The 4 Best Garden Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

Repel Mosquitoes with Citronella
4 Plants that Repel Mosquitoes

It’s patio season, Tomball! Time to break out the sangria, throw together a sweet summer playlist and soak up some sun with friends and fam. Now, before you get the party started, first you should make sure no unwanted visitors show up. No, we don’t mean Tammy from Accounting— we’re talking mosquitoes. Not only are these pesky bugs a total buzzkill, but they can carry some nasty diseases that spread to us through their bites.

For years we’ve used aerosol bug sprays to repel mosquitoes, but more studies are showing that the active ingredient DEET is not the healthiest, especially when we coat our skin with it day after day. Instead, folks are starting to turn to natural alternatives that still do the trick without all the chemicals.

Repel Mosquitoes with Citronella

If you haven’t used a citronella candle or coil before, you should absolutely try them. They’re infused with citronella oil, a natural compound extracted from the lemongrass plant that keeps mosquitoes away with a pungent lemon scent the skeeters can’t stand. It’s USDA approved and is widely regarded as the most effective natural solution for mosquito control. While they work pretty well in more enclosed areas like screened-in patios, if it’s a particularly windy night, the scent will just get carried away and the bugs might sneak back up on you.

A great solution to help keep your yard free of mosquitoes without having to constantly reignite your candles and coils is to fill your yard and garden with plants that keep mosquitoes away. Filling a few containers to line the patio and bordering your yard along the fence with these anti-mosquito plants will help repel mosquitoes all summer long. After all, it’s hard to feel fabulous when you’re covered in red splotches and scratching at your ankles like a flea-infested labradoodle. Here are some of our top recommendations for anti-mosquito plants you can grow here in Tomball.

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4 Plants that Repel Mosquitoes

Keep your yard looking gorgeous and free of biting insects with these colorful, fragrant plants that repel bugs. They smell great to us, but the mosquitoes definitely think otherwise.

Citronella Geraniums: These pretty pinkish-purple geraniums, also known as Citrosa, are actually a hybrid plant bred with the intention of infusing the citronella scent in a decorative flower for containers and garden beds. Setting up a few containers full of these lovely blossoms all around your outdoor seating area should help repel mosquitoes pretty well, but if you’d really like to double down on your mosquito defense, pluck off a few leaves, crush them up and rub them on your skin. This should give you an hour or two of protection, and the lemony scent is actually pretty nice, if not a little reminiscent of junior high when everyone was spritzing on that Gap “So Pink” perfume!  

Catnip: If you hate bugs but love cats, this fragrant herb deserves a spot in your garden. It contains the naturally-occurring chemical nepetalactone, which keeps away a long list of insects, particularly mosquitoes and ants. Tearing up some fresh catnip and sprinkling it around every week or so will send those bugs running for the hills.


Ageratum: This mounded flowering plant is commonly known as the Floss Flower, due to its fluffy cotton-candy purple blossoms. It’s quite heat-tolerant, so it holds up well here in Tomball. The active ingredient in ageratum is coumarin, a compound which will not only repel mosquitoes but many other flying insects that we don’t want buzzing around the patio.

Lemongrass: As the name suggests, lemongrass is a perennial grass with a citrus scent that mosquitoes hate. Plus, it has a delicious flavor that is the perfect way to boost your summer dishes with freshness!

Skip the stinky chemical sprays this year and opt for a natural solution: decorating your yard and garden with fragrant plants that smell amazing to us but aren’t so popular among the mosquito crowd. It’s a real win-win— you’ll be left with a colorful yard full of gorgeous blooms, and you won’t have to worry about swatting away the skeeters.