17 Garden Plants That Naturally Repel Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes and other pests can really impact the enjoyment of your outdoor space, but these 17 easy-to-grow plants will deter the irritating bugs. Beautifully scented, brightly colored, and often offering a dual purpose, these are the plants you want to include in your containers and garden beds this year!


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The beautiful smell of lavender is a natural repellent for mosquitoes, making it a great addition to your garden. According to Country Living, the lavandin variety has a higher concentration of camphor and is therefore most effective at keeping bugs away.


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Another strong fragrance that mosquitoes hate, mint is a great addition to any garden. Beyond its bug-repelling abilities, it’s also a lovely flavor to add to your cooking, teas, and more. Make sure to plant it in a pot, as mint is an invasive plant and will quickly spread unless contained.


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Lemongrass is a subtle aromatic plant that contains citronella, a natural oil that mosquitoes dislike. The plant prefers full sun and free-draining soil, and it can grow quite tall, making an excellent privacy screen in an overlooked garden.


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Brightly colored and easy to grow in a sunny spot, marigolds also emit a scent that deters mosquitoes. Garden Design recommends you “grow them in pots and place them near your patio or entrance to your home to keep bugs out.”


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The strong scent of garlic is known to help repel mosquitoes, plus this healthy plant can be harvested and added to your cooking for a beautiful flavor. To grow garlic, position it in a sunny spot and use free-draining soil to keep it happy.


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Known for its use in mosquito-repellent candles and oils, fresh citronella provides a natural repellent for outdoor spaces. Better Homes & Gardens says, “A porch or patio that receives morning sunlight and some afternoon shade is perfect, especially in containers where you can easily grab a leaf to release some of the refreshing perfume.”


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This pretty flowering plant contains a chemical called pyrethrin, which is often used in insect repellents. This means the plant is good at deterring mosquitoes as well as other pests such as roaches and ants. To keep it happy, plant it in full sun in well-drained soil.


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Some studies suggest that catnip is even more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET. It’s easy to grow and maintain, but it can be invasive, so it’s best to plant it in a pot. The pretty flowers also attract bees and butterflies, adding to your garden’s ecosystem.


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A close relative of mint, peppermint’s strong fragrance is known to repel mosquitoes, and the oil from the plant can be applied directly to the skin as a natural repellent. The plant is easy to grow, but just like mint, it can be invasive, so keep it in pots to avoid it taking over your garden.


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An easily grown and delicious herb, basil is also good at repelling mosquitoes due to its natural scent. Hunker says, “Instead of spraying yourself with DEET or other chemicals, simply crush a few basil leaves and rub them on your skin and clothing.”

Lemon Balm

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The aromatic, lemony scent of lemon balm is a good deterrent for mosquitoes, making it a great addition to your garden. It can also be used in tea and cooking, so it’s a multi-purpose plant. Make sure to plant it in pots, as it can be invasive.


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Sage is a fantastic culinary herb that adds amazing flavor to cooking. On top of this, if you dry the sage, you can burn it, and the scent emitted repels mosquitoes. The plant is easy to grow, but it does prefer a sunny spot with free-draining soil.


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Another beautiful herb, the subtle aromatic scent of thyme is a deterrent to mosquitoes. It is also a highly versatile flavor that can be used in various culinary dishes and is easy to grow in either containers or your garden beds.


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According to Homes & Gardens, “One study concluded that a 20% oil solution on rosemary provided 100% against mosquitoes for 8 hours.” The herb is also fantastic for cooking, making it a dual-purpose plant for your garden.


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The allium family includes a few different types of plants, including chives, leeks, and decorative floral varieties. The scent that alliums emit is known to repel various garden pests, including mosquitoes, and they are super easy to grow.

Bee Balm

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Bee balm is a fantastic multi-purpose plant that will attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies to your garden while also repelling mosquitoes. The beautifully fragrant flowers come in a variety of colors, and the plant prefers full sun and moist, well-drained soil.


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Lemon-scented geraniums are particularly effective at repelling mosquitoes due to their strong aroma. They are easily grown and perfect for planting in pots to place strategically around your sitting areas. Make sure you plant them in well-drained soil and water regularly to keep them happy.

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