One thing that we’ve always found really fascinating about the world of flora is the existence of companion plants. It’s not necessarily that plants like to pal around with each other, but more so that some plants grow better near each other, or benefit each other in a you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours kind of way.
Certain plants, sometimes called “trap crops,” can be grown near edibles to help draw pests away. Take nasturtiums, for example. You can plant these colorful, easy-to-grow blossoms in a border around your garden to help lure aphids away from your veggies. Other plants emit a strong smell that insects find offensive, so bugs don’t want to hang out at all.
These plants make great companion plants to humans, because they can help to keep pesky bugs from ruining a pleasant summertime picnic. To prevent mosquitoes, those annoying little pests, from crashing your outdoor festivities, try planting these aromatic plants in pots around your outdoor hangout space, or in a border around your patio.
Five Plants that Repel Mosquitoes
Lemongrass This plant has a fresh lemony smell that is quite nice to people, but that mosquitoes hate. Lemongrass may be grown from seeds, but it is a rather lengthy process. It is actually easier to grow lemongrass from the mature plant, which you can buy at your preferred produce spot, Asian market or grocery store. Purchase a bundle of lemongrass, and when you get it home, trim the tops of the plant, and remove any dead parts. Place the trimmed grass in a clear jar or glass of water, then place this on a sunny windowsill. Within a few weeks, this will develop roots and can be transplanted into a spot with full sun.
Rosemary This herb is awesome for cooking, but did you know that it’s great for repelling mosquitoes, too? Rosemary likes a Mediterranean climate, so it thrives in well draining soil and full sunlight. It’s easy to grow and doesn’t require much water. If you live in a warm climate, your rosemary will even survive the winter. If you live in a climate where the winter dips below 30 degrees F, plant your rosemary in pots so that you can bring it indoors during the winter. Rosemary is technically a shrub and can get quite large, so trim it frequently.
Marigolds Marigolds are awesome companion plants that make a beneficial garden border for many reasons. And something about their slightly pungent smell is just hated by mosquitoes. You can find many different varieties of marigolds and select your favorite to fit the look you want: tall or short, red, orange, gold, or yellow. They don’t need much maintenance, but do benefit from deadheading. While most plants can be rubbed on your skin to help repel mosquitoes, you should avoid this with marigolds.
|Mint Why it is mosquitoes don’t like the refreshing, delicious scent of mint? We don’t know, but the fact is that they don’t! Mint is a very hardy plant that grows rapidly in the ground or in pots. You can pick mint leaves and rub them on your skin as a mosquito repellent, or just include the plants in your landscape. As a bonus, mint also is an easy summer cocktail and snack ingredient.|
Catnip Loved by kitties, but loathed by mosquitoes, catnip is a great plant to help keep pests away. Catnip should be trimmed back frequently, otherwise it tends to get a bit invasive. A good way to keep it from spreading too much is to simply plant it in containers. It also grows well and looks pretty in hanging baskets. Amazingly, catnip has proved to be 10 times more effective than DEET, a chemical commonly found in insect repellents, at keeping mosquitoes away. Catnip is totally safe to rub on your skin, just crush the leaves up a little bit first.