15 Potted Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

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Nothing ruins a good time outdoors or indoors like mosquitoes during the year’s warm months. Unfortunately, that’s not all; these tiny, persistent insects are more than just a nuisance. They also carry various diseases, so controlling them is crucial for comfort and health.

There are plenty of ways to manage mosquitoes, such as using chemical repellents and bug sprays. Nature also provides us with natural but effective solutions. Today, we focus on 15 potted plants that repel mosquitoes.

15 Potted Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

 Potted Plants That Repel Mosquitoes


1. Citronella Grass

Potted Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

This plant kickstarts our list for a good reason. Citronella grass is renowned for its mosquito-repelling properties. When you crush its leaves, it releases citronella oil that repels mosquitoes. This essential oil is also popularly extracted and used in candles, sprays, and lotions designed to ward off these pests.

Apart from keeping mosquitoes at bay, citronella grass will enhance your home’s atmosphere with its pleasant, lemony scent and give it a tropical look. You can grow citronella grass in pots and strategically place them around outdoor living areas such as patios, decks, and near doorways.

Hardiness zones: 9-11

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2. Marigold

plants that repel mosquitoes and flies

This vibrant, hardy plant has pyrethrum, a natural compound commonly used in insect repellents. The part of this plant that particularly repels mosquitoes is its flowers and foliage’s strong aroma. Besides mosquitoes, other garden pests like aphids, nematodes, and whiteflies will stay out of your home if you grow marigolds.

Marigolds will also make your home a pollinator haven and are super easy to grow. Choose pots at least 6-8 inches in diameter for dwarf varieties and 10-12 inches for larger varieties. Moreover, use a high-quality potting mix with good drainage.

Hardiness zones: 2-11

3. Lavender

Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

As a mosquito repellent, lavender’s essential oils contain compounds like linalool and linalyl acetate that effectively repel mosquitoes. Its strong fragrance masks your scent, thus protecting you from mosquitoes. You can also rub its leaves on exposed skin for added protection.

Lavenders have long taproots, so the choice of the pots you grow them in is essential. Ensure the containers are deep and at least 12-16 inches in diameter to allow room for root growth. I recommend terracotta pots for lavenders because they let the soil dry more quickly.

Hardiness zones: 5-9

4. Lemon Balm

outdoor plants that repel mosquitoes

It’s large, pleasantly fragrant with a lemony scent, and an excellent mosquito repellent. Lemon balm contains compounds such as citronellal and geraniol that repel mosquitoes. This plant does well in containers, but since it can spread rapidly, you must use a large pot to accommodate its size.

Ensure the pot is at least 8-12 inches in diameter. Terracotta pots help with soil drainage, but you can choose any pot you like. Create a natural mosquito barrier using potted lemon balms by placing them around outdoor living areas.

Hardiness zones: 3-7

5. Basil

Potted Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

Best known as a culinary herb popularly used in many cuisines such as Italian, Thai, and Vietnamese, basil is also great in repelling mosquitoes due to its essential oils like citronellol and linalool. These oils have strong fragrances that are unpleasant to mosquitoes.

Keep mosquitoes away by planting basil in pots and placing them around your outdoor living spaces. Also, rub crushed basil leaves on your skin for extra protection. You can plant multiple basil plants in one container, but ensure it’s large enough.

Hardiness zones: 10-11

6. Mint

Potted plants that repel mosquitoes in pots

All mint plant varieties can repel mosquitoes, and you can grow them in pots. Mint contains high levels of essential oils, including menthol, which mosquitoes find repulsive. Mint’s strong scent can mask the attractant odors humans emit, making it hard for these insects to find their targets.

Mint grows and spreads quickly and vigorously, so grow them in larger containers to give the roots ample space to grow. Use plastic, ceramic, or terra cotta pots with drainage holes. Don’t let your mint plants sit in waterlogged soil.

Hardiness zones: 3-11

7. Rosemary

plants that repel mosquitoes and flies

This spectacular mosquito-repelling plant easily fits in pots. Rosemary repels mosquitoes primarily through its essential oils, which contain compounds such as eucalyptol, camphor, and limonene. The strong, aromatic scents these compounds emit are irritating and unpleasant to these insects.

To accommodate rosemary’s deep root system, grow them in at least 12-inch deep pots with at least 12 inches in diameter. Harvest your rosemary regularly. This will promote bushy growth, prevent flowering, and encourage the plant to produce more leaves and essential oils.

Hardiness zones: 8-10

8. Citronella Geranium

hanging plants that keep mosquitoes away

Also called the mosquito plant, this flowering plant makes a prized addition to gardens, patios, and outdoor spaces for its potent mosquito-repelling properties. The strong citrus scent that citronella geranium releases when crushed is reminiscent of citronella grass and repels mosquitoes and other flying insects.

