17 Best Plants to Repel Mosquitoes

bee balm

Last Updated on October 31, 2021 by Phil

Tire of getting bitten by mosquitoes?

Maybe it’s time to grow these best plants that repel mosquitoes.

These shrubs, herbs, flowers and many more have something in them that keep the pesky blood suckers away.

The best part about these plants is, you don’t have to do anything.

Once you’ve planted them, they’ll do the rest.



Garlic is one of the most popular cooking ingredients in cooking. That’s because of its strong aroma.

While that aroma makes food smell great for most of us, it’s turns off mosquitoes.

In fact, mosquitoes are more likely to stay away from you (and not bite you) after consuming a meal with garlic.

Thus, because of its frequent use in the kitchen, you can plant garlic in your yard or garden for cooking as well as keeping these pesky blood suckers away.

You’ll also be happy to know that garlic also repels ants and aphids.



Basil is best known for making pesto sauce. It’s likewise used to flavor tomato and spaghetti sauce. Or, you can top it on pizza as well.

What many people don’t know is that it’s a great mosquito repellent as well.

Once again, they don’t like the aroma is produces. So if you crush the leaves (which intensifies the smell), you’ll be able to keep mosquitoes away from a certain area.

Basic works great for flies as well.

And, they’re easy to grow in your own indoor or outdoor herb garden.



Citronella is often used for essential oils, candles, incense and sprays.

The oils are probably the most common because of their medicinal properties. But, you’ve probably noticed that candles that have citronella in them work better than regular candles in keeping mosquitoes away.

That’s because like many of the others above, it’s scent is a natural repellent to these insects.

Citronella is a tall grass that grows up to 5-6 feet.

While it’s useful against flies and mosquitoes, you’ll want to think twice before growing them if you own cats or dogs. That’s because they’re toxic to them.

And, since your pets are known to eat grass and dirt once in a while, it’s not a good idea to have citronella growing around them.



Unlike the first few plants on our list, marigolds are flowers. Thus, they’re a good choice if you want to add some other color besides green to your home or garden.

Like many of the other items on the list, marigolds are edible. In fact, you’ve probably had them in your soup or salad before.

That said, this lovely plant is well know for repelling mosquitoes. In addition, it also keeps rabbits and deer away. Thus, it’s a good choice if you have both animals messing up your vegetable garden.

Better yet, this easy to grow flower also attracts bees and butterflies.

As such, they’re awesome since they keep nuisances away while bringing the pollinators to your yard.



Sage is another well-known herb. It actually belongs to the same family as mint does.

And, consuming it has been shown to be good for oral health, cognitive function, cholesterol and blood sugar.

Of course, like many herbs, it’s not easy to consume a lot of it at a time. That’s why you’ll often see it in the form of teas or dried products.

Besides its health benefits, sage also keeps mosquitoes away. But, unlike many of the others on the list, it doesn’t do so naturally.

Instead, you have to burn sage to produce the repelling effect. As such, it kind of works like incense.



Peppermint is probably one of the most popular flavors around.

Unfortunately, many people don’t really know how the peppermint herb looks like. Instead, it’s known because it’s used to flavor gums, teas, oils and many commercial products.

That said, you can growing peppermint in your backyard keeps both mosquitoes and spiders away.

Do note that it’s an aggressive grower. So, you may need to keep its growth in check.

The good news is, it isn’t like its other mint siblings which are invasive.

Floss Flower

floss flower

This is another small flowering plant you can use to add more color to your garden.

In addition to its looks, it also keeps flies and mosquitoes away. Plus, it repels rabbit and deer as well.

In fact, floss flowers are toxic to grazing animals. So, they may or may not be a good choice for you depending on whether you care for any of these animals.

Floss flowers contain a chemical called coumarin, which is also found in cinnamon. It’s what keeps mosquitoes away.

The good news is, they attract butterflies and hummingbirds.



As its name suggests, lemongrass has a hint of lemony flavor. This citrus scent comes from citral, which is what gives citrus fruit peels their sweet fragrance.

