15 BEST Natural Mosquito Repellent Plants

Do you have a Mosquito problem?

Can you not enjoy spring, summer, or fall because of mosquitoes?

Do you get bit by mosquitoes every time you go into your yard or garden? And are you worried about the potentially deadly diseases they can carry?

Well, thegardeningdad is here to save the day!


After much research, trials across the country, and talking with experts I have created 15 BEST Natural Mosquito Repellent Plants.

Not only are these the BEST Natural ways to repel mosquitoes, but they will also deter other nuisance insects like ants, aphids, etc.

And best of all is that these are great plants to attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds!


Plants are an incredible way to naturally repel mosquitoes from your yard and garden.

But plants are only as good as their environment.

And if you do not properly care for your garden or yard then mosquitoes will make their home in your property, regardless of what you plant.

Because of this, I recommend doing these SIMPLE tasks first:

  1. Keep your grass short. The higher your grass is the more likely mosquitoes will make their home and lay eggs in it. A clean yard is a disease-free yard.
  2. Get rid of any type of standing water. Standing water is generally found in birdbaths, in unused gardening supplies like wheelbarrows, in unused pots and containers, and so much more.
  3. Wear long-sleeve shirts, pants, and a hat. Mosquitoes are attracted to human breath, smell, and nutrients in our blood! Do not wear bright clothes. These will attract mosquitoes
  4. Do not drink alcohol before going into your yard or garden. Mosquitoes are twice as likely to bite someone who has drunk alcohol than those who have not.
  5. Work in your yard during the middle of the day. 80% of all bites happen during sunrise or sunset.
  6. Keep hummingbird nectar away from areas you will be working or relaxing in. Mosquitoes have been known to feed on nectar too.
  7. Don’t use Bug Zappers. Mosquitoes are drawn to the noises and the sight of bug zappers. Even though it may kill some mosquitoes, others will escape.

15 BEST Plants to Repel Mosquitoes

Did you know that only female mosquitoes bite and feed on human blood? Males only exist to reproduce and will not feed.

Did you also know that mosquitoes can carry diseases such as Malaria, Dengue, Yellow fever, West Nile, and even Zika?

And did you know that sometimes you just can’t avoid mosquito bites?

Mosquitoes are attracted to O blood types, pregnant women, overweight people, and people who sweat.

And while there are many products on the market to repel mosquitoes most will either not work or contain some percentage of deet. And while deet can be an effective way to repel mosquitoes it has also been scientifically proven to cause cancer.

If you want to enjoy your yard and garden and prevent mosquitoes from biting you in a natural and safe way then use the 15 plants I recommend below!

1. Citronella

citronella plant - mosquito repellent
Buy on Amazon
  • Zone: 10-11
  • Needs Full Sun
  • Grow 5 to 6 feet tall
  • Repels: Flies & Mosquitoes
  • Type of Plant: Annual

Citronella is my favorite mosquito repellent on this list. Most common ingredients in commercial mosquito repellent come from this list.

Citronella is a perennial plant that emits a strong aroma. The strong aroma masks other scents that typically attracts mosquitoes to an area.

Best of all is citronella is easy to grow and should be placed either on your porch/patio or planted in an area you plan on spending a lot of time in.

2. Lemon Balm

lemon balm - mosquito repellent
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  • Zone: 4 to 9
  • Needs Full Sun
  • Grows 2 to 3 feet tall
  • Repels Fleas and mosquitoes
  • Attracts butterflies and bees
  • Type of Plant: Perennial

Lemon Balm is a member of the mint family and is often called horsemint.

It is one of the easiest herbs to grow for beginners. It does very well in full sun and partial shade. And it is incredibly hardy and drought-resistant.

Lemon Balm is a very fast-growing herb and because of this should be planted in pots for best results.

If you are looking for another great use besides repelling mosquitoes then try this mint in tea!

3. Catnip

catnip - mosquito repellent
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  • Zone: 3 to 9
  • Grows in Full Sun
  • Grows 3 to 5 feet tall
  • Repels termites, cockroaches, and mosquitoes
  • Type of Plant: Perennial

Based on scientific studies, catnip has been proven to be 10 times more effective than Deet for repelling mosquitoes.

Because of this data and its many uses, catnip is my favorite natural plant to repel mosquitoes.

Catnip is easy to grow, can be placed in your garden or yard, and is incredibly hardy.

Best of all is that it can be harvested and enjoyed by cats!

4. Marigolds

marigold - mosquito repellent
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  • Zone: 1-2
  • Grows in Full Sun
  • Grows 1.25 feet tall
  • Repels Deer and Rabbit
  • Attracts Butterflies and Bees
  • Type of Plant: Annual

Marigolds are beautiful, bright annual flowers. They are incredibly hardy and can survive most droughts.

What makes marigold a standout plant for repelling mosquitoes is that it contains the ingredient Pyrethrum.

