40 Amazing Mosquito-Repelling Flowers and Plants

When the weather is nice outdoors, the last thing you want is a cloud of mosquitoes swarming your backyard BBQ or evening relaxing in a hammock. Not only are mosquitoes annoying and their bites itchy, but they also carry numerous diseases, making the insects both a health hazard and an annoyance. In this guide, I’ll share 40 of the best mosquito repellent plants, including their unique scientific properties and how to grow them in your garden.  

Best Mosquito Repellent Plants for Your Garden and Patio

Why Repelling Mosquitos is Important

Repelling mosquitos using plants offers an eco-friendly alternative to chemical repellents, reducing potential harm to the environment as well as the associated health risks. 

Some of my favorite mosquito repellent plants, such as citronella, lavender, and marigolds, not only deter mosquitoes but also help to beautify spaces and attract beneficial pollinators. 

Plus, by integrating these plants into gardens, you can reduce the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, enhance outdoor comfort, and promote a safer and more biodiverse environment. 

What’s more, this natural approach to mosquito control can lead to cost savings, decreased pesticide usage, and increased enjoyment of outdoor spaces.

How Effective Are Mosquito Repelling Plants and Flowers? 

Certain plants contain specific essential oils and other chemicals that have been shown to repel mosquitoes. These mosquito-repelling plants can be innovative additions to your garden to help beautify your space and discourage mosquitoes from gathering in your outdoor areas.

I find that the potency of these plants often depends on their variety, proximity to individuals, and the quantity in a given area. 

Additionally, local environmental conditions and other mosquito attractions, like standing water, can influence their effectiveness. 

In my experience, these plants can also be combined with other mosquito control strategies for the best results.

40 Best Mosquito Repellent Plants:

1. Basil

A bright green basil plant

Native to southeastern Asia, Australasia, and Australia, Ocimum basilicum is a species of plant that belongs to the Lamiaceae (mint) plant family and is commonly called basil, sweet basil, or common basil. 

These mosquito repellent plants produce rosettes of branches with glossy, ovate leaves around central stems. The leaves are highly fragrant, and a popular ingredient in many dishes served around the world. 

Essential oil of the basil plant has been shown to have insect-repelling properties and potential toxicity to mosquitoes.

Scientific Name:Ocimum basilicum
Growing Zones:2 – 11
Flowering Season:Summer
Plant Type:Annual herb
Height/Spread:1 – 2 tall and wide

2. Bee Balm

Pink Bee Balm in bloom

Native to Ontario and the eastern United States, Monarda didyma is another member of the Lamiaceae plant family with minty, aromatic properties that naturally repel pesky mosquitoes. 

These mosquito repellent plants grow in sizeable clumps with several erect branches producing lanceolate foliage and four-inch-wide pom-poms of showy scarlet flower bracts. 

This plant has several common names, including bee balm, scarlet bee balm, scarlet monarda, sweet bergamot, hare’s mint, and Oswego tea.

Scientific Name:Monarda didyma
Growing Zones:4 – 9
Flowering Season:Late spring through fall
Plant Type:Perennial herb
Height/Spread:2 – 4 feet tall and 2 – 3 feet wide

3. Catnip

Catnip flowers against lush green foliage

Nepeta cataria (commonly called catnip) is native to great swaths of Europe and western and central Asia, in addition to parts of central China, Japan, and the Korean Peninsula. 

The reasonably small plants produce clumps of toothed foliage and small, fuzzy flowers that are usually white or blue. While catnip attracts felines, its minty aromatic properties actually cause a painful sensation that repels many insects, including mosquitoes.

Scientific Name:Nepeta cataria
Growing Zones:3 – 9
Flowering Season:Spring through fall
Plant Type:Perennial herb
Height/Spread:2 – 3 feet tall and wide

4. Cedars

Green Cedars plants

A member of the Cupressaceae (cypress) plant family, the Thuja plant genus contains five species of plants that are commonly called cedars, thujas, or arborvitaes. Three of these are native to eastern Asia, and the other two are native to North America. 