The thing is this same aroma keeps mosquitoes away. They don’t like it.

As such, if you like its flavor and use it for cooking, it may be a good idea to plant them in your backyard to drive both flies and mosquitoes away as well.

This grassy plant gets to about 3-6 feet in height. It also likes full sun and soil that drains well.



Lavender is a very popular fragrance used in essential oils because it helps soothe you and reduces stress.

In addition to that, it also keeps many of the nuisance home insects away. This includes mosquitoes, flies, spiders, fleas and moths.

This makes it a good idea to grow right outside your home if you have any of these pests bothering you.

Interestingly, lavender also works well against bed bugs. So, you can keep it in your bedroom as well. After all, it helps you fall asleep anyway.



If you like to BBQ or grill, you most likely enjoy the flavor that rosemary adds to your meats.

But, the same can’t be said for mosquitoes. They don’t like the stuff when its burned. So do flies and some types of bugs.

On the other hand, butterflies, bees and hummingbirds are attracted to them.

So, you’ve got a win-win, right?




Unlike most of the other plants on the list, cloves are a little harder to grow. That’s because they’re a fairly good sized tree.

As such, you’ll need a good amount of space. And, be patient as it grows.

An alternative is to grow them in large pots indoors.

On the bright side, cloves are natural mosquito repellents. They’re actually the flower buds taken from the tree.

The only difference between then and those you see in stores is that the latter have either been dried or turned into oil.

Scented Geranium

scented geranium

You already know how beautiful geraniums are. They’re wonderful for adding color and vibrancy to any home or garden.

As far as keeping mosquitoes away, you’ll be glad to know that they contain some citronella oil. That’s the same one from the citronella plant.

The difference is the amount. And, thus, the intensity of the aroma.

Because of its limited smell, scented geraniums aren’t as potent in repelling mosquitoes as those above.

This is why they’re more effective in oil form.

But, growing them does offer the extra benefits of beautifying your garden.

Lemon Balm 

Lemon Balm 

Lemon balm is another member of the mint family. As such, it’s another potent enemy of the mosquito.

Before getting too excited about its uses, you’ll want to know that it’s invasive. So, it can encroach over the spaces of other plants that are grown beside it.

That said, you’ve likely heard about all the healing properties of this herb. This includes stress reduction, stomach discomfort relief and many more.

In addition, they do keep fleas away while attracting butterflies and bees as well.




Pennroyal is also called squaw mint.

And yes, it’s another member of the mint family.

You’re probably seeing a pattern here.

In any case, this flowering plant has a strong aroma that smells like spearmint. This makes it something that flies, fleas and mosquitoes hate.

If you happen to be one of those people that mosquitoes like to victimize, you can actually carry some crushed stems of the plant with you to keep yourself from getting bitten.



Catnip is a favorite of cats. And, it’s a potent repellent of mosquitoes.

This makes it perfect if you have pet cats at home.

Additionally, you’ll be happy to know that it also repels cockroaches and termites as well.

Catnip is easy to grow.

It can stay in full sun or partial shade. And, it grows up to 3-5 feet.

But, be wary of growing it in garden beds, where it can be invasive.




The snowbrush is one of the lesser known aromatic shrubs. It’s another plant plant that mosquitoes don’t care for.

And, something you may want to grow in your garden if you’re looking for something to spruce up your gardens edges or borders.

Bee Balm

bee balm

Yes, bees like this plant. Hence, its name.

Bee balm is often used as garnish in some dishes. It’s also found in teas as well as other products.

Besides bees, it’s also well-liked by butterflies and hummingbirds. So, if you want to attract them to your garden, growing bee balm helps.


Mosquitoes are among the most irritable creatures around.

To make matters worse, they can transmit infections like dengue and malaria among other things.

So while burning incense or using some other contraption may work, why not just grow some of these plants.

Many of them will beautify your garden, while others are edible. Either way, it’s a win-win for you.

How do you get rid of mosquitoes?


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