In summer, mosquitoes are a real plague. But there is no question of giving up evenings on the terrace! To end the bites, here are 10 very effective mosquito repellents to grow in pots or in the garden.
If summer is one of the favorite seasons of the French, it must be admitted that the return of mosquitoes spoils the pleasure a little. Citronella candle, mosquito repellent bracelet, repellant spray, essential oils … If you've tried everything but keep getting bitten, we've found the solution for you: plants! Thanks to their leaves which give off an odor which effectively repels insects, some of them have an insect repellant action that could not be more effective. Focus on 10 of them, to grow in pots or in the garden.
1 – Lemongrass
Known to repel mosquitoes, lemongrass is the plant that is used the most at home to avoid bites. Its particularly pronounced lemon odor has a repulsive action and effectively scares biting insects. If you can use it as an essential oil, you can also plant it in a pot to place it wherever you want in your garden or directly in the ground. Lemon being a good repellent, also think of lemongrass thyme, lemongrass basil or lemon balm.
2 – Lavender
If lavender attracts foraging insects such as bees or bumblebees, it has a strong odor for wasps and mosquitoes. You can very easily grow lavender in pots, on the windowsills or on your balcony in a container exposed to direct sunlight. To protect your garden from mosquitoes, consider planting one or two clumps of lavender. It is cultivated in a poor, stony soil and a very sunny exposure.
3 – Catnip
Catnip can be used as a natural mosquito repellent. In its stems, it contains a repellent oil, ten times more effective than products and other insecticides that are commercially available and which are anything but natural. You can grow it in a pot or in the ground. However, if you opt for the second option, be careful not to plant it too close to the bedding where yours grow. Cats particularly like to come and rub in there, they risk damaging your other plantations.
4 – Pelargonium
Certain plants can become our best allies against mosquitoes, this is the case with pelargonium which we know much more by the name of geranium. The leaves of the scented geranium, when wrinkled, spread an odor that directly scares biting insects. Ideal as planters, it will easily find a place on the windowsills or on the terrace. Most plants in the geraniaceae family, including pelargoniums, produce a chemical called lemon grass that has the ability to effectively repel mosquitoes.
5 – Mint
Do you love the smell of mint? That's good, mosquitoes hate it! Green, peppery, pennyroyal … All are effective in putting an end to mosquito bites. They are grown in pots but also in all soils, and if possible in partial shade. Be careful, if you plant it in the ground, allow enough space because it is a plant which tends to spread out! Finally, think about growing it near your kitchen, you may need it for your mojitos or fruit salads.
6 – Lemon balm
From the mints family, lemon balm is a very effective plant for keeping mosquitoes away. Although it looks a lot like mint, its smell is very different. Lemon balm is ideal for prevention because its leaves give off a very lemony scent absolutely repulsive to mosquitoes. Particularly invasive, we prefer to plant it in a pot and place it on a terrace or by the window.
7 – Rosemary
Excellent for flavoring your dishes, rosemary is also an excellent mosquito repellent thanks to its incense smell. It grows in all soils, even clay, and prefers to live in full sun. But rosemary also lives very well in pots, so you can very well put it on a terrace, inside a kitchen or on a window sill. Little tip: if you are having a barbecue, throw in a few sprigs of rosemary. You will see, it is a very effective natural repellant!
8 – Basil
Everyone loves the smell of basil, except mosquitoes! Like mint, lavender and lemon balm, basil is part of the lamiaceae family and is also an excellent repuslif. The most effective varieties against mosquitoes are lemon basil and cinnamon basil. We prefer to grow it in a pot, near doors and windows, but you can also prepare a small bunch of basil in a vase that you can place in your room. This can scare away mosquitoes.
9 – Lemon eucalyptus
Among the essential oils effective against mosquitoes, we find the essential oil of lemon eucalyptus. Thanks to its richness in citronellal and citronellol, it effectively repels these small insects which are a real plague in summer. The plant is just as effective! If the eucalyptus trees are at the base of large trees that can easily reach a height of twenty meters, there are dwarf varieties that are perfectly suited for growing in pots. Perfect to be placed on a terrace in summer!
10 – The concern
With the worry, the mosquitoes have to worry! Recognizable by its pretty yellow and orange flowers, calendula officinalis (or marigold) contains pyrethrin, an ingredient found in mosquito repellents and insecticides sold in supermarkets. In summer, marigold will perfectly dress your terrace or garden and grows in the sun as well as in the shade. Cultivable in full ground, you can also cultivate it in pot or in planter on the edge of a window for example.
See also: 5 plants that (almost) don't need water