Now that we have completed our pollinator gardens and we’ve amended or rebuilt great soil, we are on our way to controlling some of our outside pesky bugs like the infamous mosquito. Here are five of my favorite mosquito repellent plants that you can plant in your garden.
#5 – CATMINT:
Honestly, any type of mint plant is amazing in your quest to eliminate mosquitoes. This plant is a healthy survivor. It can thrive anywhere and is a friendly helper. Some studies suggest that this plant is 10 times more powerful than DEET. This blooming baby can get three feet tall with proper care and it likes full sun to light shade. Catmint blooms in the late spring to early summer, is heat and drought tolerant, gives a minty aroma, and is a pollinator plant – meaning it will attract tons of bees, butterflies and all kinds of beneficial insects.
#4 – ENGLISH LAVENDER:
This is another heat and drought tolerant survivor, a great summertime plant that blooms from June to August and can grow to about two to three feet tall. Not all lavenders are the same. Most people assume that because its name is lavender that all varieties are purple, but other hybrids come in a variety of pastel colors and can be grown in a container or in a garden bed. Place in full sun with a well drained soil mixture of sand and gravel to make sure that it stays moist. You can place these fragrant plants near your porch or patio and it will help get rid of fleas, flies, mosquitoes and other flying pesky bugs. English lavender is also a pollinator and attracts loads of bees and butterflies.
#3 – MARIGOLDS:
Want to keep bugs away with a beautiful pop of color? You can grow them in pots at your garden or by your front entrance. This is a great kid-friendly starter plant as the seeds germinate rapidly and bloom in just eight weeks. These plants are great when used as companion plantings to help veggies grow healthy and remain bug free. There are many species of marigolds, but my favorite is the African marigold. It can grow up to four feet tall if nourished properly. You can put your marigolds in full sun, but they also love afternoon shade.
#2 – BEE BALM
This plant is beneficial to everything in your garden. It will help deter mosquitoes while attracting pollinators that help produce large yields of those veggies we love to eat. When the leaves are crushed, a beautiful fragrance fills the air and the dry seeds are a favorite source of food for our local birds. When planted in the sun, they are less susceptible to disease and have a wide variety of herbal and medicinal benefits. It is commonly used in potpourris and topical rubs. Plant this in moist soil with water at the base to prevent disease and mildew.
#1 – LEMONGRASS
This is my number one deterrent of bugs! It is low maintenance and is great in large planters or planted directly in the ground. Lemongrass can be used in teas, as an herb when cooking and also as a natural perfume. If you love the smell of lemon, purchase some lemongrass and you won’t be disappointed.
Now that we talked about my five favorite plants that deter mosquitoes from being in our yards, there are few things that we can do to make sure our mosquito population in our yards and gardens doesn’t get out of control. We have to work diligently to keep our water from collecting and becoming still or dormant. Mosquitoes can lay hundreds of eggs in a tiny spoon of water! You need to get rid of standing water within seven days to avoid a mosquito problem.
Mosquito babies feed on microorganisms and bacteria made from leaves, grass, bird droppings or soil in water. Empty flower pots, wheelbarrows, gutters, bird baths and buckets. Dump out all water sources and cover so they can’t catch more water.