15 Best Mosquito Repellent Plants 

15 Best Mosquito Repellent Plants 

The most common question that most people ask is “What are the best plants to keep mosquitoes away”? or the plants that repel mosquitoes in the market

To answer this questions that people always ask, I did extensive research and came up with the 15 best plants that naturally repel mosquitoes:

WIth these 15 plants in your garden, you’ll experience a colorful and fragrant display, plus their ability to keep uninvited bugs out.

Most insect-repelling plants do so with their natural fragrances, which keep annoying mosquitoes away and introduce wonderful scents throughout your garden.

If you don’t want to put yourself or your garden under the extreme cautionary mode of chemical bug sprays, then try growing some of these plants to help keep mosquitoes away naturally. Plant these plants in areas where guests will frequent them, such as a seating area or a doorway.

So today, we will explore the 15 top mosquito repellent plants and how to effectively incorporate them into your outdoor space. This article is anchored on verifiable and personal experience.

Benefits of Using Mosquito Repellent Plants

When considering the advantages of switching from a commercially manufactured insect repellent, which is chemically based, to a homemade repellent made from natural ingredients, the following benefits become evident:

Comparable Effectiveness to Chemical Repellents

Research indicates that herbal mosquito repellents are equally effective and, in some cases, even more effective than chemical alternatives.

For instance, Catnip oil has been found to be ten times more potent than DEET, offering protection for up to seven hours.

Soothing Fragrance

Unlike conventional repellents, natural mosquito repellent sprays possess a pleasant aroma that aids in stress relief and promotes a sense of calmness.

Thus, the advantages of herbal mosquito repellents extend beyond repelling mosquitoes alone.

Absence of Chemicals

Herbal mosquito repellents are free from the harmful substances typically found in commercially purchased repellent sprays.

The latter often contain a questionable compound called DEET (N-Diethyl-3-methylbenzamide), which can constitute up to 23.8% of the product.

Research has associated DEET with skin and neurological health issues. Another chemical used in mosquito repellents, cyfluthrin, has been linked to neurological damage in the human body, leading to significant alterations in muscle coordination, strength, and movement, among other effects.

While there are studies and arguments supporting both perspectives, it is wise to err on the side of caution when it comes to the use of such chemicals for oneself and one’s family.


Conflicting research findings exist regarding the safety of DEET in small quantities, but it is known to have adverse effects when exposed to larger amounts, particularly in children.

Consequently, parents have been hesitant to apply DEET-based products to their children’s skin. Natural alternatives can alleviate such concerns and provide peace of mind.

Suitable for Pregnant Women

Chemicals present in mosquito repellents, like other pesticides, pose even greater risks to pregnant women.

Exposure to cyfluthrin, a common ingredient in these repellents, can cause significant fluctuations in glucose levels, decrease red blood cells, and harm the liver.

In addition to potential complications, some studies have indicated that this toxin can directly affect the fetus following exposure.

Top plants that repel mosquitoes

Listed below are 15 mosquito repellent plants that are not only aesthetically pleasing but can also assist in the ongoing battle against bug bites.

Here are plants that repel mosquitoes

1. Citronella Grass

15 Best Mosquito Repellent Plants 

Renowned for its distinctive aroma, citronella grass (also known as lemon grass) is a widely used natural ingredient in mosquito repellents.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden even suggests planting lemon-scented plants like citronella grass to deter mosquitoes. Live plants are particularly effective at repelling pests.

This low-maintenance plant thrives best in large planters, as it is not frost-resistant. However, in warmer climates, it can be directly planted in a sunny area of the ground.

Tips for cultivating and utilizing citronella effectively:

This perennial grass flourishes in filtered sunlight. If you reside in an area with intense afternoon heat, provide some shade.
Ensure ample space for this plant, as it can grow up to six feet tall and wide.

Plant type: Typically grown as an annual
Zones: 9-11
Bloom time: Throughout the season

2. Lavender

15 Best Mosquito Repellent Plants 

Have you ever noticed that lavender plants are rarely ravaged by insects, rabbits, or other animals?  This is due to the delightful fragrance emanating from the essential oils present in the leaves.

Some argue that lavender oil even inhibits mosquitoes’ ability to detect scents.

This resilient plant becomes drought-resistant once established and thrives in full sun with well-drained soil.

While it can adapt to various climates, it flourishes in warmer regions.

Tips for growing and using lavender effectively:

This lovely plant prospers in well-drained soil and requires eight to ten hours of direct sunlight daily, whether placed in raised beds, in-ground gardens, or pots.

Plant type: Perennial
Zones: 5–11 (depending on the type)
Bloom time: Summer to fall

3. Lemon Balm

15 Best Mosquito Repellent Plants

The strong lemon scent of this plant contains high levels of a compound that repels bugs, albeit in a more appealing manner.

The refreshing citrus aroma of lemon balm disrupts mosquitoes’ ability to detect humans and causes annoyance.

