15 Amazing Plants that Keep Pesky Mosquitos Away

Mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance; they are also carriers of diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, and Zika virus. While chemical repellents are effective, they can be harmful to the environment and human health. Fortunately, certain plants can naturally repel mosquitoes, offering an eco-friendly solution to this persistent problem. The following is a list of 15 different plants that help keep mosquitoes at bay, explaining how each one works and how you can use them in your garden or home.

1. Citronella Grass

Citronella grass is one of the most well-known mosquito-repelling plants. Its strong lemony scent masks the smells that attract mosquitoes. The plant contains high levels of citronellal, which is used in many commercial mosquito repellents.

How to Use:

  • Plant citronella grass in pots or garden beds around your patio or deck.
  • Crush the leaves to release the essential oils and place them in areas where mosquitoes are prevalent.

2. Lavender

Lavender is not only a beautiful and fragrant plant but also an effective mosquito repellent. The strong scent of its essential oils deters mosquitoes and other insects.

How to Use:

  • Grow lavender in sunny areas of your garden.
  • Use dried lavender sachets or essential oil in your home to keep mosquitoes away.

3. Marigolds

Marigolds contain pyrethrum, a compound used in many insect repellents. Their strong smell is particularly effective at repelling mosquitoes and other garden pests.

How to Use:

  • Plant marigolds around the perimeter of your garden to create a natural barrier.
  • Place potted marigolds near entry points to your home.

4. Basil

Basil’s pungent smell acts as a natural mosquito repellent. This herb is not only useful in the kitchen but also effective in keeping mosquitoes at bay.

How to Use:

  • Plant basil in containers near your outdoor seating areas.
  • Rub basil leaves on your skin to use as a natural mosquito repellent.

5. Peppermint

Peppermint has a strong scent that mosquitoes find unpleasant. The menthol content in peppermint leaves acts as an effective mosquito deterrent.

How to Use:

  • Grow peppermint in pots to prevent it from spreading uncontrollably.
  • Use peppermint essential oil or crushed leaves to create a homemade mosquito spray.

6. Catnip

Catnip is highly effective in repelling mosquitoes, thanks to its active ingredient, nepetalactone. Studies have shown that catnip is more effective than some commercial repellents.

How to Use:

  • Plant catnip in your garden or in pots around your outdoor living spaces.
  • Crush the leaves and rub them on your skin or clothing for personal protection.

7. Rosemary

rosemary planted in the ground
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Rosemary’s strong aroma makes it a great mosquito repellent. It also has culinary uses, making it a versatile addition to your garden.

How to Use:

  • Grow rosemary in pots or garden beds in sunny spots.
  • Burn a few sprigs of rosemary on a barbecue or fire pit to create a mosquito-repelling smoke.

8. Lemongrass

Lemongrass contains citronella oil, which is widely used in mosquito repellents. Its citrus scent is effective in deterring mosquitoes.

How to Use:

  • Plant lemongrass in large pots around your patio.
  • Use lemongrass essential oil in diffusers or sprays to repel mosquitoes indoors.

9. Garlic

Garlic’s strong smell is known to repel mosquitoes. While it might not be the most pleasant aroma for everyone, it is effective in keeping mosquitoes away.

How to Use:

  • Plant garlic in your garden, particularly around high-traffic outdoor areas.
  • Crush garlic cloves and mix with water to create a natural mosquito spray.

10. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus trees and shrubs contain eucalyptol, a compound known for its mosquito-repelling properties. Eucalyptus oil is often used in commercial repellents.

How to Use:

  • Grow eucalyptus in your garden if you have the space.
  • Use eucalyptus essential oil in diffusers or sprays to repel mosquitoes indoors.

11. Geraniums

Certain types of geraniums, especially those with lemon scents, contain citronellal and geraniol, which repel mosquitoes.

How to Use:

  • Plant scented geraniums in pots around your outdoor living areas.
  • Use geranium essential oil in homemade mosquito repellents.

12. Sage

sage plant
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Sage has a strong aroma that can keep mosquitoes at bay. Burning sage leaves is a popular method for repelling mosquitoes.

How to Use:

  • Plant sage in your garden or in pots near outdoor seating areas.
  • Burn dried sage bundles during outdoor gatherings to repel mosquitoes.

13. Pennyroyal

Pennyroyal is a member of the mint family and has a strong scent that repels mosquitoes. However, it should be used with caution as it can be toxic to pets and humans if ingested.

How to Use:

  • Plant pennyroyal in pots to control its spread and avoid accidental ingestion.
  • Crush the leaves and place them around outdoor areas to deter mosquitoes.

14. Bee Balm

Bee balm, also known as Monarda, has a citrusy aroma that mosquitoes dislike. It also attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies, making it a beneficial plant for your garden.

How to Use:

  • Plant bee balm in sunny areas of your garden.
  • Use bee balm leaves in sachets or as part of a homemade repellent spray.

15. Clove

Clove plants and clove oil are effective at repelling mosquitoes. The strong scent of clove oil is often used in natural mosquito repellent sprays.

How to Use:

  • Plant cloves in your garden if the climate is suitable.
  • Use clove oil in diffusers or mix with carrier oils for a topical mosquito repellent.


Using plants to repel mosquitoes is a natural and eco-friendly way to enjoy your outdoor spaces without the nuisance. By incorporating a variety of these mosquito-repelling plants into your garden, you can create a beautiful, fragrant, and pest-free environment. Experiment with different plants to see which ones work best in your area and enjoy the added benefits of their beauty and versatility. Whether you use them in pots, garden beds, or as part of homemade repellents, these plants offer a sustainable solution to keep mosquitoes at bay.

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A woman smiling while holding a fresh pick carrots from the garden
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