The Mosquito Plant for Pest Control

Have you heard of the Mosquito plant? I picked one up from Home Depot the other day for about 8 dollars, I had never heard of this plant but living in Florida in what seems like mosquito headquarters I figured I would try it out.

I am always looking for new and safe ways to repel those pesky insects. The Mosquito Plant works similar to Marigolds in that the aroma should ward off pests in the garden. After one year of growing this plant, I can honestly say that it works. I now keep these in pots near my pool, on the patio and in the yard within seating areas!


mosquito plant featured image

The Mosquito Plant For Pest Control



What is a Mosquito Plant?


A Mosquito Plant is a perennial. Its leaves are similar in shape and size to Geraniums. It has the aroma of citronella within its leaves.

It is a plant that you can plant directly in the ground in warmer regions but is normally grown in a nice pot. Its other common name is a Citronella Plant. The Mosquito Plant is actually a combination of Chinese Lemon Grass and an African Geranium. A true Citronella plant resembles Lemon Grass while the Mosquito Plant resembles Parsley or the Geranium.

It is a gentle form of pest control but some people have reactions to citronella so before you go rubbing the crushed leaves all over your skin you may want to try a small section to test for allergies.




What is the Purpose and Its Care


The citronella smell that the plant expels is supposed to ward off mosquitoes and other pests outside. It is hardy year-round in zones 9-11 but must be brought in during winter in all other climates. These plants prefer 6 hours of full sun but can tolerate some partial shade. It is fairly drought tolerant but prefers moderately rich soil. It grows 2 to 4 ft tall.

You should pinch off new growth to encourage becoming bushy.



These plants love a good pruning once in a while. The mosquito Plant can be propagated by layering. Just force one of the stems into the soil and place a small rock on the stem to hold it down. Once the stem develops roots, simply snip it before the roots start and plant in a new pot.

When the leaves of the Mosquito Plant are crushed and rubbed on the skin it does help prevent mosquitoes from swarming you while walking in the woods. I live on 15 acres with about 5 being wooded and I can attest that this works well.



Where to Place Your Plant


It is recommended to place your Mosquito Plant where it will get the most use, and where you will benefit the most from its placement. In zones 9-11 these plants can be added to the ground at the same time as when tomatoes are planted. Place them about 18″ apart.

Suggestions for placement:

  • around the pool deck
  • in the gazebo on a table
  • an entrance to the home
  • on tables on a patio
  • near the grill or picnic table
  • in pots near children’s play areas
  • hanging baskets from the porch or deck
  • in a border in the vegetable garden




Controversy Surrounding the Mosquito Plant


There are always two sides when debating whether something works. Some people say that having the plant does nothing and that the mosquitoes swarm the plant like all other plants.

I can only speak from experience when saying that since I bought this single plant and placed it on the table on the deck, I can now sit and work or eat or just relax and I do not get attacked as I did before placing the plant there.

I also have crushed some leaves and rubbed it on my legs when I feed my chickens as I usually get attacked by mosquitoes near the coop. With these plant leaves rubbed on my legs I successfully fed my chickens and walked around the outside of the coop and received absolutely no bites from mosquitoes.

Opinions vary, but my opinion is that the Mosquito Plant works. It is the best 8 dollars I spent and I am considering buying a lot more plants this week.

The Mosquito Plant is great for controlling mosquitos around your outdoor space.
If you have a problem with mosquitoes you may want to try planting these plants in your yard and on your patio!



Do you own a Mosquito Plant? What is your opinion?

This post has been updated from its original version in August 2017.




  1. I’ve seen these, but never tried one out. Next time we head to a garden center, we’ll take a closer look.

    1. Author

      I love them. Some people claim they don’t work, but they do for me here!

  2. Never heard about this before but I think it’s a good idea. I’ll try it soon! Thank you

  3. My neighbor has one, he likes it. There are other plants that naturally repell them too?I have a Lemon Balm,Not only does its leaves have a rich, zippy, lemon smell, but they also contain compounds that can repel mosquitoes. … For a quick mosquito repellent, simply crush a handful of lemon balm leaves in your hand and rub them on your exposed skin.

    1. Author

      I love Lemon Balm! It smells amazing! Thanks for sharing the tip!

  4. New bloglovin follower! I think we do call these citronella plants in Colorado, but I will check at home depot. Either way, whatever we call it, I need this too. We don’t get a ton of bugs, but the mosquitos are huge in July! laura

    1. Author

      These plants are often called citronella plants! I love mine and I am sure you will enjoy yours too!

  5. Thanks for this post, we are always looking for ways to keep our yard mosquito free. We have a lot of trees and therefore shade. We had some success diffusing essential oils like oregano oil. I’ll be sure to pick one of these up and try it!

    1. Author

      I love my mosquito plant and plan on adding a great many more! I hope you enjoy your plant when you get it! Let me know!

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