Mosquito Shocker Plant, Annual Or Perennial

Mosquito Shocker Plant, Annual Or Perennial

Mosquito shocker plant is an aromatic Pelargonium with a distinct scent reminiscent of pine needles. Its refreshing citrus-like fragrance has a lasting effect that seems to repel mosquitoes.

As a precaution, be mindful of potential skin allergies before applying the plant’s leaf to your arms, legs, and neck, particularly under extreme conditions.

Aside from its functional properties, this decorative plant showcases attractive dark-green foliage with maroon centers and charming rose pink blooms. 

It thrives splendidly in planters and hanging baskets, making it an ideal addition to balconies or patios.

Among our collection of Geraniums, one cultivar stands out from the rest—a scented variety known as ‘Mosquito Shocker.’ 

Apart from its primary appeal, the citronella scent, this plant also contributes delicate, lacy foliage and petite lavender flowers, enhancing the summer ambiance.

Overview Of The ‘Mosquito Shocker Plant:

Mosquito Shocker Plant: The Fragrant Geranium Defying Insects

Citronella Geraniums have carved out a niche market for those seeking a gentle and safe way to repel unwanted insects, especially when children and pets are present.

We specifically selected this variety due to its unusually high oil content, approximately three times more than other citronella Geraniums.

Furthermore, we desired a cultivar that transcends its role as a specialty herb and integrates seamlessly into professional projects such as displays, containers, and landscapes.

‘Mosquito Shocker’ rises to the occasion, fulfilling its name’s duties while exuding an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Just above the crinkly leaf, a flower cluster gracefully begins to unfold.

Mosquito Shocker Plant, Annual Or Perennial

The mosquito shocker plant is a long-lasting botanical that flourishes in subtropical regions. 

Within subtropical climates, the “Mosquito Shocker plant’ is recognized as a perennial plant, resulting in the plant dedicating substantial resources to construct a robust foundation beneath its lush foliage.

Remarkably, this plant exhibits a responsive nature towards cultivation and trimming, with its leafy branches proving unexpectedly suitable for artistic floral arrangements.

So in summary, the mosquito shocker plant (Moskito) is a perennial plant.

Related Post: Mosquito Hawks, Crane Flies, Skeeter Eater: The Myths 

The Citronella Market:

It is important to note that merely sitting in the garden with ‘mosquito shocker plants’ will not repel insects. 

This applies to all garden-grown solutions—the leaves must be rubbed or crushed on the skin to release their oils.

These oils utilize the body’s warmth to vaporize, dispersing a citronella scent in the immediate vicinity.

 In our case, we pluck leaves and gently rub them on any exposed areas of the arms, legs, and back of the neck, effectively warding off bugs while tending to our gardens.

While crushing leaves may not be as effective as using bottled repellants, even those derived from natural ingredients with higher concentrations of essential oils, the convenience of utilizing a garden-based dispenser surpasses all.

When the swarms are not too overwhelming, it is effortless to reach over, pick a leaf, and refresh the previously applied scent upon hearing a distant buzz. 

However, individuals with sensitive skin should perform a patch test to check for any signs of redness the following day.

‘Moskito Shocker’ blooms splendidly as a specimen plant.

Citronella: Perennial or Annual?

The plant known as citronella possesses perennial characteristics. It’s worth noting that there are two distinct variations of citronella: citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus and Cymbopogon winterianus) and citronella geraniums (Pelargonium citrosum). In regions with warm climates, both of these plant types exhibit perennial attributes.

Uses In The Decor Market:

Once you look beyond its name, you will discover that ‘Mosquito Shocker’ is an enchanting foliage plant with intricate lace-like leaves that form a mound approximately two feet in height.

When grown in full sun, this plant maintains an upright posture, and a little pruning ensures it remains an exquisite centerpiece in a terracotta pot. Its deeply crinkled leaves are supported by sturdy stems, providing a captivating display.

In subtropical regions, ‘Mosquito Shocker’ is considered a perennial, investing significant energy in establishing a resilient structure beneath its leafy canopy.

Interestingly, this plant responds well to shaping and pruning, and its sprigs of leaves are surprisingly effective in floral arrangements.

They serve as natural supports for other flowers while infusing a delightful lemony scent. 

Throughout the summer, small lavender flowers embellish the surface, displaying the intricate complexity typical of Ivy Geraniums, with dark stains adorning the petals’ edges.

