This time of year we must bring out the big guns to fight mosquitos. Here is a list of easy to grow plants that can help you with this battle.
These plants can be planted in containers or beds. I recommend a combination. The containers allow you to move the plants where you are and by incorporating them throughout the landscape you are able to secure a larger mosquito free zone.
The majority of these plants work when the oils and scents are released. Plant them in high traffic areas where you frequently brush up against them to amplify their affect. Here goes.
Basil. Way back when, tree basil leaves were burned to repel mosquitoes. Throw a handful of basil onto the coals or wood chips while you are grilling and it will deter the little suckers. You can also plant them in the garden to help repel the mosquitos.
Citronella (Lemon grass aka Cymbopogon) is another herb frequently used in Asian cuisine. This is a tall grassy plant that will come back year after year. Be sure to plant it toward the back of your landscape so that it doesn’t hide your other plants.
Horsemint. Smells like citronella. Grows very well in warm weather and likes sandy soil. If you don’t have sandy soil just mix some in when you plant it. Most plants that like sandy soil like well draining soil. It is easy to create this environment.
FlossFlowers (ageratums). This is a very short plant with pretty blue flowers (can also be found in violet, pink and white). They are great for borders and pots alike. FlossFlowers do well in partial shade or sun from early summer to first frost.
Catmint. This small perennial is the rock star of them all. It is said to be 10 times more repellant than DEET and is all natural. Even better, your cats will love it! And it is a great addition to herbal tea.
Start incorporating these into your landscape to begin reaping the benefit. Also, check your landscape for any standing water. Standing water can set you up as a breeding ground and you don’t want that. I love my birdbath, but I might get rid of it soon. If you want a birdbath purchase one that has continuous running water so that mosquitos don’t have a chance to breed. Or refresh the water daily.