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How to Plant a Mosquito Repellent Garden

(This post was written in collaboration with Workpro but all thoughts and opinions are my own.) Do you love summer nights outdoors but don’t love the bug bites that come with it? There’s a way to keep the bugs at bay by keeping certain plants nearby. Learn how to plant a mosquito repellent garden in 7 easy steps.

I love being outside all summer long, don’t you?

We’ve got lots of cozy new outdoor living spaces to hang out in so we are outside SO MUCH MORE than we were in our former home.

And I thought we were outside a lot there!

Do you remember my outdoor living spaces there?

The upper deck had an outdoor dining area.

The lower deck had a conversation area with gas fire pit.

And then there was the fire pit garden.

Not to mention the spots around my yard where you can sit and enjoy the gardens.

What I don’t love about being outside in summer, is all the bugs!

The mosquitos can be brutal!

So we wind up calling it a day earlier than we’d like just to avoid getting eaten alive.

There are a few steps we can take to minimize mosquitos in our yards.

Like burning citronella candles and tiki torches.

But we can also plant things to help keep them away.

And it works really well.

So today, I’m going to show you how to plant a mosquito repellent garden that works.

And the best part?

You can harvest the herbs for the kitchen.

Wait until you see how simple it is to keep the bugs away!

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digging in the garden with a hand trowel to plant marigolds -How to Plant a Mosquito Repellent Garden

Plants that Repel Mosquitos

Before planting a new garden, it’s important to understand the types of plants that help repel mosquitos before heading off to the garden nursery.

Here’s my top 15 list of Plants That Repel Mosquitos:

  • lavender
  • rosemary
  • basil
  • mint
  • marigold
  • lemongrass
  • citronella geranium
  • citronella
  • lemon balm
  • nepeta (catmint)
  • sage
  • marigolds
  • lantana
  • peppermint
  • bee balm
Supplies needed to plant a mosquito repellent garden - potting soil, planter, maritolds, and garden tools on a potting bench -How to Plant a Mosquito Repellent Garden

Supplies Needed to Plant a Garden that Repels Mosquitos

  • plants
  • container or outdoor planter (unless planting direct in the ground)
  • potting soil (garden soil if planting direct in the ground)
  • gloves
  • garden tools
  • plant food
  • shovel or cup
Close up of workpro gardening tools for the beginner with hand trowel and gloves

About Workpro Garden Tools

I’m really excited to be working with Workpro’s garden tools for this project.

Since I tend to get a bit scattered while working in the gardens, I love having all of my garden tools in one place.

The tools are made with comfortable, non-slip contoured grip handles that are made from durable cast aluminum material. The set comes with a trowel, transplanter, weeder, hand fork, and hand rake.

The garden bag is keeping me organized while working around the beds, the tools are comfortable to grip and work with, and I can tackle any gardening project without running around looking for my tools.

Oh and did I mention their gloves?

They are really comfortable and protect my hands, yet are lightweight and breathable. And I love that they keep my hands cool and dry.

Garden blogger stacy ling planting a mosquito repellent garden in a planter -How to plant a mosquito repellent garden

How to Plant a Garden that Repels Mosquitos

Now that we have a list of plants that help repel mosquitos, let’s design a garden.

When I am planting a garden in containers, I consider the colors I want to decorate the space with.

Am I feeling pink and purple hues?

Or may bright sunny yellows?

But maybe I’m hosting a patriotic dinner party, so I’ll gravitate to plants with reds, whites, and blue shades.

Determine the Location

The first step is to determine where the window boxes will be maintained.

Does the area receive full sun, part sun, or shade?

Understanding the location will help you choose the right plants.

I’m planting a container garden that will be light enough to move around so I can use it in my various outdoor living spaces when we are hanging out at night.

And I have a cool gardening hack that will save you money at the garden nursery AND keep your planters light enough to move around.

Planting mosquito repellent plants in planter on a potting bench -How to Plant a Mosquito Repellent Garden

Choose the Right Plants

Once the location is determined, it’s time to shop for plants.

If choosing to create a container design with a few plants, it’s important to make sure that they each have the same or similar light conditions as well as water conditions.

Don’t make the mistake of buying plants just because you love the look. That’s a surefire way to a garden fail.

So read the plant tags.

Understanding light and water conditions will help you take better care of your plants after the container garden is finished.

