idea to harvest the leaves to use for things like lemon tea.

Another option with a lemony scent is lemon thyme. This is a great variety of thyme that is less intense than some of the other varieties. It’s similar to lemon balm, but lemon balm is in the mint family. If you’re looking for a non-mint alternative, lemon thyme might work for your needs. 

Lemon balm

11. Pennyroyal

This is a slightly more obscure option. This plant has purple flowers and has both European and American versions. The European one is slightly more effective at getting rid of pests. You can put them in indirect sunlight and they’ll grow quite well. As the plant grows long and trailing, they’re perfect for a hanging basket.

A bee on top of a Pennyroyal plant full of blooms

Tips for using plants as mosquito repellents

If you want to keep the mosquitoes at bay, make sure you don’t create an inviting environment for them. Moisture will easily attract mosquitoes, so avoid water puddles in your garden.  Position your mosquito repellent plants in places where the mosquitoes are likely to congregate. 

While these plants have properties that repel mosquitoes, the full benefit will only be achieved when you release the smells of the plants. You can do that by burning the plants or by squishing them between your fingers to break up the leaves. You can also use them to create a homemade bug spray.

Because you are using natural ingredients, it’s much safer for you, for the environment, and also for other wildlife. You can feel good about keeping the annoying mosquitoes away but not causing any true harm to any living thing. You don’t have to worry about putting harsh chemicals on your body or burning or spraying chemicals in or around your home. 

Plants that Repel Mosquitoes – Conclusion

As you can see, there are many great plants that are easy to grow that help you repel mosquitoes. While these insects serve a function in the ecosystem, they can be dangerous to humans as they carry disease, and they are also very annoying. These are all good plants to help you repel them without causing any harm. 

These all make a good natural insect repellent and they are easy to grow. And all of these plants on the list have other great uses as well, so it’s a win-win all around when you choose them. Do you have a favorite plant from this list? What do you think works best at keeping the mosquitoes away?

Perennial plants that repel mosquitoes

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Saturday 25th of September 2021

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