What Houseplants Keep Mosquitoes away

4 Apr 2022

That pesky buzzing in your ears at night can drive one insane! The great news is that there are tons of ways to naturally repel mosquitoes without killing them or using any harsh chemicals. You may be asking yourself, “How?”. Well, through the use of plants.

You can scatter a variety of plants around your home or in your outdoor space that can repel mosquitoes. A few potted plants will naturally release an aroma that deters mosquitoes while other plants need to be crushed to release an essential oil.

In this article, we’ll be discussing 15 of the top mosquito-repelling potted plants that not only look great but will allow you to have a peaceful night’s sleep.

1. Citronella Grass

Citronella plant, also commonly known as the ‘true citronella’, is by far one of the most well-known mosquito repellants out there. Its botanical name is cymbopogon nardus and it originates in Asia.  The plant grows bushy, green grass with a pink-based stem.

The citronella plant is known for its essential oil; citronella oil. You’ll need to crush its leaves to release a lemony fragrance. The oil doesn’t actually kill the pest, however, it masks the scent of carbon monoxide and lactic acid that the mosquito is searching for.

You can apply the essential oil to your skin about 20 to 30 minutes before you plan on heading to sleep.

Fun fact: Citronella oil is also used to treat numerous other ailments such as migraines, depression, fever, and muscle inflammation.

2. Basil

Basil isn’t just useful in the kitchen as it naturally deters mosquitoes too. The best part is that it’ll repel these pests as it grows. As much as we may love the sweet basil fragrance, mosquitoes can’t stand the smell.

The pungent aroma produced by the plant means that you don’t need to crush the leaves. You can rub the leaves on your clothing if you wish to maximize the basil’s repelling properties.

3. Sage

Sage may be associated with smudging a home to rid it of any negative energy, however, it has the ability to rid your home of mosquitoes too. This light green and textured plant looks fantastic in a pot and can be placed inside your home or on your patio.

The best way to make use of sage is by plucking off its leaves and crushing them. This will allow its essential oil to be released. You can then rub the leaves on your skin or clothing. Additionally, you can burn sage too which is extraordinarily effective at repelling mosquitoes.

4. Thyme

This savory herb isn’t just a fantastic way to flavor meat, but it’s also a brilliant potted plant to keep around your home too. Thyme contains an essential oil that repels mosquitoes.

You can either place it around your home or in your outdoor living area to deter the mosquitoes, or you can burn it too. Another great way to repel this insect is by crushing the leaves and rubbing them on your clothing or skin.

5. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus has many amazing medicinal properties, and it can repel mosquitoes too! Its scientific name is eucalyptus cinerea and it is a common pot plant found in many homes.

The eucalyptus leaves contain a chemical compound known as terpenoid. Once this is released from the foliage, it causes a refreshing aroma which is unpleasant for mosquitoes. The best way to deter mosquitoes is by burning the eucalyptus or warming its leaves.

6. Fennel

Fennel has multiple uses in the kitchen and it can be utilized to repel mosquitoes in your bedroom and other living spaces. Its botanical name is foeniculum vulgare and it has a featherlike appearance.

This feathery plant won’t just deter mosquitoes by merely being present in your home. You will have to crush its leaves or chop them up and place them in the desired location. You can also apply the leaves to your skin too.

7. Rosemary

Rosemary officinalis is another great way to spice your meat and repel mosquitoes at the same time. It’s a brilliant natural pest control as the mosquitoes cannot withstand the smell it gives off. Its needle-like leaves are packed full of essential oils that deter these pests.

The most effective way to release its essential oil is by burning the rosemary or creating a smudge stick with it. You can burn it on a tray near your bedroom to create the perfect night’s sleep.

8. Lantana

Lantana camara or otherwise known as the lantana flower has the ability to protect you and your family from mosquito bites. Not only does this plant make a stunning addition to your home as it sprouts bright, pink and yellow blooms.

You can simply touch the flower and you’ll instantly smell the fragrance it produces. The flower can be placed by your bedside table or on your dining room table, and it’ll form a protective barrier between you and those mosquitoes.

Fun fact: The lantana flower’s scent doesn’t just deter pests, but also attracts butterflies and hummingbirds too.

9. Lavender

Lavender is well known for its pretty, purple flower spikes and sweet, soapy fragrance. It is found in tons of beauty products and the flower itself is a great way to repel mosquitoes too. This aroma that we’re so fond of isn’t pleasing at all to mosquitoes.

During the day, the plant will naturally release its aromatic oil, however, at night you will need to crush or chop the flower. Another great way to repel mosquitoes is by rubbing this flower over your clothing.

Top tip: You can finely chop the lavender flower and mix it with another essential oil for the ultimate mosquito repellent.

10. Marigold

The marigold is commonly grown for its vibrant, orange-gold flowers. This houseplant also has the ability to repel pests as its blooms produce a strong, pungent aroma. The substance that makes them an ideal insect-repellent is called pyrethrum. This is also used in organic insecticides too.

You can place this plant anywhere in your home or garden and its mere scent will repel mosquitoes and many other insects too. The strong odor can be released by merely touching the flower.

11. Mint

Mint, also referred to as mentha, grows rapidly and it’s fairly easy to care for too. All types of mint make for fantastic natural insect repellents.

The only way to truly protect yourself from mosquitoes is by crushing the mint and rubbing the leaves on your clothing or skin. It is important to crush the leaves as this will release the strong mint oils and aroma.

12. Bee Balm

The bee balm houseplant attracts bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies while also repelling mosquitoes too. This insect-deterring plant contains certain oils and chemical compounds that mosquitoes cannot withstand.

You can either crush the monarda’s leaves or flowers to keep your living spaces pest free. The fragrance will be released only once it has been crushed.

13. Catnip

Catnip or catmint is not only a beautiful houseplant to add to your collection but it also has the ability to rid your home of mosquitoes. It’s super easy to use as a repellent too.

All you have to do is snip off its foliage and position the clippings throughout your home or around other houseplants. The essential oil will permeate through your home and ultimately protect you and your family from mosquitoes.

14. Lemongrass

Lemongrass produces a refreshing lemony smell when its essential oil is released. It’s also scientifically called cymbopogon citratus, and it’s often sought after for the strong, citrus aroma it produces. This scent is what deters mosquitoes and pests.

You will need to finely chop the leaves and place them in the areas that you wish to make mosquito-free. Additionally, you can also heat its lush, green leaves.

15. Floss Flower

Floss flowers are formally known as ageratum houstonianum. It doesn’t just make for a pretty decorative piece, but just like the other houseplants previously mentioned, it also repels mosquitoes.

It contains a chemical known as coumarin, which gives this plant its insect-repellent power. The only way to release this chemical is by crushing the foliage and applying it to your clothing or skin.


There are many houseplants that can be used to naturally control your mosquito problem. By simply placing a few potted plants in your home or on your patio, you’ll be able to repel mosquitoes and many other insects too.

This is a great way to rid your home of these insects while also being environmentally friendly too.

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