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 a 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! Because 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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Enjoy Mosquito-Free Outdoor Living with Natural Plant Repellents
As the warmer months approach, many of us look forward to spending time in our outdoor living spaces, whether it’s our backyard, patio, or balcony.
However, pesky mosquitos can quickly turn a pleasant evening into an itchy nightmare. While there are numerous chemical-based mosquito repellents available in the market, they often contain harmful ingredients that can have adverse effects on the environment and our health.
Fortunately, there’s a natural and eco-friendly alternative: planting certain plants and flowers that repel mosquitos.
Nature has provided us with an abundance of plant species that naturally repel mosquitos due to their unique fragrance and properties. Incorporating these plants into your outdoor living spaces not only helps to keep mosquitos at bay but also adds beauty and freshness to your surroundings.
Popular Plants That Keep the Bugs Away
Here are some popular plant options that you can consider planting in containers or garden beds.
Citronella is perhaps the most well-known natural mosquito repellent plant. It emits a strong lemony scent that masks the odor of humans, making it difficult for mosquitos to locate their prey. Citronella can be planted in the ground or in pots and is often used in candles, torches, and essential oils for added protection.
Lavender is known for its calming scent and beautiful flowers, but it’s also a natural mosquito repellent. The strong fragrance of lavender confuses and repels mosquitos, making it an excellent choice for outdoor living spaces. Lavender can be planted in pots or in the ground and requires well-drained soil and sunlight.
Rosemary is a popular herb in many kitchens, and it also serves as a natural mosquito repellent. Its strong fragrance masks the human scent and keeps mosquitos at bay. Rosemary can be planted in pots or in the ground and requires well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight.
Marigolds are not only vibrant and colorful, but they also repel mosquitos with their strong smell. The scent of marigolds is particularly effective in keeping away a variety of pests, including mosquitos, whiteflies, and aphids. Marigolds can be easily grown in pots or in the ground, and they thrive in sunny areas.
Lemon balm, also known as Melissa, has a citrusy scent that mosquitos dislike. It’s a hardy plant that can be grown in pots or in the ground, and it’s known for attracting bees and butterflies while repelling mosquitos.
Catnip is a member of the mint family and is known to be highly effective in repelling mosquitos. Studies have shown that catnip can be even more effective than DEET, a common chemical found in mosquito repellents. Catnip can be grown in pots or in the ground, and it requires well-drained soil and sunlight.
Tips to Keep the Bugs Away
When planting these mosquito-repellent plants, consider placing them in and around the areas where you spend the most time outdoors, such as seating areas, patios, and entryways.
You can also crush the leaves of these plants to release more of their natural oils and enhance their mosquito-repelling properties.
In addition to planting these mosquito-repellent plants, it’s important to keep your outdoor living spaces tidy and remove any standing water, as mosquitos breed in stagnant water.
Consider using natural methods to control mosquitos, such as installing mosquito nets, using fans to create air movement, and using outdoor lighting that doesn’t attract mosquitos.
Try incorporating some of these natural mosquito-repellent plants into your outdoor living spaces, so you can enjoy mosquito-free evenings without relying on harmful chemicals.
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:
- citronella geranium
- lemon balm
- nepeta (catmint)
- bee balm
Supplies Needed to Plant a Garden that Repels Mosquitos
- container or outdoor planter (unless planting direct in the ground)
- potting soil (garden soil if planting direct in the ground)
- garden tools
- plant food
- hand trowel or cup
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.
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.
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 failure.
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.
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.
Bug Repelling Plants for This Container Garden Idea
- Thai Basil
- Red Rubin Basil
- Trailing Oregano
- Tri-Color Sage
7 Easy Steps to Plant a Garden that Repels Mosquitos
It’s pretty simple to plant a container garden with mosquito-repelling plants. Here’s what you need to do.
- 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!
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. So I made more mosquito repellent gardens here at the new house last summer and they worked really too!
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.
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!
More About Planting a Mosquito Repellent Garden
Did you know that there are plants that help repel mosquitos and keep the bugs away? Will you be planting some this year? I would love to know more in the comments below.
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Looking for More Container Garden Ideas?
Wait until you see these year-round outdoor planter ideas for your porch, deck or patio.
Garden Supplies I Use
I’m often asked about the garden supplies and tools that I use most. From pruners to deer repellents, here are some of my favorites in no particular order.
- I use good-quality garden soil, compost, and perlite when planting.
- I have used this deer repellent with great success. But now, I’m all about this deer repellent that is systemic instead of topical. This means the plant takes it in as opposed to it just smelling bad.
- This is my all-time favorite hand-weeding tool. You can get underneath roots, loosen soil, and it cuts down on the weeding time because you work much faster.
- But I also love this long, stand-up weeding tool to really get around roses from afar.
- I like to use THIS ORGANIC FERTILIZER for roses because the blooms are more prolific.
- You’ll need a sharp set of pruners when working with plants and flowers. I buy a few so I can stash them around.
- For pest and disease problems, I generally use this insecticidal soap or neem oil to help control infestations depending on the issue.
- This is my favorite set-and-forget slow-release fertilizer for houseplants, annuals, and container gardens.
- Whenever I stake my peonies or other plants, I generally use these grow through garden supports because they work really well and keep the blooms upright.
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