Distinctive and intricate stains adorn the flowers.

Care And Maintenance:

When grown in full sun, ‘mosquito shocker plant’ develops a compact habit. While it can tolerate partial sun, it may sprawl a bit, resulting in a looser growth pattern.

If the plant stretches and becomes floppy, it is a clear indication that it requires more light. To restore its shape, trim back the elongated branches and consider transplanting it to a sunnier location.

This plant exhibits a fair degree of tolerance towards summer stresses, enabling it to withstand the dry-to-wet-to-dry cycle prevalent in Cincinnati.

However, it is important to ensure adequate watering during extended dry spells. 

As ‘Moskito Shocker’ is primarily grown for its foliage, remember to enrich the soil with a high-nitrogen fertilizer, ensuring its continued vibrancy.

Leaves and buds possess a unique scent and appearance, creating

FAQ

Is Citronella a Perennial Plant?

Indeed, citronella plants, both the grass and geranium varieties, are perennials and regrow each year.

These plants require warm temperatures to thrive, and in colder environments, they may perish during the winter season.

As a result, some gardeners opt for growing annual citronella, while others choose to uproot their citronella plants and bring them indoors for protection during the cold months.

Can Citronella Withstand Winter?

Citronella grass and citronella geraniums can survive winters in warmer zones.

Generally, anything below United States zones 10–12 is too cold for citronella grass, whereas the geranium variety exhibits slightly more resilience, being able to withstand zones 9b–11 in the United States.

Frost, however, poses a threat to citronella, which is why growing it indoors becomes favorable.

By carefully extracting and placing the citronella in a compost-filled container, one can keep it in a warm and well-lit area until spring arrives.

Does Citronella Act as a Mosquito Repellent?

Citronella serves as an effective natural insect repellent, including against mosquitoes. Insects and mammals, in general, have an aversion to most citrus scents, including citronella.

For optimal results, citronella is extracted from citronella grass and distilled into oil. Simply growing citronella grass or citronella geraniums in your garden will not sufficiently deter mosquitoes.

While crushing the leaves occasionally may have some preventive effect, citronella is primarily cultivated for its ornamental properties and is not solely relied upon for mosquito control.

Are Citronella Plants Alone Sufficient for Mosquito Control?

Relying solely on citronella plants is inadequate to keep mosquitoes away from your yard.

How to Use Citronella for Insect Repellency

According to experts, merely growing citronella is not highly effective as a mosquito repellent.

The most efficient methods of utilizing citronella involve its essential oil, candles, and natural insect sprays or lotions.

The quantity of citronella required to prevent mosquito bites is significantly higher than what is emitted by crushing the leaves of the plant.

An article from the National Library of Medicine suggests that crushed citronella leaves have no greater effect than water.

However, based on anecdotal evidence from gardeners, it is worth trying citronella plants to deter mosquitoes from your garden.

 At the very least, they emit a delightful fragrance and add vibrancy to your summer garden arrangement.

Should Citronella Plants Be Pruned?

To promote bushier growth in citronella geraniums, it is recommended to pinch out the top leaves.

This action stimulates growth at the plant’s base and contributes to a healthier and more compact appearance.

The pinched-out sections can be dried in a cool, dark place, providing you with free potpourri with a citrus scent. Additionally, trimming citronella plants encourages a second wave of flowering.

It is crucial to fertilize citronella with high-quality fertilizer after pruning to ensure the plant receives sufficient nutrients for producing another set of blooms.

This practice is particularly important for citronella plants cultivated in pots and containers.

Related Post: Making Homemade Mosquito Repellent For Yard With Mouthwash

Is Citronella Harmful to Pets?

Pets should avoid ingesting citronella, as even small quantities can lead to stomach upsets and adverse reactions such as dermatitis and vomiting.

Although many cats, dogs, and other animals like rats dislike the scent of citronella and naturally stay away from it, it is best to take precautions and ensure they cannot access any part of the plant.

Does Citronella Repel Spiders?

Citronella is not only disliked by mosquitoes and biting insects but also by spiders.

For individuals who are arachnophobic, planting citronella in the yard and utilizing citronella candles or diffusers can help keep spiders at bay.

References

  1. Geranium ‘Moskito Shocker’.
  2. Is Citronella A Perennial Or Annual? – AZ Animals

Leave a Reply