Pesky bugs and mosquitoes can ruin any outdoor experience and cause harm to a landscape. Here are the top 8 plants that repel bugs and mosquitoes that you can recommend to your customers struggling with insect infestations.
1.) Citronella Grass
Citronella is known for its oil being used in patio candles. Citronella grass is a better option than candles because it doesn’t burn out. True citronella plants, Cymbopogon nardus or Cymbopogon winterianus, are grasses. Often times there is citronella scented geranium being advertised as Citronella grass, so don’t be fooled.
This perennial is sometimes referred to as “nature’s pesticide,” because it can repel aphids, tomato hornworm, asparagus beetles, leafhoppers, and squash bugs. It’s recommended to buy transplants and place them in light, well-drained soil in full sun after the last spring frost.
Lavender is a fragrant plant and luckily its smell deters mosquitoes. Plus its purple blooms add a nice pop of color to any landscape. It likes to be hot and dry, so it’s perfect for summer.
Nasturtium repels whiteflies, squash bugs, aphids, several beetles, and cabbage loopers. This one will help other plants in your garden, too. It produces an airborne chemical that repels insects, protecting not only themselves but other plants in the grouping. Plant in early spring in moist, well-drained soil in full sun. They should be regularly watered and deadheaded to promote blooming.
Not only can this plant be used in the kitchen but it can help keep the bugs away. This is another plant perfect for summer heat because it likes to be dry. Mosquitoes are deterred by the smell of Rosemary. It can be planted it in containers, but it also works well as a hedge.
Basil is an annual herb and repels houseflies and mosquitoes. This plant needs six to eight hours of full sun daily, and its soil should be moist and well-drained. This versatile herb can also treat mosquito bites.
Lemongrass is closely related to citronella and repels mosquitoes, but unlike the latter, it’s edible and is commonly used in Southeast Asian cooking. It can grow 3 to 5 feet tall and adds lots of extra height and texture to the landscape. Avoid planting lemongrass in clay soil. This tropical plant craves moisture but is quickly killed by heavy soil that makes water puddle.
Refreshing mint can be used in dishes and cocktails, but it has an added bonus. It’s a perennial that can repel bugs and mosquitoes. It’s recommended to grow mint in a pot in order to control the plant.