Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

By Amanda Lutz Updated February 6, 2024

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Mosquito-repelling plants can help homeowners protect their backyards and patios against mosquitoes while filling gardens with beautiful scents and vibrant colors. We’ll cover popular plants that naturally repel these pests in the guide below and offer information on where to place these plants, how to care for them, and additional mosquito-repellent methods.

Most Effective Mosquito-Repelling Plants

Many plants can act as insect repellents around back doors, patios, and other outdoor spaces. Some mosquito-repelling plants work best as hanging or potted plants, while others are most effective from within garden beds. 

Consider investing in these popular mosquito-repelling plants:

Most of these plants naturally repel mosquitoes with potent scents. We recommend planting a variety of these herbs and flowering plants around your patio.

Other Natural Ways to Repel Mosquitoes

Mosquito-repelling plants are effective, but there are other ways to keep mosquitoes away. Consider the following alternatives if you don’t have a green thumb:

Where to Place Mosquito-Repelling Plants

Mosquito-repelling plants will only work within a certain radius, so you must be strategic when deciding where to plant each. Consider which plants require manual activation and which grow best where.

The most effective hosts for your mosquito-repelling plants are containers or hanging pots. Fill pots with well-draining soil so standing water doesn’t attract mosquitoes. Place pots near the backdoor, around your grill, and around your patio chairs.

Follow these tips if you’re looking for a specific layout:

Caring for Mosquito-Repelling Plants

The amount of sunlight your yard gets, your area’s climate, and the amount of rainfall in your area determine which plants will thrive best in your landscape. Look up your U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Hardiness Zone for information on which plants will grow best in your region. 

We recommend planting different plants in separate containers. Fill pots or containers with well-draining soil that won’t stay too damp, and make sure there’s a hole at the bottom of each pot. Plant herbs and flowers in containers that are approximately two inches wider than the plants they host so there’s plenty of room for plants to grow. 

Keeping plants in containers will allow you to quickly move them as necessary to protect different spots against mosquitoes. You can also move plants to sunny portions of your patio or place them in partial shade based on individual needs.

Using Potted Plants to Repel Mosquitoes

The mosquito-repelling plants that work best in small pots are mint, rosemary, and lemongrass. Plant them in a small herb garden, or place them on tables, desks, or your bedside table. Avoid overwatering these plants, and make sure they get plenty of direct sunlight. Prune them back if they start to get too big for their containers.

Risks of Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are more than just a backyard nuisance. They can carry dangerous diseases such as malaria, West Nile virus, and Zika virus. Malaria killed 627,000 people in 2020 alone, and West Nile virus is one of the most common mosquito-carried diseases in the United States.

Our Recommendation

Mosquitoes make the outdoors unpleasant, and they also carry dangerous diseases. You can help keep them away from your home and family by installing mosquito-repellent plants around your landscape. This is an effective and aesthetically pleasing means of getting rid of mosquitoes and keeping your family safe.

We recommend planting different types of herbs and flowers that repel mosquitoes. Research specific varieties that will thrive in your region, and use pots that you can easily move.

Plants That Repel Mosquitoes FAQ

What is the most effective mosquito-repelling plant?

The most effective mosquito-repelling plant is usually citronella, but the best choice for your landscape will depend on the area in which you live and your specific needs.

How long do citronella candles repel mosquitoes?

How long a citronella candle will repel mosquitoes depends on the size and strength of the candle. Small tealight-sized candles can repel mosquitoes for a couple of hours, while larger candles can burn for up to 30 hours. Combine citronella candles with other repellents for the best results.

Which essential oils repel mosquitoes?

The essential oils that best repel mosquitoes are lavender oil, citronella oil, lemongrass oil, and eucalyptus oil.

Do lavender plants really keep mosquitoes away?

Lavender plants really keep mosquitoes away, whether you’re using the plants or lavender essential oil. The camphor in the lavender repels insects.

How far apart should mosquito plants be?

Mosquito plants should be no more than 24 inches apart. You can create an especially reliable barrier against mosquitoes by placing multiple plants in the same area.