Large terracotta pots with a diameter of at least 12 inches are ideal for growing citronella geraniums in pots. These containers will accommodate the growing roots and allow proper drainage and air circulation. Place pots with citronella geraniums in areas frequented by mosquitoes.

Hardiness zones: 9-11

9. Catnip

Potted plants that repel mosquitoes in pots

Beloved by cats but hated by mosquitoes, this is the next plant on our list. Growing your catnips in pots lets you control their growth. This will also ensure they don’t spread uncontrollably. A larger pot is best for catnips because this plant grows vigorously.

How does catnip repel mosquitoes? It has a chemical called nepetalactone that is as effective in deterring mosquitoes as DEET. It disrupts the insects’ olfactory receptors, which in turn prevents them from biting or even landing you. Strategically place this plant around mosquito-frequented areas, including your outdoor seating areas.

Hardiness zones: 3-7

10. Sage

Potted plants that repel mosquitoes in pots outdoor

Grow sage in pots and position them around your fire pit to ward off mosquitoes. As you spend time outdoors around the fire pit, toss this plant into the flames to produce an earthy smell that effectively deters mosquitoes. You can also dry and burn sage leaves indoors to repel these insects.

Sage leaves contain essential oils such as camphor, cineole, and thujone, which emit strong fragrances that mosquitoes dislike. These compounds diminish a mosquito’s ability to perceive chemical cues that lead them to their hosts.

Hardiness zones: 4-10

11. Pennyroyal

mosquito repellent plants

Pennyroyal has been used for centuries as a natural remedy and insect repellent. This low-growing perennial herb in the mint family produces a strong scent because its leaves and stems release a high concentration of pulegone. This scent is unpleasant to insects such as mosquitoes.

Growing pennyroyal in wider pots will help contain its growth because while this plant has shallow roots, it can spread rapidly. Note that ingesting pennyroyal in large quantities can severely poison and even kill. Therefore, use it cautiously.

Hardiness zones: 6-9

12. Alliums

mosquito repellent plants outdoor

The benefits of alliums extend beyond their culinary uses. These plants naturally repel mosquitoes. Whether you choose the familiar onions and garlic or ornamental varieties like chives and ornamental alliums, the plants can help you address your mosquito problems.

These plants’ characteristic odor, which mosquitoes find unpleasant, comes from sulfur compounds in them. Grow alliums in pots at least 6-8 inches deep and wide enough to accommodate the allium bulbs’ mature size. If you are growing larger varieties, pick larger pots.

Hardiness zones: 3-8

13. Thyme

Potted Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

This flavorful herb emits a strong aroma that mosquitoes dislike; therefore, growing it in your home can help deter mosquitoes. Consider interplanting it with other mosquito-repelling plants, such as lavender, rosemary, and marigolds, for enhanced protection.

Since thyme develops shallow roots, you don’t need deep pots, but ensure they are wide. As for the soil, a mix formulated for herbs or vegetables would be best. Thyme flourishes in full sun to partial shade, but expose them to direct light 6-8 hours daily for optimal growth and mosquito-repelling potency.

Hardiness zones: 5-9

14. Floss Flower

plants that repel mosquitoes

The purple beauties may not be the most potent mosquito-repelling plant on our list, but mosquitoes are not fond of their aroma. The strong fragrance comes from a compound called coumarin. The strong smell of floss flowers can also mask the scents that attract mosquitoes, such as carbon dioxide and sweat.

This charming annual plant is great for container planting because of its compact size and long blooming period. It produces fluffy, colorful, pom-pom-like flowers. Make sure the pot you grow your floss flower is at least 8-10 inches in diameter.

Hardiness zones: 10-11

15. Peppermint

plants that repel mosquitoes and flies

Peppermint contains menthol, a compound with a strong, minty aroma that mosquitoes find repulsive. Therefore, growing peppermint plants around your home can help repel mosquitoes.Since peppermint can spread uncontrollably, growing it in pots helps control it and keep it from taking over your garden.

Select a pot at least 12 inches in depth and diameter to provide enough space for the roots. Peppermint prefers damp conditions, so keep the soil consistently moist by watering them regularly, especially during dry periods.

Hardiness zones: 3-11


Plants like citronella grass, lavender, marigolds, basil, and many others in this guide offer beauty and functionality, providing a green solution to mosquito problems. Consider combining several of these plants to maximize their mosquito-repelling effect. For instance, place citronella grass, lavender, and marigolds together to create a potent mosquito barrier.

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