However, since it tends to invade other areas, it is advisable to cultivate it in containers.

Tips for growing and using Lemon Balm effectively:

Lemon Balm thrives when grown in containers or as part of an herb garden. To unleash the mosquito-repelling benefits, rub a couple of leaves against your skin to release the potent essential oils.

Plant type: Perennial
Zones: 5–11 (depending on the type)
Bloom time: Summer to fall

4. Marigold

15 Best Mosquito Repellent Plants

Marigolds, an easily cultivated annual flower, emit an odor that deters mosquitoes. Plant them in pots near your patio or entrance to your home to keep bugs away.

Marigolds are also popular additions to borders and vegetable gardens. Besides repelling mosquitoes, they discourage aphids, thrips, whiteflies, Mexican bean beetles, squash bugs, and tomato hornworms.

Tips for growing and using Marigold effectively:

Marigolds contain a natural compound found in many insect repellents. After the risk of frost has passed, plant them in beds or pots that receive full sun to partial shade and have fertile soil with adequate drainage.

Plant type: Annual
Bloom time: Late spring until frost.

5. Catnip

15 Best Mosquito Repellent Plants

While cats adore it, mosquitoes despise it! A whiff of catnip can send mosquitoes buzzing away, thanks to a chemical called nepetalactone, which serves as both a cat attractant and an insect repellent.

Tips for growing and using Catnip effectively:

Plant catnip in the spring after the threat of frost has passed. It thrives in well-draining soil and should receive ample sunlight.

Plant type: Annual
Bloom time: Late spring until frost

6. Rosemary

15 Best Mosquito Repellent Plants

Rosemary serves as another excellent mosquito repellent. Recommended by the New York Botanical Garden and PlantShed, its woody scent repels mosquitoes, cabbage moths, and carrot flies.

This herb flourishes in hot and dry climates, making it ideal for containers, particularly in areas with winter seasons. It can also be pruned into various shapes and sizes, serving as borders or decorative elements.

While keeping pests at bay, you can relish the herb’s aroma and use it for seasoning in cooking.

Tips for growing and using Rosemary effectively:

Rosemary thrives in containers, allowing you to place it in different locations throughout your yard.

Additionally, throwing a few stalks of rosemary onto hot coals while grilling creates fragrant smoke that acts as a natural mosquito repellent and imparts a delightful piney flavor to your food.

Plant type: Perennial herb
Zones: 7-10

7. Bee Balm

15 Best Mosquito Repellent Plants

If you wish to attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies while deterring harmful ones, bee balm (Monarda or horsemint) is the perfect plant.

By crushing its leaves, you can release fragrant oils. Moreover, the plant offers colorful flowers in shades of red, pink, lavender, white, or purple throughout the summer.

Tips for growing and using Bee Balm effectively:

Bee balm’s strong fragrance keeps mosquitoes at bay. Plant it in well-drained soil with full sun exposure during the spring or fall. For optimal growth, directly place it in the ground instead of using containers.

Plant type: Perennial
Zones: 4-8
Bloom time: mid- to late-summer

8. Basil

15 Best Mosquito Repellent Plants

Basil, an herb renowned for its culinary uses, also acts as a pest repellent due to its pungent scent. 

Various basil types effectively deter flies and mosquitoes, allowing you to explore and find the right varieties to incorporate into your garden.

This herb thrives in moist soil with good drainage and requires ample sunlight. You can grow basil in containers or alongside other flowers, as long as their growing requirements align.

Tips for growing and using Basil effectively:

Plant basil in fertile, well-drained soil during the spring or summer. It is suitable for raised garden beds, containers, and in-ground gardens as long as it receives sufficient sunlight. Interestingly, basil is toxic to mosquito larvae, making it effective near standing water to deter egg-laying.

Plant type: Usually grown as an annual
Zones: 10-11
Bloom time: Summer to frost

9. Floss Flower

15 Best Mosquito Repellent Plants

This appealing annual flower is suitable for bedding or container planting. Floss flowers contain coumarin, a chemical that repels mosquitoes, but it can be toxic if ingested by pets or humans.

Tips for growing and using Floss Flower effectively:

To harness their benefits, plant these eye-catching annuals in sunny locations with rich, well-drained soil that maintains consistent moisture.

Plant type: Usually grown as an annual
Zones: 9-10
Bloom time: From planting until hard frost

10. Mint

15 Best Mosquito Repellent Plants

Mint is an excellent, non-toxic option for repelling mosquitoes, flies, and even ants. The stronger the aroma, the fewer bugs you’ll encounter.

Plant mint in pots on your patio for easy access when you want to drop a leaf or two into your afternoon tea. 

You can also dry the leaves and use them inside your home as a natural pest control method.

Tips for growing and using Mint effectively:

All types of mint, including spearmint and peppermint, emit a scent that repels insects. If you opt not to plant it in a pot, ensure to separate it from other herbs. Mint thrives in moist, well-drained soil and requires full sun to partial shade.

