So you want to relax and enjoy a good book, some good company, or even watch the kiddos splash around in the pool or sprinkler but you are sick and tired of getting eaten alive my mosquitoes… Never fear, the Mosquito Repelling Pot is here! Anyone can easily make these pots full of all sorts of plants that naturally and EFFECTIVELY keep mosquitoes at bay. I tried these last year and they WORKED!!I will list several plants and feel free to mix and match according to what you like and what you can find. For many variety pots I like the “thrill, spill, fill” potting method. The folks at One Kings Lane describe it well when they say “It’s nice to feature a tall plant (this is your “thrill”), fronted by both an abundant midsize plant (your “fill”) and a lower-growing plant that creeps so it “spills” over the edge.” I planted a couple pots now with plants bought at a local nursery and Lowes and plan to start some more pots from seed to enjoy midway through the season and beyond. Some plants will continue to grow throughout the whole season while others (such as marigolds) will lose their blooms after a while and become less effective… enough talking about it, let’s get started!
I’m a big fan of planting things I will use as well which is why you will see basil in almost every one of my mosquito repelling pots!
Basil: Great mosquito repelling plant and absolutely divine to eat! Nothing is better than a little bruschetta with a nice wheat cracker or some fresh soft mozzarella, chopped basil and kalamata olives on olive oil toasted baguette…YUMMMM! Please make sure to put some basil in your pots! It can be a tall growing plant if you don’t prune and eat it so think about that when “placing” in your arrangement. Prune basil by snipping off the new bigger leaves (leave those huge lower leaves as they are the “solar panels” for the plant).
Cascading Geranium: Prett bug repelling plant, will cascade over its pot and add a delicate floral scent to your potagerie.
Marigolds: Hardy annual (replant each year) plants which have a distinctive smell which mosquitoes, and some gardeners, find particularly offensive. Marigolds contain pyrethrum, a compound used in many insect repellents. I love incorporating these in almost all of my mosquito repelling pots as well as throughout my garden (see gardening tips on our Simple Hobby Homesteading Facebook Page).
Citronella: The star of mosquito repelling this plant can get to almost bush like
proportions (great if you have the room) if not potted. Can be hard to find though Lowes and Home Depot often carry them as well as many nurseries and green houses.
Citronella geranium is a drought resistant, tender perennial. It also makes a great container plant. You can rub this plant on your clothes to repel mosquitoes
Citronella grass is a coarse, clump-forming tropical grass that can grow 5-6 ft (1.5-1.8 m) tall. The stems are canelike and the leaves are grayish green, flat, about 3 ft (0.9 m) long and 1 in (2.5 cm) or so wide. It does not spread by runners, as some grasses do, but the clump increases in size as the plant matures.
Flossflowers (aka Ageratum): Emits a smell which mosquitos find particularly offensive (score one for the humans!). Ageratum secretes coumarin, which is widely used in commercial mosquito repellents (fun science fact for the day). I have had trouble finding this plant and am still searching. I think I may try to grow from seed!
Catnip: Ugh this one has caused me problems. Yes, it’s an AMZING deterrent for mosquitoes but our cats will not leave the plants alone (go figure!). Soooooo… though I love this one for its properties until I can grow it i some sort of cat proof cage I will have to leave it out of my pots for now.However, I do really love catnip because it is very easy to grow. This perennial (will come back year after year) herb is related to mint, and grows readily both as a weed and a commercially cultivated plant in most areas of the US. It grows especially well in southern Indiana 😉
While catnip will repel mosquitoes in close proximity to the plant, some people apply crushed catnip leaves or catnip oil for more robust protection (you daredevils you!). With that being said I must provide a WARNING… see note about cats above… if you crush these leaves on yourself and come out to my house (or within ten feet of any other cat) you will be molested! I’m not condoning the cat’s behavior, it is wrong wrong wrong and
probably punishable under some law somewhere… but they seem to get away with it which is an injustice to all humans everywhere who have ever been subjected to a cat under the allure of catnip!In August 2010, entomologists at Iowa State University reported to the American Chemical Society that catnip is ten times more effective than DEET, the chemical found in most commercial insect repellents (another win for humans with the war against mosquites).
Rosemary: Another great culinary herb that has been shown to deter mosquitoes. Ooh how I love rosemary! It is a hardy plant but like basiul it needs full sun. Rosemary can be
tough to grow from seed but does great in pots and grows quickly. Plant it in a pot with some basil and other great herbs and keep it in a sunny spot by your front door for instant culinary masterpieces!
All righty, I’ve given you a few to get started with 🙂 Anyone else have any that they know are great mosquito deterrents? I love to get many of these in pots so I can move them about as I want… some days I want to read by the garden while others I want to head out and do some fishing at the pond. Have mosquito pot, will travel! I keep thinking it sounds like I’m carrying around marijuana… I am not (unless you count the catnip as kitty marijuana…). I really like to get a couple pots by where the dogs rest and relax to provide some relief for them.Here’s a couple I did in about 20 minutes yesterday with some plants I happened to have on hand… it really does not take very long at all!