Pyrethrum is the ingredient found in commercial repellents and has unique aroma mosquitoes hate!

If you are looking for ideas of where to plant marigolds, I would suggest as borders in your yard or in flower beds.

If there is a specific place near your house that typically has bug problems then plant marigolds there. Termites and most bugs despise this plant!

5. Basil

sweet basil - mosquito repellent
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  • Zone: 10 and above
  • Grows in Full Sun
  • Grows 1 to 2 feet tall
  • Repels: Flies & mosquitoes
  • Type of Plant: Annual

Basil is another quick and easy herb that repels mosquitoes. And while there are numerous varieties that can repel mosquitoes, lemon and cinnamon are the most effective.

Out of all the herbs on this list, basil is the easiest herb to grow for beginner gardeners.

And if you want a great use for your basil then trying adding to your salad or make pesto for your pasta.

6. Lavender

lavender - mosquito repellent
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  • Zone: 5 to 9
  • Grows in Full Sun
  • Grows 3 to 4 feet tall
  • Repels: Moths, Fleas, Flies, Spiders, Mosquitoes
  • Attracts: Bees and Butterflies
  • Type of Plant: Perennial

Lavender is one of the best smell herbs on this list for repelling mosquitoes.

Lavender has purple flowers that give off a soothing, calming scene that not only does mosquitoes hate but most insects.

And if you are looking for a great way to use lavender besides repelling mosquitoes then add it to herbal tea and essential oils.

7. Peppermint

peppermint - mosquito repellent
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  • Zone: 3 to 11
  • Grows in Full Sun
  • Grows to 1 to 3 feet tall
  • Repels: Spiders and Mosquitoes
  • Type of Plant: Perennial

By now you can tell that the mint family is great herbs to naturally repel mosquitoes.

Almost every bug despises the smell and taste of peppermint.

Because of this, you should plant peppermint both in pots and in the ground. Specifically, plant this near area you plan on spending time in.

And if you ever get bitten by a mosquito then rub peppermint leaves on the wound for relief.

8. Garlic

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  • Zone: 5 to 9
  • Grows in Full Sun
  • Grows to 3 to 5 feet tall
  • Repels: Vegetable bugs, flies, mosquitoes
  • Attracts: Hummingbirds, bees, butterflies
  • Type of Plant: Perennial

Garlic seems to be the herb that has a hundred uses and all of them are beneficial.

Garlic can help lower cholesterol, is tasty in dishes, repel a wide range of insects, and repels vampires.

Unlike popular belief, eating garlic doesn’t repel mosquitoes, but planting it in your garden will do so.

9. Rosemary

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  • Zone: 5 to 9
  • Grows in Full Sun
  • Grows 3 to 5 feet tall
  • Repels: Vegetable bugs, flies, mosquitoes
  • Attracts: Hummingbirds, bees, butterflies
  • Type of Plant: Perennial

Rosemary is a beautiful flowering plant best used in lamb and fish.

While it has many great uses in dishes and as garnishes, it serves better as a natural repels against mosquitoes.

Not only does rosemary repel mosquitoes, but it does an excellent job deterring vegetable bugs and flies from invading your garden.

10. Geraniums

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  • Zone: 10 to 11
  • Grows in Full Sun
  • Grows to 1 to 3 feet tall
  • Repels: Flies and Mosquitoes
  • Attracts: Butterflies
  • Type of Plant: Annual

This is one of the most beautiful plants on the list that you can grow in your flower garden or as a complement to other plants.

What sets geraniums from other plants on this list is that it can grow in containers, has beautiful blooms almost all spring and summer, and does not need much water.

If you are looking for the perfect plant to repel mosquitoes, attract butterflies, and requires little care then geraniums are for you.

11. Bee Balm

bee balm
Buy on Amazon
  • Zone: 3 to 9
  • Grows in Full Sun
  • Grows 1 to 3 feet tall
  • Repels: Flies & mosquitoes
  • Attracts: Bees, hummingbirds, butterflies
  • Type of Plant: Perennial

Most gardeners know bee balm as a great plant that attracts bees and hummingbirds. But did you know it is also an excellent plant to repel mosquitoes?

What I love about this plant is that it has beautiful blooms and flowers that can be placed almost anywhere in your yard. In addition, it also another low-maintenance plant that is great for beginner gardeners.

Best of all is that you can crush the leaves to release fragrant oils and rub them on your skin to repel mosquitoes and relieve bites.

12. Mint

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  • Zone: 4 to 9
  • Grows in Full Sun
  • Grows 1 to 2 feet tall
  • Repels: Flies, aphids, Mosquitoes
  • Type of Plant: Perennial

Mint. It’s great in tea. It’s great in water. And it is delicious in food dishes. But did you know it is one of the most effective plants to naturally repel mosquitoes?

Mint is a non-toxic option that smells amazing to humans but has a pungent odor for insects.