Plant type: Perennial herb
Zones: 3-8

11. Catmint

15 Best Mosquito Repellent Plants

Catmint, a member of the mint family, is abundant and resilient. While it may invade other areas of your garden, it is an exceptional mosquito repellent, surpassing the effectiveness of DEET, the chemical used in most insect repellents, according to a study at Iowa State University.

Plant type: Perennial
Zones: 3-8
Bloom time: Early summer to fall

12. Scented Geranium

15 Best Mosquito Repellent Plants

Scented geraniums are another popular choice for repelling mosquitoes. Varieties with lemon-scented fragrances, reminiscent of citronella grass, are particularly effective. 

These fast-growing plants thrive in warm, sunny, and dry climates. In colder regions, they can be grown in planters with regular pruning.

Tips for growing and using Scented Geranium effectively:

Scented geraniums are often grown in pots, requiring bright, indirect light and moist, well-drained soil.

With their flowers ranging from white, pink, red, and lavender and leaves in various shades of green, blue-green, gray-green, or variegated, they add beauty to your yard.

Plant type: Usually grown as an annual
Zones: 10-11
Bloom time: Spring to fall

13. Sage

15 Best Mosquito Repellent Plants

If you enjoy gathering around a fire pit in your backyard, consider planting sage nearby. 

Tossing some sage into the flames releases an earthy aroma that repels bugs. Sage can also be dried and used to make homemade bug spray.

Tips for growing and using sage effectively:

Adding sage to the fire produces scented smoke that keeps pests at bay. Rosemary can also serve this purpose.

Plant type: Perennial
Zones: 5-8

14. Lantana

15 Best Mosquito Repellent Plants

Lantana not only showcases vibrant, clustered flowers but also attracts butterflies and hummingbirds while emitting a mosquito-repelling scent.

Tips for growing and using lantana effectively:

Lantana thrives in sunny locations with fertile, well-draining soil that retains consistent moisture. Take precautions, as the plant is toxic and should be kept away from children and pets.

Plant type: Usually grown as an annual
Zones: 10-11
Bloom time: Spring to fall

15. Eucalyptus

15 Best Mosquito Repellent Plants

Eucalyptus is another fragrance favored by humans but detested by pesky critters. The plant naturally produces chemicals like linalool and geraniol, which repel mosquitoes. Eucalyptus oil is even found in many commercial repellents.

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Tips for growing and using eucalyptus effectively:

Ensure sufficient time for the plant to establish before the colder months. Eucalyptus thrives in fertile, well-drained soil with plenty of sunlight.

Plant type: Usually grown as an annual
Zones: 10-11
Bloom time: Spring to fall

Creating a Mosquito Repellent Plant Garden

Banish those bothersome mosquitoes from your outdoor area by incorporating these plants that thrive in containers or flower beds!

1. Construct Planters to Repel Mosquitoes near your patio.

Employ a combination of mosquito-repelling plants to create the ultimate insect deterrent! Our preferred combination: Geraniums with Citronella properties, Lemon Grass, Lantana, Ageratum, and Sage

2. Substitute your conventional annual plants with mosquito-repelling varieties.

Opt for Lemon Grass Plants as upright features in your planters. Include lantana, ageratum, and marigolds as supplementary plants. Incorporate sage for a silvery touch.

Use peppermint and thyme as cascading elements. Citronella geraniums serve as excellent supplementary plants when paired with lantana, verbena, or petunias.

3. Establish an herbal garden.

Lavender, Rosemary, Sage, Lemon Balm, Peppermint, and Catnip are versatile plants that can be utilized for mosquito repulsion, culinary purposes, crafting cocktails, drying, or aromatherapy.

Additional Tips for Mosquito Control

Utilize insect repellents that are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and contain one of the subsequent active components.

Following the provided instructions, EPA-registered insect repellents have been substantiated as both secure an

d efficacious, even for expectant and nursing women.

  • DEET
  • Picaridin (identified as KBR 3023 and icaridin outside the United States)
  • IR3535
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
  • Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
  • 2-undecanone

Discover the suitable insect repellent for your needs by employing the EPA’s search tool.

The Significance of Managing Mosquitoes

Over time, mosquitoes have been responsible for the spread of numerous illnesses, such as malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, encephalitis, and more recently, the West Nile and Zika viruses.

Additionally, mosquitoes are responsible for causing heartworm in dogs. Hence, it extends beyond mere irritation or the discomfort of their bites; it poses a genuine health risk to your loved ones and pets.


  1. Prevent Mosquito Bites | Mosquitoes | CDC
  2. Repellents: Protection against Mosquitoes, Ticks and Other Arthropods | US EPA
  3. Make your Backyard Mosquito Free with Plants – Graf Growers
  4. 12 Mosquito Repellent Plants | Garden Design
  5. 12 Best Plants and Herbs to Naturally Repel Mosquitoes
  6. 12 Plants and Herbs That Will Naturally Repel Mosquitoes

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