Cedar trees have reddish-brown trunks and produce flattened, scale-like leaves. The trees’ soft, aromatic wood contains potent essential oils that can deter mosquitoes. These oils are effectively released by cedar chips used in landscaping.

Scientific Name:Thuja spp.
Growing Zones:2 – 9
Flowering Season:Spring
Plant Type:Evergreen trees
Height/Spread:10 – 200 feet tall

5. Chrysanthemum

Orange Chrysanthemum flowers in bloom

A member of the Asteraceae (daisy, composite, aster, and sunflower) plant family, Chrysanthemum morifolium (commonly called hardy garden mum, florist’s daisy, or simply chrysanthemum) is a hybrid species of mum native to southeastern China that produces, large, ornamental mophead flower blossoms in a variety of colors. 

Certain species of chrysanthemums, such as Chrysanthemum morifolium, contain pyrethrum, a chemical compound that is toxic to mosquitoes.

Scientific Name:Chrysanthemum morifolium
Growing Zones:3 – 9
Flowering Season:Summer through fall
Plant Type:Perennial herb
Height/Spread:2 – 3 feet tall and wide

6. Citronella Grass

Citronella Grass

A member of the Poaceae (grass) plant family within the Panicoideae subfamily, Cymbopogon nardus is a species of aromatic plant commonly called citronella grass. Native to Africa and southeastern Asia, the plants form large, bursting clumps of skinny, blade-like foliage that gives off a slightly citrusy, lemon-like scent. 

Live citronella plants can help to deter mosquitoes, and citronella essential oil is also commonly used topically, diffused, or burned in candles to help prevent mosquitoes.

Scientific Name:Cymbopogon nardus
Growing Zone:10 – 12
Flowering Season:Spring through fall
Plant Type:Evergreen grass
Height/Spread:5 – 8 feet tall by 3 – 5 feet wide

7. Clove Tree

A flowering Clove Tree with dark green leaves

Native to the Maluku Islands of Indonesia, Syzygium aromaticum (commonly called clove tree) is a member of the Myrtaceae (myrtle) plant family. Clove trees produce large leaves and clusters of crimson, tubular flowers. 

These mosquito repellent plants are best known for their flower buds, which are dried and used as spices, flavoring, and fragrance. The essential oil of the clove tree has been shown in studies to be among the most effective natural mosquito repellents.

Scientific Name:Syzygium aromaticum
Growing Zone:11 – 12
Flowering Season:Summer
Plant Type:Evergreen tree
Height/Spread:15 – 30 feet tall and 10 – 20 feet wide

8. Eucalyptus

Green Eucalyptus plants

Commonly called eucalyptus, blue eucalyptus, blue gum, Tasmanian blue gum, and eurabbie, Eucalyptus globulus is a member of the Myrtaceae plant family. It is native to Tasmania and Victoria, Australia. 

The trees have whitish-brown bark and elliptical leaves and produce white flowers. These trees are one of the most common sources of eucalyptus essential oil, and this oil is an excellent natural repellent for mosquitoes.

Scientific Name:Eucalyptus globulus
Growing Zone:9 – 11
Flowering Season:Throughout the year, depending on the climate
Plant Type:Evergreen tree
Height/Spread:180 feet tall and 50 feet wide

9. Floss Flower

Amethyst colored Floss Flowers in bloom

Native to Mexico and Central America, Ageratum houstonianum (commonly called floss flower or bluemink) is a member of the Asteraceae plant family. These mosquito repellent plants grow as small shrubs and produce brown-colored stems and triangular leaves. 

When in bloom, aster-like, amethyst-colored flowers appear in hoards. These plants secrete a compound called coumarin, which is a natural deterrent for mosquitoes.

Scientific Name:Ageratum houstonianum
Growing Zone:2 – 11
Flowering Season:Midsummer through fall
Plant Type:Annual herb
Height/Spread:6 – 24 inches tall and 6 – 12 inches wide

10. Garlic

Garlic plants with tiny white flowers

Native to the Middle East and parts of western Asia, Allium sativum, the plant we all know and our tastebuds recognize as garlic, belongs to the Amaryllidaceae (Amaryllis) plant family within the Alloideae subfamily. 

