What pest can ruin a day in the garden or grilling out on your back porch? Well, you guessed it, the humble mosquito.
These insects are most active during the late spring, summer, and early fall months. They particularly like to be active during the evening hours and when it is humid outside. Mosquitoes can bite at any time of the day, but you and your family are at higher risk during these times.
Using chemical-induced repellents can do more harm than good. Not only do they have a negative effect on the environment, but they will also destroy your crops. The good news is there are plenty of plants that will solve this problem for you.
Here are 5 of the most powerful mosquito repellent plants you need to grow for summer.
Its beautiful leaves give off a scent that insects don’t enjoy.
This herb thrives in a container and the garden. If you live in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5 through 8 then you can grow this plant as a perennial. If you live in any other plant hardiness zone then you will either have to bring your sage indoors or just grow it as an annual.
When selecting a garden space, make sure it is in full sun and the area has well-draining soil. On the other hand, if you want to grow your sage in a container, make sure it has a drainage hole and fill the container with an all-purpose potting soil medium that is well-draining.
To keep sage looking its best, prune back in the early spring to encourage bushiness of the plant.
About everyone has heard of the citronella geranium and its ability to repel mosquitoes. In truth, any scented geranium will repel mosquitoes but since the citronella geranium smells like citronella most people think that this is the only one.
When it comes to growing scented geraniums, you have two choices. One is to plant in your garden space. If you live in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9 through 11 then you have to leave this beauty in the garden year-round. If you live anywhere else then you will need to move indoors before a frost.
The general care for this plant is simple. Place the scented geranium in a location that receives full sun. Make sure the soil is well-draining. To keep the plant growing in a bushy shape, make sure to pinch off the tips of each stem in the early spring.
Lavender has a long history as being a delightful and valuable aromatic. While many humans love the scent of lavender, mosquitoes do not. This herbal plant is hardy in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5a through 9. If you do not live in these zones, do not think you cannot grow lavender. This plant can be raised in a container garden without much problem.
When selecting a location for your lavender, make sure it is in full sun and in an area where the soil is well-draining. To give your lavender the best life possible, you will need to time the planting just right. If you live in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5 through 6 then plant your lavender in the spring. On the other hand, if you live in 6 through 9 then plant in the fall. This later planting gives the roots a chance to become established in their new home before the heat of summer hits.
If you live in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5 through 9 then you can grow thyme. Now, you may be thinking why is that such a wonderful thing? Well, thyme is one of those plants that have several varieties that can give you an unlimited amount of looks in your garden space. It is even at home in a container garden.
All thyme loves the sun so planting it in full sun is very important.
Bee balm is a perennial that thrives in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 3 through 9. Now, this plant thrives so well that in some states it is viewed as an invasive species. If you decide to grow bee balm, check with your local extension agent to see if this plant is considered invasive.
As the name applies, bees love this plant but why do mosquitoes dislike it. Well, this plant has a strong mint smell, which mosquitoes do not like.
While bee balm can tolerate shade, it grows best in a sunny location. When it comes to the soil requirement, make sure the soil is well-draining but moist.
To encourage this plant to bloom all growing season, deadhead the blooms when they are spent.
Other plants that are good mosquito repellant:
- Pitcher plant
- Floss Flowers
How to Use Mosquito Repelling Plants
These plants will make your backyard look pretty at the same time as warding off irritating flies and mosquitos.
But when using plants to repel mosquitoes, planting is just part of the technique. What the mosquitoes do not like is the smell and to get the aroma many plants need their leaves or stems bruised. To demonstrate my point, buy some fresh herbs and just inhale. What does the air smell like? Is the herbal aroma strong or weak? As you may notice, just inhaling an herb does not produce a really strong scent. To achieve that strong scent you must release the oils.
This is easily done outside by breaking a stem or crushing a leaf. This simple act will release the oils, which the mosquitoes hate. If you are growing creeping thyme, you can walk on it to release the oils. Now, you cannot do this with every herb but creeping thyme is very forgiving and survives easily from foot traffic.
If you just do not bring yourself to crush the stems or leaves of your plants then create fresh herbal bouquets. These can be used as cute table decorations that people can squeeze the plant material as needed. Another approach is to just sprinkle loose plants around a table or on the ground where the material can be crushed as individuals walk around the space.
The last approach requires one to create herbal bouquets but this time you are not going to use them as table decorations. These little bundles can be tied and hung upside down to dry. As they dry, you can bruise the leaves and stems. Once dried, you can crumble the mosquito-hating herbs as needed.
Unfortunately, some of these plants are toxic to animals; therefore, it is advised that you take the necessary precautions to keep them out of your pet’s reach.
Still got a mosquito bite? The All-Purpose (First Aid) Salve is an outstanding remedy. With a potent blend of lavender, plantain, calendula, and other soothing herbs, it quickly stops the pain from stings and bites.
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