Plants and Mosquitoes

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Organic Gardening in Florida Part 2
August 16, 2018
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August 30, 2018

Are there any plants I can put in my yard to keep mosquitoes away?

If you like sitting on your front porch or patio enjoying your morning coffee or perhaps an evening glass of wine but can’t because of pesky mosquitoes, you are not alone.  You join the millions of individuals whose bodies secrete light scent mosquitoes find enticing and can detect a mile away.


There are safe and natural ways to repel these uninvited guests from your garden party.  The scent of certain foliage planted in your flower beds, garden, or around your patio will fend off and drive away those annoying mosquitoes.

These four most effective border plants, when accompanied by a light breeze, will spread an odor mosquitoes find highly offensive:

  1. Citronella.  Most commonly used in outdoor scented candles and torch oils, Citronella is a perennial grass which can grow up to 5’ tall in warmer climates with no frost zones.  Acting as an invisible fence, Citronella is very effective in warding off mosquitoes.


  1. Marigolds.  This colorful, ornamental border is a hardy annual flowering plant.  Placed near doorways and/or open windows their scent assists in deterring mosquitoes from crossing its scented path.  Marigolds prefer full sun and will flourish with proper fertilization. It is important to remember to pinch off any dead blossoms thus assisting in establishing new blooms.


  1. Horsemint.  A quick growing, self-sufficient perennial, Horsemint can flourish in shaded areas and is resistant to drier soil.  Although its smell is similar to that of thyme, Horsemint odor is strong and masks any other smells within its vicinity, protecting your family and guests from those unruly pests.


  1. Lavender Plant.  Planted in gardens, this sweet-smelling flower flourishes in warm climates and expands into a shortened bush-like shrub, extremely hardy and insect foolproof.  Lavender is a purple flower that creates a lovely fragrant pleasing to humans but detested by mosquitoes. A cutting brought inside and placed in a vase of water will quickly fragrant any room and discourage mosquitos from bothering you.


It is amazing how well the idea of using natural, living plants to ward off mosquitos will work. Try using any or all of the above plants and you should be able to enjoy your summer early mornings and evenings outside.


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