Garlic is well known in lore for deterring the bite of a vampire, and it can also help to prevent the bite of a mosquito. The reason garlic can repel insects, like mosquitoes, is the chemical compounds found in garlic bulb extract, such as dichloromethane (DCT).

Scientific Name:Allium sativum
Growing Zone:4 – 9
Flowering Season:Mid-spring through summer
Plant Type:Bulbous, perennial herb
Height/Spread:1 to 2 feet tall and 10 to 12 inches wide

11. Geranium

Colorful salmon and pink Geranium flowers in bloom

Native to southern Africa, Pelargonium graveolens belongs to the Geranaceae (geranium) plant family and is commonly called sweet-scented geranium, rose geranium, rose-scented geranium, and old-fashioned geranium. 

These geraniums grow as shrubs and produce bright-green foliage with deep lobes. The flowers are light pink or almost white. The leaves have a robust and rose-like scent that can help deter mosquitoes thanks to the fragrant citronellol, nerol, and geraniol compounds in the plant’s essential oils.

Scientific Name:Pelargonium graveolens
Growing Zone:10 – 11
Flowering Season:Midsummer through winter
Plant Type:Tender, evergreen perennial
Height/Spread:3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

12. Horsemint

Horsemint flowers in bloom in a garden

A member of the Lamiaceae plant family, Monarda punctata (commonly called horsemint or spotted bee balm) is native to the eastern, central, and southern United States and northeastern Mexico. 

These mosquito repellent plants are often compared to pagodas, as the racemes feature rows of small, purple-spotted tubular flowers alternating with rows of downward-curled bracts in a creamy shade of pinkish-lavender. 

When crushed, the plant’s leaves are fragrant, and this minty scent helps keep mosquitoes away.

Scientific Name:Monarda punctata
Growing Zone:3 – 10
Flowering Season:Summer
Plant Type:Perennial or biennial herb
Height/Spread:1 – 2 feet tall and 9 to 12 inches wide

13. Lantana

Pink and orange Lantana flowers in bloom

A Verbenaceae (verbena) plant family member, Lantana camara (commonly called lantana), is native to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and northern South America. 

Lantana is a sprawling shrub that produces broad foliage and bulbous clusters of petite flowers in solid or gradient color patterns that include shades of orange, yellow, pink, red, and white. 

The fragrance contained in the essential oil of lantana is highly effective at repelling mosquitoes. In one study, it repelled 94.5% of the mosquito species in question.

Scientific Name:Lantana camara
Growing Zone:10 – 11
Flowering Season:
Plant Type:Annual broadleaf evergreen
Height/Spread:3 – 4 feet tall and 2 – 3 feet wide

14. Lavender

Purple Lavender flowers blooming in a field

A member of the Lamiaceae plant family, Lavandula angustifolia is the species of lavender that you most likely think of when you think of lavender. It’s native to Italy, France, and Spain and is the species commonly known as lavender, English lavender, true lavender, or garden lavender. 

These mosquito repellent plants grow as shrubs with bunches of thin stems and terminal clusters of small, light-purple, pink, or white flowers. Lavender essential oil has been shown to have a 53% efficacy rate against mosquitoes when used outdoors and a 93% efficacy rate indoors.

Scientific Name:Lavandula angustifolia
Growing Zone:5 – 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Plant Type:Perennial herb
Height/Spread:1 – 3 feet tall and wide

15. Lemon Balm

Green Lemon Balm plants

Native to the Mediterranean region, Melissa officinalis (commonly called lemon balm) belongs to the Lamiaceae plant family. This leafy shrub produces white or yellow flowers, but it is most appreciated for its aromatic foliage. 

The leaves are commonly used in tea and offer many medicinal uses. Lemon balm leaves, especially those of new growth, are particularly fragrant and can help repel mosquitoes.