Almost done planting a sage, marigolds, thai basil and other mosquito repellent plants in containers -How to Plant a Mosquito Repellent Garden

How to Design a Garden

While shopping around the nursery, I was looking for plants that would accentuate the planters and could handle lower light conditions.

One of the things I like to do is group my plants together in the nursery to see how they look together.

Are they aesthetically pleasing?

I look at foliage, blooms, plant size, and the overall plant habit.

Design Tips: If you are designing a container garden, consider using the thriller, filler, and spiller method of planter design.

If planting directly in the ground, work in layers and groups of odd numbers.

Mosquito repellent plants include marigolds, thai basil, sage -How to plant a mosquito repellent garden

Bug Repelling Plants for This Container Garden Idea

  • Marigolds
  • Thai Basil
  • Red Rubin Basil
  • Trailing Oregano
  • Oregano
  • Sage
  • Tri-Color Sage
mosquito repellent planter that is all finished after potting -how to plant a mosquito repellent garden

7 Easy Steps to Plant a Garden that Repels Mosquitos

  • Gather supplies.
  • Add some potting soil to the container with a hand trowel so the plants have some soil to sit in.
  • If planting directly in the garden, dig a hole using a hand trowel and add some fresh garden soil to the hole.
  • Check the planting depth by adding your plants while still in their plastic nursery pots. You want the soil line to match up with about an inch down from the top of the container. If more soil is needed to get the right depth, add more.
  • Remove plants from plastic pots and fan out the roots before setting them in the container. This encourages the roots to grow out into the potting soil.
  • Backfill with potting soil, tamping it down as you go to remove the air pockets.
  • Add a slow-release fertilizer to the container, water, and enjoy!
Mosquito repellent planter in fire pit garden with adirondack chairs in front of split rail fencehow to plant a mosquito repellent garden

And that’s it!

Didn’t it turn out beautiful?

While I was at the nursery, I bought a few extra mosquito repellent plants to add to my fire pit garden border to make it prettier and keep the bugs away.

So after planting my mosquito repellent container garden, I just kept going.

Ah, the life of a gardener.

This planter worked pretty well at my former home to keep the bugs away.

planting a mosquito repellent garden in the backyard garden in front of garden shedHow to Plant a Mosquito Repellent Garden
The fire pit garden at night with solar lanterns, string lights, walkway, and pretty garden flowers that include mosquito repellent plants.How to plant a mosquito repellent garden

But this year at our new home?

I designed containers with lemongrass and it is AMAZING how well they have kept the mosquitos away.

And the design is simple.

I set the lemongrass in the center of each container.

Planted some pink geraniums and coleus around it.

Then tucked in some bacopa, calibroca, and licorice plant.

And voila!

close up of planter in the zen garden with licorice plant, calibrocha, bacopa, pink geraniums, lemongrass, euphorbia and coleus.
view of the zen garden with round stepping stones, container gardens filled with superwave petunias bubblegum pink, garden statues, lots of hardscaping and a green garden fence with a stone wall and white railings that lead to the backyard.

It looks beautiful and has been extremely effective at keeping the mosquitos away in the zen garden.

In my zone 6a garden, lemongrass is an annual, not a perennial.

So next year, I will recreate a similar look for both the zen, pool, and potager gardens.

Thanks so much for following along with me today!

Happy Gardening!

Watch It on YouTube

YouTube video

Looking for More Container Garden Ideas?

Wait until you see these year-round outdoor planter ideas for your porch, deck or patio.

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close up of container garden plants with supewave bubble gum pink petunias
close up of garden blogger stacy ling planting marigolds to create a mosquito repellent garden

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14 Comments

  1. love the pumpkin story with the pup eating it …rolling down the hill to be able to it …smart pup …enjoy your real life stories to all of your stories and of course all of the help with gardening …wonderful and funny …have a wonderful day …love and much happiness

    1. Thank you so much! They are too funny with the pumpkins! I really appreciate your sweet comment. Enjoy your day Madeline! xo

  2. Stacy, I had no idea that there were mosquito repellent plants. Thank you so much for such information. Hugs to you.

    1. Hey Renae! Yes there are plants that will help keep them away! Isn’t that so cool? Thanks so much – have a wonderful holiday weekend! xo

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  4. Loved reading about this Stacy. My husband never wants to stay out on the deck in the evenings because of the mosquitos.

  5. Stacy, near our front porch I have a bed of lavender, citronella scented geranium and rosemary. But I never thought to put mosquito repellent plants in containers to move them where we entertain. Great idea! Thanks for sharing.