The Best Mosquito-Repelling Plants for Summer

Verani Realty
The Best Plants to Repel Mosquitos this Summer

There is so much to enjoy during the New England summer, but due to the region's northerly and coastal location, the summers are quite hot and humid- and with such a climate, comes a variety of pesky bugs. One of the biggest culprits known for ruining a good evening outdoors is the mosquito. 

For a natural solution to keeping the mosquitoes away, we compiled a list of the best mosquito-repelling plants that you can add to your garden during the summer season!  

Lemon Verbena

If you are looking for a mosquito-repelling plant that is also easy to care for, lemon verbena is a great fit. This plant, also known as Aloysia citrodora simply needs heat, sun and good-draining soil to stay happy and healthy- a perfect plant for the New Hampshire summer. Additionally, lemon verbena not only smells delicious and tastes good in tea, but it’s lemon-scented leaves are one of the best repellents against mosquitoes. Simply rub them on your clothing or skin and the citrus will keep mosquitos away! 


As one of the most complimentary herbs to any dish, there’s alway room for a pot of basil. But did you know that basil is also a great mosquito repellent? The herb naturally releases oils that insects dislike. Lemon, cinnamon and African blue basils seem to be the most effective at keeping mosquitoes away, but sweet basil like this Amazel basil variety also hold their own against these pesky insects. For an extra layer of protection, rub some on your skin before working outdoors or in the garden. 

Bee Balm

With its beautiful blooms, bee balm attracts butterflies and hummingbirds while, at the same time, deterring mosquitoes- it’s the perfect plant for summer! No need to crush or rub these leaves on your clothing or skin, the chemical compounds that give bee balm its scent repels mosquitos, as they hate the smell. 


Adding bright and cheerful color all season long, marigolds are a happy addition to any New England garden. These easy-growing plants deter many pesky insects, including mosquitos, thanks to the chemical insecticides they release. Plant these easy-growing flowers in pots on your patio or add them to your garden (they’ll grow back the following year thanks to self-seeding) to make your summer days and evenings less buggy! 


Use any type of mint, including spearmint, lemon mint or peppermint to deter insects with its strong scent. Hummingbird mint is a great option as it smells like licorice and attracts hummingbirds, bees, butterflies and all kinds of beneficial insects. Brush or crush the leaves and rub on skin or clothing or- try tucking lightly bruised leaves (still attached to stems) into pockets or bouquets on your porch/patio to confuse and repel mosquitoes. Make sure, however, to always plant it in containers, even in beds, keeping the edge of pots elevated at least an inch above soil. 


Pretty to look at, sage also keeps mosquitos away. Crush fresh leaves and rub them onto your clothing and/or skin, or tie a fresh or dried bundle to hang up to double as insect repellent and decor. Have a chiminea or fire pit? Toss them in and let them smolder to keep the insects away while you have the fire going! 


With the wonderfully-smelling rosemary herb (Rosmarinus officinalis), you can do the same thing as with sage to keep the mosquitoes away. Crush the leaves to put on or toss them in fire pit! 


In order to most effectively keep insects at bay, use the varieties of lavender with high camphor properties, such as Provence and Grosso lavender. On sunny days, lavender releases aromatic oils naturally that keep bugs away. At night, crush the flower buds and leave and rub them on your skin for a great-smelling insect repellent. 

Variegated Plectranthus

If you’ve ever grown Variegated Plectranthus, you know how smelly this plant is. With its strong odor, this plant easily repels mosquitoes, simply splash its leaves with water or brush it gently to release its insect-repelling scent. This plant goes by many names, so look for Plectranthus madagascariensis 'Marginatus', or just ask for variegated plectranthus. You’ll know you have the right one by the felted leaves with the strong odor.

For even more options, the following plants are also great options for keeping the mosquitoes away:

thyme, lemon thyme, scented geranium, mum, eucalyptus, lantana , wormwood, lemongrass, and if you don't mind the strong smell, society garlic. 



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