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6 Easy-to-Grow Mosquito Repellent Plants for Your Garden - Quicken Loans Zing Blog


DEET. We’ve all heard of it at some point. A few years ago, there was a lot of bad press regarding DEET (the most common active ingredient in insect repellents) and whether it was harmful or not to humans. According to the CDC, “Using insect repellents containing DEET should not be harmful if label directions are followed and the product is used safely.”

While DEET may not be a huge danger according to this CDC information, bug repellents still have a few drawbacks that make me want to look for other options (mainly that most smell AWFUL).

Citronella candles could work, but I’ve tipped plenty of them over, and the wax makes a huge mess. Tiki torches filled with citronella oil look neat and tropical, but the open flame could be dangerous. Open flames and adult alcoholic beverages don’t seem like a good combination….ever.

When I’m outside enjoying the backyard or hosting a party, I’m surrounded by my garden. Which got me wondering if there are any plants that naturally repel mosquitoes.


Mother Nature usually comes through for me, and she sure did this time. Check out some of these mosquito-repellent plants you can grow in your garden and patio area!

Citronella Grass

Makes sense, right? Why not add some citronella grass to your patio area if it’s one of the main natural ingredients found in tons of mosquito repellents? Garden Design adds that it is a super-easy plant to take care of. Just make sure you keep it in a pot if you live in colder climates. Citronella grass doesn’t like cold weather.

Catnip or Catmint

Last year, I grew a ton of catnip for my kitties. I remember the strong scent the leaves gave off when I tore them up for the cats to eat. My hands smelled like it for hours after no matter how much I washed them.

Now that I think about it, last year I didn’t get any mosquito bites. Maybe it was because I smelled like catnip all the time. In fact, Science Daily reported that catnip is more effective than DEET as a repellent.

Just be careful because catmint grows like crazy. I would keep it in a pot unless you want it to take over your entire yard.


Many homemade mosquito repellents include lavender oil. Apparently, many bugs, including mosquitoes, fleas and moths, can’t stand the scent. Lavender is a pretty hearty plant that’s easy to grow. Much like catnip, it’ll take over any garden space, so just be sure to keep it pruned or in a large pot. I bought some last year, and it didn’t get super big because I kept it in a pot.


As one of the most pungent herbs, I can easily see why basil makes the list as a natural mosquito repellent. It makes sense, because basil is known as the perfect companion plant to tomatoes to help keep bugs away. I planted several basil plants around my tomatoes and had ZERO bug problems last year.

Rosemary and Thyme

Aside from part of the title to an awesome Simon and Garfunkel album, rosemary and thyme are another pair of herbs you can use to combat mosquitoes. Mother Earth News notes, “Researchers at Seoul National University in Seoul, South Korea, found that thyme volatiles repelled mosquitoes as well as or better than DEET, and that thyme volatiles lasted as long as DEET.”

Garden Design adds, “Rosemary is an herb that many of us are very familiar with and their woody scent is exactly what keeps mosquitoes as well as cabbage moths and carrot flies away.”

Lastly, rosemary and thyme are easy-to-grow container herbs. Plus, you can use these when you’re cooking at home.

In my garden last year, I grew catnip, basil, lavender and lemon balm. My garden area surrounds most of my outdoor living space, and I don’t remember hoards of mosquitoes hanging around there. However, if you went maybe 10–15 feet away, it got a lot worse. It seems like, in a totally unintentional way, I created a mosquito fortress in my backyard.


There are a few other mosquito-repellent plants, but, from my experience, the ones above are relatively inexpensive, easy-going plants that don’t require much of a green thumb to grow. Give some of these mosquito-repellent plants a try this year!

Do you think you’d grow some of the plants above at home? Let us know in the comments below!


This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. Dear Supplier,

    I am writing to inquire from your company about a supply of “ANTI-MOSQUITO PRODUCTS” . Kindly confirm the availability of the said product to enable us open a mutual business negotiation.


    Mr. Rossy Johnson
    MD, Pink Rossy Consulting Company

    1. Hi Rossy:

      We’re a home mortgage lender. This is just content on how to keep mosquitoes out of your garden. We don’t sell mosquito repellent of any kind. I’ve removed your address to protect your privacy. Thanks!

  2. Dear Sir,

    We want to purchase mosquito repellent , so if you can supply this or can get us any reliable company who can supply us this kindly contact us with price per carton ok
    So any kind of the mosquito repellent you know that you can supply is very much welcome , please get back to us

    Mr Yanick

    1. Hi Yanick:

      Unfortunately, we don’t supply mosquito repellent. You would be better off going to the convenience store. They can help you. I’m also removing your phone number to protect your privacy.

      Kevin Graham

  3. The best way to prevent mosquito is to install nets. Using

    repellent is very harmful for human beings. You can also use

    portable nets when you are travelling.

    1. No. Plants are repellent is not harmful at all to human beings, or pets. Chemical repellent has also been tested and determined safe, in the reasonable quantities needed for repelling mosquitos. Do not eat it. lol. DO, eat the herbs. They are good in your diet.

      Nets are a pain in the behind to use unless you live in a hut in the jungle and just want it over your bed while you sleep.

  4. Even though it is only March, I had a small army of ants invade my kitchen counter. We have had a very mild winter here
    In Tennessee. I mixed vinegar, baking soda and dawn dish washing liquid and put it in a spray bottle. I sprayed it and
    Immediately killed the ants. There was a stream of them coming through my patio door. I sprayed it all along that stream
    And they were gone instantly. That was over two weeks ago and no sign of them returning. I will always keep this on hand.

    1. It is more effective to mix boric acid with corn syrup, which they will eat, and take back to the colony, to regurgitate and feel the larvae, killing them. Put the mixture on a piece of plastic or more thick layer on cardboard.

      This is essentially what you get why you buy some off the shelf products containing the clear liquid in plastic feeder packs.

  5. I am a gardener who recently moved to the Big Island of Hawaii. Mosquitos galore! I would appreciate any other tips. Thanks.

  6. There is a plant about 2 ft. high that’s called a “Mosquito Shoo Plant”-!
    It has a Citron-like Scent which is pleasant! Keep one near your back-door-!
    I read about this last summer–“That Mums repeal Mosquitos-!” I had 6 rather
    large bushes of dark-red Mums scattered both in front & back-years-! So I think
    they were effective-!

  7. Thanks for the ideas. I can’t stand bugs, which are our ancient and modern enemies. However, they got us using poop in compost that you use in your garden. Compost naturally attracts bugs. So, compost defeated the purpose of keeping bugs out of your garden. Gnats, fruit flies, no-see-ums and all these bugs use compost to put their larvae in. As I said they are attracted to poop. So find another type of compost that excludes poop and you will have a safest result to keep bugs away from you.

    1. To drastically reduce insects in manure and other feces based compost, mix in dry brown organic matter so it dries out faster, and cover with a layer of soil or more brown organic matter.

      Regardless, mosquitoes generally need standing water, not manure so don’t leave standing water anywhere and you should be fine in deterring mosquito population growth.

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