Thriving citronella plant
image by Sandy Austin/flickr.com (http://www.flickr.com/photos/sondyaustin/3440752202/)
A growing trend among home gardeners is to cultivate citronella plants in an effort to repel mosquitoes and keep them away from outdoor areas. While there is debate over whether citronella plants are an effective mosquito repellant, the citronella plant is an attractive addition to any outdoor or indoor growing area. Grow citronella plants outdoors in containers during the summer. If you live where temperatures fall below freezing, move the citronella plants indoors in the autumn, because these plants are only perennial in USDA zones 10 and 11.
Fill the container to the top with potting soil. Make an indentation in the center of the potting soil for the citronella plant.
Remove the citronella plant from the temporary container and place it in the large container. Enlarge the hole with the trowel, if necessary, so that the citronella plant will be just below the top of the container.
Fill potting soil in around the roots of the citronella plant and pat the soil down firmly. Water the newly planted citronella plant and allow the container to drain completely out the drainage hole at the bottom.
Place the container in a sunny window or under a grow light if the outdoor temperatures are below freezing. Place the container outside in full sunshine if the overnight temperatures are above freezing.
Water the citronella plant every day during the typical growing season.
Fertilize the citronella plant once per week by mixing the fertilizer according to the package recommendations for the container size.
Move the citronella plant inside in the autumn when the temperature falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Trim the top half of the plant off and place the container under a grow light or on a sunny windowsill. Decrease the watering amount over the winter months because the citronella plant will be growing more slowly. Water the plant lightly only when the soil is completely dry.
Place the citronella plant back outside the following spring after the last spring frost.