Scientific Name:Melissa officinalis
Growing Zone:3 – 7
Flowering Season:Late spring through midsummer
Plant Type:Perennial herb
Height/Spread:1.5 – 2 feet tall and 1.5 – 3 feet wide

16. Lemon Eucalyptus

Lemon Eucalyptus plants

Native to eastern Australia, Corymbia citrodora (commonly lemon eucalyptus or lemon-scented gum) belongs to the Myrtaceae plant family. This tree has attractive pinkish or bluish-white bark. It also produces white flowers. 

The tree, however, is most noted for its fragrant foliage that emits a lemon-like fragrance that can help to keep away mosquitoes.

Scientific Name:Corymbia citrodora (aka Eucalyptus citriodora)
Growing Zone:8 – 11
Flowering Season:Winter
Plant Type:Evergreen tree
Height/Spread:40 – 100 feet tall and 15 – 50 feet wide

17. Lemon Grass

Lemon Grass growing in a garden patch

A member of the Poaceae plant family within the Panicoideae subfamily, Cymbopogon citratus (commonly called lemon grass) is native to India and Sri Lanka. 

Like other grasses, lemon grass grows in bunches of long, slender blades. Its lemony scent and the essential oil extracted from its leaves are effective repellants against both mosquitoes and houseflies.

Scientific Name:Cymbopogon citratus
Growing Zone:10 – 11
Flowering Season:Spring
Plant Type:Perennial grass
Height/Spread:2 – 4 feet tall and 2 – 3 feet wide

18. Lemon Thyme

A variegated Lemon Thyme plant

Native to France and Spain, Thymus x citriodorus (commonly called lemon thyme) belongs to the Lamiaceae plant family. Lemon thyme plants bloom with pink or lavender flowers and produce mats of green, ovate leaves with yellow margins.

 Like other members of the mint plant family, the leaves of lemon thyme are fragrant with a lemony mint scent that can repel mosquitoes.

Scientific Name:Thymus x citriodorus
Growing Zone:6 – 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Plant Type:Evergreen, perennial herb
Height/Spread:6 – 12 inches tall and 12 – 24 inches wide

19. Lemon Verbena

Lemon Verbena plants in bloom

Native to central South America, Aloysia citrodora (commonly called lemon verbena) belongs to the Verbenaceae plant family. These mosquito repellent plants grows as a leafy, aromatic shrub that produces cone-shaped racemes of small purple or white flowers. 

The leaves have a robust lemon-like scent when bruised or crushed. One study, in particular, revealed that lemon verbena essential oil offers an exceptionally long duration of efficacy at repelling mosquitoes, meaning it doesn’t need to be reapplied as often as other mosquito-repelling oils.

Scientific Name:Aloysia citrodora
Growing Zone:8 – 11
Flowering Season:Spring and summer
Plant Type:Perennial herb
Height/Spread:6 – 8 feet tall and wide

20. Lemon-Scented Tea Tree

Lemon-Scented Tea Tree showcasing delicate white flowering petals on a branch

Native to eastern Australia, Leptospermum petersonii (commonly called lemon-scented tea tree) belongs to the Myrtaceae plant family. The lemon-scented tea tree grows to be a small tree or large shrub. 

It blooms with singular white flowers and produces lance-shaped foliage with a strong lemon-like fragrance. Tea tree essential oil is popular for its antifungal properties and ability to deter mosquitoes.

Scientific Name:Leptospermum petersonii
Growing Zone:8 – 11
Flowering Season:Late spring and summer
Plant Type:Evergreen tree
Height/Spread:8 – 20 feet tall with a similar spread

21. Marigold

Bright orange Marigold flowers in bloom

A member of the Asteraceae family, Tagetes erecta is a large species of marigold that produces enormous double-flower blossoms in warm shades of orange, yellow, gold, and white. Despite being native to Mexico and Central America, this mosquito-repellent plant species is sometimes called the African marigold. 

Thanks to the presence of chemicals called terpenoids in this species’s leaves, one excellent benefit of marigolds is their essential oils can help to repel mosquitoes.