Did you know that you can also take dry leaves and place them inside your house as natural pest control?

13. Floss Flower

floss flower
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  • Zone: 10 to 11
  • Grows in Full Sun
  • Grows 2 feet tall
  • Repels: Flies, Mosquitoes, Deer, Rabbit
  • Type of Plant: Perennial

Wow! Look at the color on floss flowers!

Floss flowers are annual flowers that are great for containers and have beautiful blooms.

What sets floss flowers apart from other plants on this list is that it contains coumarin, which is a natural mosquito repellent.

And like several other plants on this list, it is a great natural way to attract beautiful hummingbirds and butterflies.

14. Sage

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  • Zones: 5 to 9
  • Grows in Full Sun
  • Grows 3 feet tall
  • Repels: Flies, mosquitoes
  • Type of Plant: Perennial

Sage might be the most versatile herb on this list for repelling mosquitoes and insects.

Sage is a great complement plant in your garden to repel and deter mosquitoes.

Not only this, but you can toss sage in a fire to ward off mosquitoes around you at night.

And even more impressive, dry sage can be used to make your own mosquito repellent.

15. Lemongrass

Buy on Amazon
  • Zone: 9 to 11
  • Grows in Full Sun
  • Grows 3-6 feet tall
  • Repels: Flies, Mosquitoes
  • Type of Plant: Perennial

Lemongrass is the final plant on this list to naturally repel mosquitoes.

Lemongrass has a high level of citral, which is used in mosquito repellent.

Not only is this plant great at repelling mosquitoes, but it also is an excellent ornamental plant and goes great in soups and other dishes.

Bonus – Do THIS for Success

Now that we have an idea of the best natural mosquito repellent plants it is important to talk about how can have the most success with them.

In order to have the most success repelling mosquitoes, I recommend planting at least 3 of the listed plants by each other in pots or together in a garden.

The reason you want to plant at least 3 natural mosquito repellent plants together is to diversify their repellent properties so that you are repelling mosquitoes at all times.

If you learn better while watching videos instead of reading then I recommend watching this:

And finally, if you prefer not to spray yourself with mosquito repellent then one of the most effective ways to deter mosquitos is to break and crush dry leaves of these plants and rub them on your skin and clothes!

I guarantee this will be just as effective, if not more than commercial repellents.

Buy THESE Commercial Products

If you don’t have the time, interest, or ability to grow natural mosquito repellent plants then there are several commercial products that I recommend to all of my readers.

These mosquito repellent plants are effective at repelling while being a convenient and affordable option for all readers.

Insect Repellent Clothes

If you want a safe and easy way to repel mosquitoes and other insects then I recommend purchasing Insect Repellent Clothes.

Buy on Amazon

I personally use and recommend: Insect Shield

Insect Shield uses patented technology for their clothing.

Their insect repellent clothing can be used without restrictions and can be washed up to 70 times before becoming ineffective!

Citronella Candles

Another great commercial option to repel mosquitoes from your deck or patio is citronella candles.

Buy on Amazon

Most citronella candles are made from natural citronella oils, making it an effective and safe repellent.

Not only are citronella candles effective and safe, but they are relatively inexpensive and are perfect for all hardy zones.

Electronic Insect Killer

One of the newer inventions to mosquito repellents are electronic insect killers.

Buy on Amazon

Electronic Insect Killers work to repel and kill mosquitoes within a 1/2 mile radius from where the device hands.

Electronic Insect Killers are safe and affordable ways to repel mosquitoes. It should be noted that you should never hang the device where human activity is.

Repellent Spray

As a gardener and avid outdoorsmen, I spent most of my days outside.

And sometimes I won’t have access to natural mosquito repellent plants or repellent clothing.

And while I prefer not to use repellent sprays, if I am in dire need there is only one product I use: Sawyer Repellents

Buy on Amazon

Sawyer Repellents uses its patented solution that is as effective (and in my opinion more effective) than sprays that contain deet.

And while this is not a spray for your skin, if you apply it to your clothes you will never have a problem with mosquitoes again!


If you are a gardener that loves spending time outside but hates the nuisance of mosquitoes then planting natural mosquito repellent plants is a great idea.

Whatever you do though, make sure to plant 3 of the above repellent plants together for the most effective use.

While the above plants are more effective than commercial products for repelling and deterring mosquitoes, they also have many other benefits.

All of the plants listed above are great for home remedies, food, and attracting birds, bees, and butterflies.

TheGardeningDad does recognize that not everyone has the ability or time for these plants.

If you do not have the time or ability to have natural mosquito repellent plants then I recommend using mosquito repellent clothing, spray, candles, and electric devices.

If you found this article helpful then I highly recommend reading my following articles:

10 Best Weed Killers for your Yard & Garden (2019)

10 Best Insecticides for your Vegetable Garden (2019)

101 Gardening Tips that ACTUALLY Work

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