horsemint plant to repel mosquitoes

Most Effective Mosquito Repelling Plants

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Looking for the best plants to repel mosquitoes? Aren’t we all?! I highly doubt there is a single person who would disagree with me when I say that sitting outside and enjoying your backyard is one of life’s most simple joys.

It’s so rewarding to be able to sit back and admire your slice of paradise. What better way to enjoy your colorful and fragrant garden than with company?

You may be thinking ‘company’ means loved ones and friends. I’m thinking the swath of those pesky and ever-present mosquitoes. Like it or not, they are the company you keep!

Natural Mosquito Repellents

When trying to ward off bugs and pests, whether personally or in the garden, I always choose organic. It’s important to me, for a number of reasons, to first explore natural repellents.

Some of the most effective options on the store shelves contain some of these organic remedies. However, they also include some rather harsh chemicals and other unsavory ingredients.

Why not try to plant a few flowers and herbs and use them as a weapon in keeping mosquitoes away?!

Summer nights are so magical and so beautiful. They are my absolute favorite moments of the year. The days are endless, the memories are forever, the scent in the air is sweet, the nights are warm… and the mosquitoes are everywhere.

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That’s right. Those annoying little skeeters can and will find you and ruin the magic that is your summer. The worst part is, the bigger that backyard, the better the garden, the lusher the landscape, means the bigger the problem.

Mosquitoes are famous for their relentlessness and ability to end a good time in no time at all. Luckily, there are small steps you can take to get rid of mosquitoes naturally and help alleviate some of the distress they can cause!

Best Mosquito Repelling Plants


Citronella is the most common natural ingredient used in formulating mosquito repellents. It’s also the smell you notice when burning those outdoor citronella candles. Citronella lives in the geranium family and has a somewhat minty scent.

The perennial (for zones 1-12) is also an annual where regions see frost. If you experience cold winters, the plant will die outdoors. If you experience colder climates, it’s best to plant in a container and move it indoors once temperatures reach the 30’s.

It is drought tolerant and can live in full sun environments, however it will do well with partial shade for a portion of the day. If an indoor plant, remember that it can tolerate droughts well so it’s best to water infrequently but give large quantities when you do water it.

It can be a large plant if grown outdoors, growing from 2-4 feet tall, which makes for a great landscape giving height and fullness. If potted, it won’t reach full height potential but will still be beautiful! Remember to prune a bit to allow for growth.

To use a citronella plant as a mosquito repellent, however, you’ll want to grow it outdoors.


bee balm, or horsemint, for mosquito repellant
Bee Balm/Horsemint Plant

Did you know that horsemint is a rather popular herbal medicine for horses? It’s used to relieve gas! Otherwise, it’s often found as a supplement for humans due to the production of thymol, which can be used to support overall health and wellness. Use at your own risk, we aren’t promoting it.

Other than the quirky gas relieving feature, it’s a very pretty looking plant that will grow year after year. It is a part of the mint family, no surprise given its name. It’s also referred to as “spotted beebalm” and grows in plant hardiness zones 4-9.

They are also a turn-ff to animals like deer and rabbit so it’s good to plant them around your garden if you experience snackers! Plant these fragrant, pointy, beauties in full sun, giving some room between each plant.

Horsemint can get some height to them, anywhere from 1-3 ft and have a nice width span of up to 12 inches. To see a good cluster grow together, you’ll want to plant them in a sandy soil as that is where they will do best. For other soil compositions, you’ll likely see horsemint, or spotted bee balm, behave like a wildflowers.

They will bloom throughout the summer months, perfect for mosquito repellent, and don’t require much watering.


Like I need another reason to love Lavender. Lavender Plants are another great source for your mosquito repelling needs. Not only are they are beautiful plant to grow and admire, but they also have the added benefit of lavender oil, which is a dislike to mosquitoes. The don’t like the scent of it.

You can plant multiple plants around a sitting area, like a fire pit or rocking chairs and let them do their job. You can also extract the oils and apply it directly to your skin for added repelling effort.

Luckily it’s a beautiful fragrance and most don’t mind the smell. It’s great that the Lavender plant is a perennial and will grow back year after year. You’ll be able to enjoy it’s added benefits summer after summer after planting it once!


marigold flowers
Marigold Plant

The vibrant yellows and orange petal of the gorgeous Marigold are an attractive option when considering which flowers repel bugs.

Keep them on your list of front porch flowers! However, if you can get your hands on them and earlier, I highly recommend getting them to repel mosquitoes in your yard.

Not only do they repel mosquitoes quite well, they are also a great resource for keeping those incessant gnat-like white flies away too.

Another added bonus? They repel rabbits too! Keep them near your vegetable garden if you’ve experienced little bunnies nibbling at your near ripe veggies!

There aren’t many tips and tricks to grow them as you’ll likely end up purchasing mature plants already potted. They are annuals with a short life cycle, but man are they useful!


I bet you may be just as surprised as I was to learn catnip isn’t just for cats! Interestingly enough, not only does it make the list of effective plants that repel mosquitoes in general – it actually TOPS the list for its efficacy.

It’s nearly 10 times more powerful than DEET. Because it’s a natural herb, you can plant it and use it for effective bug repelling purposes.

It’s super easy to grow too and luckily is a perennial! You can grow catnip from seeds and when planted into the ground, allow them space for growth.

Once the last frost passes, you can plant them directly into the ground in an area that gets lots of sun and has well draining soil.

If you don’t have well-draining soil, mix some sand into your ground soil to help a bit. If you’re not concerned with the catnip plant spreading, let it grow wild, otherwise you’ll need to do some pruning.

They plant will spread from seeds coming from the flower it grows. Clip the flowering part of the plant off to prevent spreading.

Additional Options

You can also plant basil or garlic as their strong scents naturally deter those pesky little bugs. The additional benefit of planting these two is that you’ll be able to use them for a variety of purposes, especially cooking!

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