Scientific Name:Tagetes erecta
Growing Zone:2 – 11
Flowering Season:Summer to frost
Plant Type:Perennial herb
Height/Spread:1 – 4 feet tall and 1 – 2 feet wide

22. Mexican Marigold

Small yellow flowering Mexican Marigold

Native to Mexico and Central America, Tagetes lucida belongs to the Asteraceae plant family. These marigold plants are bushy and erect and produce terminal clusters of golden-yellow flowers. Its common names include Mexican marigold, Mexican mint marigold, sweet-scented marigold, sweet mace, and Mexican tarragon

Many of these common names refer to the plant’s sweet, minty fragrance, which acts as an excellent deterrent to mosquitoes and other insects.

Scientific Name:Tagetes lucida
Growing Zone:9 – 11
Flowering Season:Summer
Plant Type:Perennial herb
Height/Spread:1.5 – 3 feet tall and 6 to 18 inches wide

23. Mints

A cluster of green mint plants growing outdoors

A member of the Lamiaceae plant family within the Nepetoideae subfamily and the Mentheae tribe, the Mentha genus contains 24 accepted species of plants commonly called mints. 

Plants of the genus have a subcosmopolitain native distribution, growing naturally on every continent except Antarctica and South America. They produce toothed leaves in a range of colors that include yellow, purple, blue, and green. 

The flowers appear in racemes and include shades of white and purple. Most notably, plants of the mint genus have aromatic, minty leaves that can help to deter mosquitoes.

Scientific Name:Mentha spp.
Growing Zone:2 – 12
Flowering Season:Spring and summer
Plant Type:Mostly perennial herbs
Height/Spread:Generally, 1 – 2 feet tall with a similar spread

24. Mugwort

Mugwort plants

Native to Europe, Asia, Tunisia, and Algeria in northern Africa, Artemisia vulgaris (commonly called mugwort) belongs to the Asteraceae plant family. Mugwort has an upright and spreading growth habit via its rhizomatic root systems. 

These mosquito repellent plants produce lanceolate foliage and racemes of petite flowers. The essential oil of mugwort has been shown to be effective in repelling mosquitoes and killing mosquitoes in their larval stage.

Scientific Name:Artemisia vulgaris
Growing Zone:3 – 8
Flowering Season:Late summer
Plant Type:Perennial herb
Height/Spread:2 – 4 feet tall and 3 – 6 feet wide

25. Nodding Onion

Nodding Onion flowers with bracts of purple blooms

Native to southern Canada, the United States, and northern Mexico, Allium cernuum (commonly called nodding onion) belongs to the Amaryllidaceae plant family. Grown from bulbs, each nodding onion plant produces a burst of strap-like foliage and a single stem of flowers. 

The stems have an umbrella-shaped terminal raceme of purple or white bell-shaped flowers. The plant produces a strong scent that can deter mosquitoes.

Scientific Name:Allium cernuum
Growing Zone:4 – 8
Flowering Season:Late spring through summer
Plant Type:Bulbous, perennial herb
Height/Spread:12 to 18 inches tall and 3 – 6 inches wide

26. Patchouli

Green Patchouli plants

Native to the islands of Australasia, Pogostemon cablin belongs to the Lamiaceae plant family and is commonly called patchouli. These mosquito repellent plants grow into bushes with dense, ovate, irregularly toothed leaves. 

The plants also produce racemes of fuzzy white or purple flowers. Moreover, Patchouli plants are prized for their highly fragrant essential oil, which offers many benefits and uses in addition to repelling mosquitoes.

Scientific Name:Pogostemon cablin
Growing Zone:10 – 11
Flowering Season:Fall
Plant Type:Tender perennial herb
Height/Spread:1 – 3 feet tall with an equal spread

27. Pennyroyal

Pennyroyal flowers showcasing violet colored blooms

Mentha pulegium (commonly called pennyroyal) is native to the Mediterranean region and a member of the Lamiaceae plant family. It has a spreading growth habit and produces racemes of whorled purple flowers. 

