The best easy-to-grow mosquito repellent plants to scent your balcony or garden and keep annoying insects away.
The problem of mosquitoes in the summer season is, for some, a very serious matter, to be faced with meticulous attention and perhaps with a good, well-planned strategy. We have given you some information on these warlike blood-sucking insects, suggesting some good natural remedies to soothe the annoying itch of their stings and valid alternatives, completely natural, to the most common chemical repellents on the market.
Many of these repellents, in fact, contain amounts of DEET (diethyltoluamide) ranging from 5% to 25%, and there are considerable concerns about the potentially toxic effects that these substances can have in the long term, especially on children.
This is why once again, our advice is to resort to mother nature and choose a 100% green solution: grow one of these five anti-mosquito plants. They are readily available and simple to grow and can help you in the tough fight against these ravenous insects.
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon nardus)
The Lemon Grass is a herbaceous perennial, evergreen, native to South Asia, which is the most widely used natural ingredient in the formulation of anti-mosquito repellent. The characteristic odor of the plant is able to mask the attractants produced by our body, making it more difficult for the insect to locate our location.
Although Citronella is used in many products such as scented CANDLES, torches, or oils, the plant is certainly more effective as it has a more pronounced odor.
If grown in the garden or near the patio, it should be planted behind small ornamental flowers and shrubs. Alternatively, it can be planted in a pot of adequate size, perhaps placed on support with wheels, so as to be easily moved according to our needs and stored in sheltered areas during the winter.
In garden centers, it is generally possible to find small potted plants ready to be placed in the ground or transplanted into a larger container, but be careful: when buying, make sure that the plants are Cymbopogon Nardus or Cymbopogon winterianus. Often, in fact, the ones sold to us are not real Citronella plants, and their repellent capacity is not comparable to that of the original plant.
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Monarda (Monarda punctata)
Monarda is a perennial plant belonging to the Lamiaceae family and native to North America. It is very simple to grow, with great adaptability, and has repellent properties similar to those of lemongrass. In fact, it gives off an intense smell similar to incense that is able to confuse mosquitoes.
Monarda grows rapidly and prefers full sun exposure. It is very hardy and tolerates drought periods well.
Its leaves, if dried, can be used to make excellent tea or soft drinks or in perfumed bags. Its essence recalls that of bergamot.
Marigold (Calendula Officinalis)
Commonly cultivated as ornamental plants due to their colorful flowers, but also for their phytotherapeutic properties, marigolds are very resistant and emit an intense odor that is very unpleasant to mosquitoes and also to many gardeners. The plant contains pyrethrum, a compound widely used in mosquito repellents.
Marigolds prefer full sun exposure and fairly fertile soil. If grown in pots, it can be placed in strategic areas such as the entrance to the house or window sills. In addition to repelling mosquitoes, marigolds also keep many tomato plant pests away. We suggest you plant some in your garden.
You may also be interested in reading: Eco-friendly DIY anti-Mosquito Spray
Ageratum (Ageratum houstonianum)
About sixty species belong to the genus Ageratum, including annuals and perennials, all native to North America. Its repellent ability is due to the presence of coumarin, a substance that mosquitoes find particularly unwelcome. Ageratum is easily recognizable due to its blue flowers, although on the market, you can find specimens with pink, white, or purple flowering. This plant prefers exposure in full sun or, in any case, where it can be exposed to rays for at least 4/5 hours a day. It does not require particularly fertile soils. The leaves of Ageratum can be collected and crushed to increase the smell and, therefore, the effectiveness, but direct use on the skin is strongly discouraged.
These plants have demonstrated their repellent properties in the field, but pay attention to their location: there are, in fact, environmental variants to be taken into consideration. A light breeze could disperse its smell, drastically reducing its effectiveness and allowing mosquitoes to feast on our blood happily.
Thanks to these plants, which are easy to grow, you will sleep peacefully this summer.