Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Repel Mosquitoes With a Citronella Plant

...
Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images

Tip

Lemon balm and lemon thyme are plants with more citronella -- 30 and 60 percent respectively, according to an evaluation of the mosquito plant in the July/August 1992 issue of "Organic Gardening Magazine."

Warning

Patch test your skin for any negative reaction to the citronella by rubbing a small amount on your forearm before applying the leaves to a large area of skin.

A citronella geranium, also called mosquito geranium, is a species of plant that produces the oil used in citronella products. The plant fragrance releases when you crush or rub the leaves. A citronella geranium contains less than 1 percent citronella oil. The plant may not repel enough mosquitoes to be worth planting for this sole purpose. The citronella geranium is sensitive to frost and requires protection in cold weather.

Select a planting container that is 8 to 12 inches in diameter with bottom drainage holes. Fill the container half full with a well-draining potting soil.

  • A citronella geranium, also called mosquito geranium, is a species of plant that produces the oil used in citronella products.
  • A citronella geranium contains less than 1 percent citronella oil.

Remove the citronella seedling from the growing container and loosen the roots. Set the root ball into the container so the top is 1 to 2 inches below the container edge. Pack soil around the root ball to hold it in place. Leave at least 1 inch between the top of the soil and the edge of the container.

Set the container on a patio or area where you want to repel mosquitoes. The plant grows best when it receives a minimum of six hours direct sunlight.

Remove leaves and crush them to release the oil and natural fragrance to repel mosquitoes. Set the leaves on a plate and stagger the leaf collections around the area to repel mosquitoes where people gather.

  • Remove the citronella seedling from the growing container and loosen the roots.
  • Set the root ball into the container so the top is 1 to 2 inches below the container edge.

Rub the leaves of the plant on your skin to stimulate fragrance release that repels mosquitoes. You may need to rub the leaves on your skin periodically as the fragrance diminishes.

Related Articles

Peppermint Oils for Fly Control
Peppermint Oils for Fly Control
Is a Citronella Plant Toxic to Dogs?
Is a Citronella Plant Toxic to Dogs?
The Lowest Temperature of Marigold Plants
The Lowest Temperature of Marigold Plants
How to Grow a Mouse Plant
How to Grow a Mouse Plant
How to Plant the Herb Fennel
How to Plant the Herb Fennel
How to Identify Oregano
How to Identify Oregano
How to Make Homemade Insect Plant Spray
How to Make Homemade Insect Plant Spray
Thyme as a Mosquito Repellent
Thyme as a Mosquito Repellent
How to Propagate Tarragon From Cuttings
How to Propagate Tarragon From Cuttings
Homemade Bug Spray for House Plants
Homemade Bug Spray for House Plants
Do Geraniums Need Full Sun All Day?
Do Geraniums Need Full Sun All Day?
Are Chinese Palm Plants Poisonous to Cats?
Are Chinese Palm Plants Poisonous to Cats?
Garden Guides
×