The leaves are ovate and aromatic. Crushed pennyroyal leaves or essential oils are effective insect deterrents and will help to repel mosquitoes.

Scientific Name:Mentha pulegium
Growing Zone:6 – 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Plant Type:Perennial herb
Height/Spread:6 – 12 inches tall and 3 – 6 feet wide

28. Peppermint

Peppermint plants

A member of the Lamiaceae plant family, Mentha x piperita (commonly called peppermint) is actually a hybrid of two distinct species from the Mentha plant genus, M. spicata (spearmint) and M. acquatica (watermint). It’s native to Europe and parts of the Middle East. 

Though they produce racemes of tiny purple flowers, these mosquito repellent plants are prized for their aromatic leaves. The leaves and essential oils derived from peppermint have many culinary and medicinal uses. Peppermint has also shown effective larvicidal and repellent properties against mosquitoes.

Scientific Name:Mentha x piperita
Growing Zone:5 – 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Plant Type:Perennial herb
Height/Spread:1 – 3 feet tall and 3 – 5 feet wide

29. Pineapple Weed

Pineapple Weed plants with yellow cones

Matricaria discoidea is commonly called pineapple weed, wild chamomile, or rayless mayweed. Despite its tropical-sounding name, pineapple weed is native to Canada, Greenland, and the United States. 

Pineapple weed flowers feature bright yellow, cone-shaped florets. Without the ray florets commonly referred to as “petals” on other members of the Asteraceae plant family, these flowerheads tend to look like tiny pineapples. 

Studies have found pineapple weed essential oil to be just as effective at repelling mosquitoes as DEET.

Scientific Name:Matricaria discoidea
Growing Zone:5 – 9
Flowering Season:Spring and summer
Plant Type:Annual herb
Height/Spread:3 – 16 inches tall with a similar spread

30. Purple Pitcher Plant

Purple Pitcher Plant growing in the wild

A member of the Sarraceniaceae (pitcher plant) plant family, Sarracenia purpurea (commonly called purple pitcher plant) is native to the eastern and central United States, Alaska, and Canada. 

These pitcher plants have large, upright, tubular pitchers that are green with purple and scarlet, vein-like markings. They produce singular flowers atop stems in the spring. 

Although the purple pitcher plant can somewhat reduce the adult mosquito population in your yard by feeding on adult mosquitoes, it can actually help support mosquito populations because mosquito larvae can develop in the watery pools that collect within the pitcher plant’s leaves. 

Scientific Name:Sarracenia purpurea
Growing Zone:3 – 9
Flowering Season:Mid-spring
Plant Type:Evergreen, perennial, carnivorous plant
Height/Spread:10 – 12 inches tall and 1 – 2 feet wide

31. Rosemary

Rosemary plants growing in a garden

A member of the Lamiaceae plant family, Salvia rosmarinus (commonly called rosemary) is native to the Mediterranean region and a staple in Mediterranean-style gardens and Mediterranean-style cooking. 

These mosquito repellent shrubs produce long, erect stems with blue or white flowers and needle-like leaves that are exceptionally fragrant. Plus, rosemary essential oil has been shown to repel mosquitoes with topical application effectively.

Scientific Name:Salvia rosmarinus (aka Rosmarinus officinalis)
Growing Zone:8 – 11
Flowering Season:Spring through fall
Plant Type:Evergreen, perennial herb
Height/Spread:2 – 6 feet tall with a slightly narrower spread

32. Sage

Sage plants

A member of the Lamiaceae plant family, Salvia officinalis (commonly called sage or common sage) is native to Europe. This sub-shrub produces racemes of purple-blue flowers and equally attractive and aromatic ovate leaves in a silvery shade of grayish-green. 

In addition to its culinary and medicinal benefits, sage has been shown to possess insecticidal and mosquito-repelling properties.

Scientific Name:Salvia officinalis
Growing Zone:4 – 10
Flowering Season:Early summer
Plant Type:Evergreen, perennial herb
Height/Spread:1 – 2 feet tall and 2 – 3 feet wide

33. Snowbrush

A flowering Snowbrush plant with white flower heads

Native to the western United States and western Canada, Ceanothus velutinus (commonly called snowbrush) belongs to the Rhamnaceae (buckthorn) plant family. 

