The Q&A Archives: plants that repel

Question: Where I live, someone has dumped old tires & I have gnats & mosquitos flying around everywhere. I am looking for some type of plant to plant around my house to repel them. Any advice?

Answer: I'd be concerned about health issues where mosquitoes are breeding and will suggest you contact your county or city to inquire about their mosquito abatement policies. Some cities and counties will fog an area where mosquitoes are breeding to eliminate the potential health threat to humans. It's worth a try!

A number of plants with a lemon or citrus scent are sometimes said to repel mosquitos, however in my experience they are not very effective. They also need to be bruised or crushed somewhat to release any scent, and this can be a bit hard on the plants. If you want to try it, the "mosquito plant" usually offered is a form of scented geranium or pelargonium. It is not hardy but can be wintered over as a houseplant.

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