Insect-Repelling Plants and Flowers


For most of the country, mosquito season is not quite here yet, but it’s never too early to plan. If you are tired of using stinky, sticky bug sprays and repellents in the warmer weather, and want a natural way to keep mosquitoes and other pests away from you, there are a few options you can try.

Keep in mind, while the following suggestions seem to reduce the presence of mosquitoes in the areas they are placed, they do nothing to reduce the mosquito population on your property. Eliminate mosquito breeding grounds by dumping any standing water around your property. Remove trash and leaf piles, and keep your gutters clean and flowing freely. Whether you choose professional mosquito abatement or not, preventing mosquitoes from breeding should cause a reduction of the number of mosquitoes you see. 

Mosquitoes are attracted to people for a variety of reasons including a certain scent — or combination of scents — that some people emit. According to Farmer’s Almanac, you can deter mosquitoes and other insects by introducing other scents to the area including plants, flowers, and herbs. “The scents of mint, fruit, and even chocolate can block the receptors that the bugs use to find us.” 

Some plants shown to repel insects include:

  • Lemongrass
  • Lemon balm
  • Lavender
  • Garlic
  • Rosemary 
  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Catnip
  • Marigolds

While these plants are attractive, and some are useful in cooking, their simple presence may not be enough. Crushing the leaves or petals to release their fragrance is often necessary to benefit from the full effect. Whether you choose your landscaping for aesthetics, function or both, take the time now to plan your garden and decide what would work in your space.