Individual snowbrush plants typically grow near one another, with their branches twining around the others, creating dense thickets of glossy green leaves and clusters of snowy-white flowers. Snowbrush flowers and leaves are equally fragrant and can help deter mosquitoes.

Scientific Name:Ceanothus velutinus
Growing Zone:7 – 10
Flowering Season:Spring and summer
Plant Type:Perennial evergreen
Height/Spread:2 – 10 feet tall with a similar spread

34. Stoneroot

Green Stoneroot plants growing in the wild

A member of the Lamiaceae plant family, Collinsonia canadensis (commonly called stoneroot, citronella horsebalm, or richweed) is native to the eastern United States and southern Ontario. 

These mosquito repellent plants have large, sharply toothed leaves in a pointed oval shape, producing terminal clusters of small, whitish-yellow, tubular flowers. The aromatic oils from the plant’s crushed leaves and flowers have a citronella-like fragrance that helps repel mosquitoes.

Scientific Name:Collinsonia canadensis
Growing Zone:4 – 8
Flowering Season:Summer
Plant Type:Perennial herb
Height/Spread:2 – 4 feet tall and 1 – 3 feet wide

35. Sweet Fern

Green Sweet Ferns

A member of the Myricaceae plant family, Comptonia peregrina (commonly called sweet fern) is native to the eastern United States, Ontario, and Quebec. Although the plant is not actually a fern, its common name comes from the fern-like shape of its leaves, which feature deeply segmented fronds. 

Sweet ferns bloom with yellowish-green flowers that are pretty inconspicuous, as they blend in well with the foliage. When crushed, the leaves emit a sweet fragrance that helps to deter mosquitoes.

Scientific Name:Comptonia peregrina
Growing Zone:2 – 6
Flowering Season:Spring
Plant Type:Deciduous shrub
Height/Spread:2 – 5 feet tall and 4 – 8 feet wide

36. Tansy

Yellow Tansy flowers in bloom

A member of the Asteraceae plant family, Tanacetum vulgare (commonly called tansy) is native to temperate Europe and Asia. These mosquito repellent plants also produce fern-shaped green foliage despite not being true ferns. 

The flowers appear in flat-topped, broad, terminal clusters of yellow, button-shaped flowers. Tansies and their oil have a history of being used to repel mosquitoes that extend as far back as the Middle Ages.

Scientific Name:Tanacetum vulgare
Growing Zone:3 – 8
Flowering Season:Summer
Plant Type:Perennial herb
Height/Spread:1 – 3 feet tall and 1 – 2 feet wide

37. Tea Tree

Tea Tree in bloom showcasing fussy clouds of spike, white petals

A member of the Myrtaceae plant family, Melaleuca alternifolia (commonly called tea tree) is a species of shrub or tree native to eastern Australia. Tea trees have white bark and silhouettes that appear fluffy with spiny foliage. 

The flowers also appear fuzzy and are arranged in clouds of spiky, white petals. Tea trees have abundant oil glands rich with aromatic oil that can help repel mosquitoes when applied topically.

Scientific Name:Melaleuca alternifolia
Growing Zone:8 – 11
Flowering Season:Spring and summer
Plant Type:Evergreen tree or shrub
Height/Spread:15 – 20 feet tall with a slightly smaller spread

38. Vanilla Leaf

Vanilla Leaf plants

Native to the Pacific coast of the United States and Canada, Achlys triphylla (commonly called vanilla leaf, deer foot, or sweet after death) belongs to the Berberidaceae (barberry) plant family. 

These mosquito repellent plants have a spreading growth habit, making their trifoliate leaves a natural ground cover. The plants produce slender stems with terminal racemes of small white flowers. 

Vanilla leaf plants can help to repel mosquitoes and flies when planted or even dried and hung near doorways.

