Best Houseplants To Repel Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes: They Must Be Undone

You don’t want mosquitoes in your house, and you don’t want them outside your house. Also, you don’t want to use a conglomeration of harsh chemicals to keep the bugs at bay. It’s no good keeping mosquitoes out of your house if the price you pay is some slowly percolating toxic illness from Deet or another chemical.

With these things in mind, it may surprise you to know that there are quite a few different plants which are totally natural, and repel mosquitoes. Many of these plants are extremely pleasant in terms of their aroma, too. Following we’ll briefly cover several plants or plant derivatives that can be grown (or made) indoors, and that can be used to repel mosquitoes.

1. Citronella, Catnip, And Lemon Balm

Citronella can be grown in the home with relative ease. It can also be grown outside. Citronella oil is often used in tiki torches to keep exterior areas clear of mosquitoes. You don’t have to burn citronella tiki torches on the inside of your home, though.

People often don’t realize catnip works well to repel mosquitoes. If you’ve never gotten down and given it a sniff, it’s not an unpleasant smell. Catnip actually has effluvia much like mint. Your cats love it, and the mosquitoes don’t. However, if you are growing catnip indoors, prepare for felines giving it their full attention. This may not be a solution for multi-cat houses.

Lemon balm works similarly to catnip and citronella, can be grown indoors, can be grown outdoors, and is downright disgusting to bloodsucking mosquitos. If catnip or citronellas doesn’t suit you, lemon balm is fine.

2. Rosemary, Basil, Garlic, And Cinnamon

Rosemary has an odor that’s pleasant indoors, as does basil. Also, you can cook with both of these. You can keep mosquitoes from inhabiting the interior of your home with plants that, when in bloom can provide you cooking materials. Garlic does this as well, though it’s a plant that isn’t going to be so effective until it’s been harvested. The same is true of cinnamon.

Rosemary and basil are good for indoors, if you can grow a cinnamon tree and harvest it, spreading the aroma through the home, that will keep mosquitoes at bay; but doing so inside is a bit more difficult than growing such plants outdoors. Since garlic shares much with onions, as you may have thought, it grows underground.

However, you can keep garlic and cinnamon outside, harvest it, and spread the aroma through your home. Lastly, rosemary, basil, garlic, and cinnamon are common herbs used in cooking. If you regularly prepare food with them, you can naturally keep mosquitoes from you.

3. Essential Oils From House Plants

You don’t necessarily have to grow plants indoors to experience their mosquito-repellent benefit. Many don’t realize they can repel mosquitoes via essential oils.

This represents a fine little shortcut. Essentially, you go to a Spouts or Albertson’s grocer, pick up some essential oils, and use them as you would cologne. The cinnamon essential oil can be dabbed on your wrists and neck, it will make you smell delicious, and keep the mosquitoes away.

Think about it from the mosquito’s perspective. A drop of cinnamon oil is the size of a mosquito, roughly. Can you imagine a bathtub full of cinnamon oil? Wouldn’t the aroma make your eyes water? It would be impossible to handle. Well, a drop of that on your skin has the same effect on mosquitoes. They just can’t stand it.

Naturally Repelling Pernicious Insects

Mosquitoes don’t have to be repelled through chemical bug sprays. You can keep them away from you naturally and smell positively delicious at the same time. Essential oils from common houseplants can be directly applied.

Additionally, you can plant house plants like citronella, lemon balm, rosemary, and catnip in your home. Find the plants you like, and which you are willing to husband. Place them strategically in the home near windows and doors, and mosquitoes will avoid you of their own volition.


Amelia Robinson is a lover of plants and gardens, as well as an educator on this topic. It’s her goal to make sure that you get the chance to learn what you need to about gardening to succeed with your own home garden at the blog You’re not going to find just a collection of basic articles about gardening here. Instead, she wants to answer the difficult questions for you. She tweets at @robinsonplants

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