Is there any greater hindrance to enjoying the outdoors in the South than mosquitoes? They’re annoying, they bite, and they can make you really sick. But if you’re looking for an attractive, multi-functional, all-natural mosquito repellent, plants are the way to go. Here are three of the easiest-to-grow mosquito-repelling plants that can hide you from the pesky critters.
You might be familiar with basil’s broad, green, fragrant leaves. It’s true that basil is great for soups, sauces, and pasta. And that its flowers attract butterflies. But it also contains oils that make mosquitoes fly away.
Basil is easily grown in the ground or in a pot. Put it in full to part sun, water it when the soil is dry-ish, and it’ll be happy.
Then, when you’re ready to be outside, cut several sprigs from your plant. You can burn them on the grill or save them in a glass of water for later that day. You can also rub the leaves on your skin or clothing, but be warned: this could irritate your skin.
This is a popular herb for garnishes, desserts, and herbal teas. Its teardrop-shaped, textured leaves and cascading tendency make it beautiful too. Better yet, mosquitoes run from minty scents.
It’s best to keep mint potted, since it can be invasive. It likes part sun (but will tolerate shade) and dry soil. Water only when the soil is completely dry.
Mint’s mosquito-repelling powers can be activated in the same way as basil’s. Just remember, you have to release the oils for it to work. That means cutting, rubbing, or smashing part of the plant.
Much garden advice is centered on the pest-repelling powers of marigolds. And mosquitoes happen to be one of those pests. Their many-“fingered” leaves and puff-ball flowers make them an attractive addition to your outdoor living space. Not to mention the fragrance and dramatic colors of the flowers. Which also happen to be edible. Talk about multi-functional!
They grow well potted or in the ground. Plant them in full to part sun, and water when the soil gets dry. You can even remove dead or wilted flowers (known as “deadheading”) to encourage more blooms.
To release the oils and beat the mosquitoes, cut some flower stems for an arrangement.
Even though mosquitoes are a problem, you can repel them with attractive, 100% natural plants. Try it, and see if you don’t gain a sense of accomplishment, too!