Did you know mosquitoes are considered to be the deadliest critter on Earth? Every year they spread debilitating and often fatal illnesses. But dousing on DEET or chemical bug spray is not always practical and for kids and animals, it’s potentially toxic. A beautiful mosquito-repellent garden is the natural, chemical-free solution that works all summer long to keep bugs away.
Citronella Geranium, Lemon Grass, and Lantana Camara already top popular gardening lists because they’re robust, quick growers; adaptable to almost all conditions; and gorgeous in every setting. Best of all, when cut, bruised, or even rustled by a breeze, they give off a pleasant lemony, citronella scent that mosquitoes avoid. All three prefer full sun and moderate watering so can be planted together.
Citronella Geranium grows large and bushy with thick foliage of lacy, medium-green leaves and produces a few pretty pink-purple blossoms during the season. Give it plenty of room to grow as it will reach up to four-feet high and wide! Add trimmed branches to floral arrangements as the thick leaves provide a good structure for smaller flowers.
The photo shown here is one plant!
Lemongrass is an edible plant often grown as an ornamental and grows in a dense, rounded clump reaching up to four-feet high and three-feet wide. Similar to scallions or chives, the grassy stems grow out of a thick bulbous base which is frequently used in Asian or Thai cooking and can be harvested throughout the entire growing season.
Lantana, sometimes called Yellow Sage or Shrub Verbena, is a popular bedding plant that blooms all season in lovely, multi-colored verbena-shaped blossoms. The foliage grows in an upright and sturdy pattern making it a great container choice and, best of all, it especially thrives in low moisture, hot sun, and even salty soils. Deer and other critters dislike it but butterflies and hummingbirds love it.
Plant near high-use outdoor spaces such as play areas, patio borders, deck containers, or around the foundation. Create a natural perimeter so bugs will be repelled from all sides. Even on slightly breezy days, you’ll smell the fresh, lemony scent and so will those pesky insects. Cutting or bruising the leaves really releases a burst of citronella scent so as you walk near the plant, rustle or crush the leaves. Combine with other mosquito-repellent plants such as Creeping Lemon Thyme, Peppermint, Basil, or Lavender.