Plants to repel mosquitoes

Fri. May. 15, 2020

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Plants to repel mosquitoes

Squiter season’s already here. I smacked one last weekend behind my ear, he’d already had quite a drink from the blood on my hand… and then I had a listener ask me about plants that repel mosquitoes. Good idea! Thanks for the idea, Avis!

There are some… perennials even! But let’s start with the annuals for our cold zones.

First is basil, one of my all time favorite herbs! Basil also keeps flies away and there are a ton of varieties. Plant some in a container and place it on your outdoor table!

basil on the right, rosemary in the middle, oregano on the left

Rosemary is another fabulous herb for flavor, for repelling mosquitoes, for drying and also growing in containers. The annual marigold is also rated a great repellent not just of ‘squiters but also aphids, thrips, whiteflies, Mexican bean beetles, squash bugs, and tomato hornworms. That’s why you see them in nearly every vegetable garden!

Marigold ‘Super Hero Spry’ 2018

I have 3 2020 AAS winners I’m growing from seed right now! 

Marigold ‘Big Duck Gold’
marigolds with carrots

And now for some perennials. Monarda aka Beebalm aka horsemint, is a great native here in the north land and also has plenty of cultivars.

native Monarda aka wild bergamot

SCENT is the biggest reason the mosquitoes don’t like this plant or any of the others. Bonus, bees and butterflies love monarda.

Catnip aka Nepeta, is one easy plant to grow, sometimes TOO easy, but it’s a repellent as well. It’s part of the mint family, another plant that mosquitoes don’t like.


I have some peppermint that pops up in my perennial garden. It is invasive but so tasty, and the SMELL is wonderful.

Peppermint – it took over the place I was living at! 

Plants aside from the ones mentioned already:

  • lavender
  • geraniums
  • lemon thyme
  • garlic
  • petunias
  • lemon balm
  • citronella
  • most any plant that has a STRONG scent helps!