Scientific Name:Achlys triphylla
Growing Zone:7 – 9
Flowering Season:Spring
Plant Type:Perennial herb
Height/Spread:6 to 18 inches in height with a boundless rhizomatic spread

39. Wild Bergamot

Wild Bergamot in bloom

A member of the Lamiaceae plant family, Monarda fistulosa (commonly called wild bergamot) is native to the United States, southern Canada, and northern Mexico. 

Wild bergamot plants feature a lot of variability, with leaves that can be ovate to lanceolate and flower clusters that can be pink to lavender. 

These mosquito repellent plants also vary significantly regarding the chemical compounds and ratios of chemical compounds present in their essential oils. Regardless of this variability, wild bergamot essential oil can effectively repel mosquitoes.

Scientific Name:Monarda fistulosa
Growing Zone:3 – 9
Flowering Season:Spring through summer
Plant Type:Perennial herb
Height/Spread:2 – 4 feet tall and 2 – 3 feet wide

40. Wormwood

Silvery-green leaves of a Wormwood plant

Native to Eurasia and northern Africa, Artemisia absinthium (commonly called wormwood) belongs to the Asteraceae plant family. Wormwood is a shrub-like plant with a woody base that produces racemes of yellow flowers and highly textured, silvery-green foliage. 

What’s more, wormwood has been shown to have insecticidal, larvicidal, and insect-repelling properties that can help keep mosquitoes at bay in various ways.

Scientific Name:Artemisia absinthium
Growing Zone:4 – 9
Flowering Season:Summer
Plant Type:Perennial herb
Height/Spread:2 – 3 feet tall and 1 – 2 feet wide

12 Other Methods to Keep Mosquitos at Bay in Your Garden or Patio

In addition to planting mosquito-repelling plants around your yard, you can take additional steps to help keep the mosquitoes away. Some effective methods include:

  1. Keep your yard free from standing water where mosquitoes breed, lay larvae, and hatch. This includes ponds, puddles, stagnant bird baths, kiddie pools, and drip trays beneath your potted plants.
  2. Light a wood-burning fire in a safe, city-limits-approved fire pit or chiminea. The wood smoke will help to deter mosquitoes.
  3. While derived from plants, citronella candles and torches can help provide a scent barrier that can deter mosquitoes.
  4. Introduce fish like goldfish or gambusia to ponds or water features. They feed on mosquito larvae and can naturally reduce the mosquito population.
  5. Use a naturally occurring bacterium (such as Bacillus thuringiensis (Bti)) that kills mosquito larvae when introduced to water sources. 
  6. Consider designing your garden to promote airflow, which mosquitoes dislike, and avoid creating shaded, damp areas where they tend to congregate.
  7. Regularly mow your lawn and trim vegetation. Mosquitoes prefer resting in tall grasses and dense vegetation during the day.
  8. Mosquitoes are weak fliers. Using fans in your outdoor seating areas can prevent them from hovering around.
  9. Certain microorganisms or insects, like nematodes, can be introduced to control mosquito larvae in specific environments.
  10. Although they can be a little hit-and-miss in my experience (as well as impacting beneficial insects), bug zappers can be used as a supplementary mosquito deterrent. 
  11. If you have a particular garden spot you want to enjoy mosquito-free, consider using mosquito nets or screens to enclose the space.
  1. Larvicides are products designed to target mosquito larvae in water sources before they can mature into adults. This needs particular care and attention, so always follow the instructions carefully and consult a professional if in doubt. 

If the situation in your yard is particularly out of hand, it might be best to contact a professional pest removal company to have your yard professionally sprayed.

Enjoy Your Time Outdoors With a Choice of Beautiful Mosquito Repellent Plants

Fresh air and time spent in nature are good for the body, mind, and soul, but pesky mosquitoes often prevent us from enjoying that time spent outside. Plant yourself a garden filled with fragrant, anti-mosquito plants, and keep a few pots of them near the entrances to your home, as well. This will help keep the mosquitoes away while creating a beautifully serene and welcoming outdoor space.

Editorial Director | andrew@petalrepublic.com | Full Bio

Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.

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