12 Bug-Repelling Plants, Because No One Likes Mosquito Bites

Food52
Food52
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If your skin to somehow always attract bugs when you're out gardening, then you've come to the right place. Maybe the solution could be to cultivate plants that repel mosquitoes. Don't let another summer pass by in itchy despair — instead, rid yourself of the mosquito problem once and for all!

Using only your green thumb and a bit of time in the garden, you can create a pest-free oasis free of buzzing and biting. Here are 12 mosquito-repellent plants that you can incorporate into your outdoor living space.

Additional reporting by Brinton Parker

01
Basil
Flickr user alicehenneman

Basil

Basil is so effective at repelling mosquitos (and adding a delicious flavor to Italian fare!) that you'll want to grow it all around your house. Windowsills, porches, the garden . . . the possibilities are endless!

02
Modern Sprout Smoked Glass Garden Grow Kit
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Modern Sprout Smoked Glass Garden Grow Kit

This Modern Sprout Smoked Glass Garden Grow Kit ($25) is equipped with a hydroponic system, so you can grow your basil plant without soil. It includes the seeds, plant food, growing medium, and instructions to achieve your dream herb garden.

03
Bonnie Plants Sweet Basil Plants (Pack of 2)
homedepot.com

Bonnie Plants Sweet Basil Plants (Pack of 2)

If you're ready to dig into the world of herbs, start with these easy-to-grow, flavorful Bonnie Plants Sweet Basil Plants (Pack of 2) ($9). As long as you water them regularly, harvest often, and pinch the blooms as soon as they show, these leafy babies are easy to take care of.

04
Catnip
Flickr user aligraney

Catnip

Some studies report that catnip is 10 times more repellent to mosquitos than sprays, so this plant is a big win for gardeners. Bonus: if you've got a cat, they'll get plenty of entertainment from any catnip you plant!

05
Bonnie Plants Catnip Plant
homedepot.com

Bonnie Plants Catnip Plant

This Bonnie Plants Catnip Plant ($4) will quickly become best friends with your cat. They grow well in containers, and you can use the leaves to make tea. In the summer, they will bloom into white flowers with purple dots.

06
Floss Silk
Flickr user 陶 澤中

Floss Silk

Mosquito-repellent manufacturers often use this flower because of its repulsive odor (to mosquitos, not to humans). While it's not the easiest plant to grow, it makes a beautiful sight in any garden!

07
Snyder and Sons Nursery Live Floss Silk Tree
etsy.com

Snyder and Sons Nursery Live Floss Silk Tree

This Snyder and Sons Nursery Live Floss Silk Tree ($19) blooms into eye-catching, pink hibiscus-like flowers that will delight any guest. It is about 2 to 3 feet tall, and comes ready to be potted with some growing instructions.

08
Geranium
Flickr user free photos

Geranium

Easy to care for, gorgeous, and gets rid of annoying mosquitos . . . is there any reason not to plant geraniums in your garden?

09
The Three Company Live Flowering Zonal Geraniums (3-Pack)
amazon.com

The Three Company Live Flowering Zonal Geraniums (3-Pack)

With their colorful blooms, The Three Company Live Flowering Zonal Geraniums (3-Pack) ($22, originally $25) will greatly enhance your spring decor.

10
Lemon Balm
Flickr user smoo

Lemon Balm

To utilize lemon balm's repellent properties, simply pick some of the fresh leaves, crush them between your palms, and then rub on your exposed skin.

11
Bonnie Plants Lemon Balm Plant
homedepot.com

Bonnie Plants Lemon Balm Plant

Just in time for spring, this Bonnie Plants Lemon Balm Plant ($5) is best when planted right after the last frost. It has a mild flavor that's often used in poultry, fish or dessert recipes. Be sure to grow it in a container as it spreads quickly.

12
The Three Company Live Lemon Balm (3-Pack)
amazon.com

The Three Company Live Lemon Balm (3-Pack)

Place this aromatic The Three Company Live Lemon Balm (3-Pack) ($17) on a windowsill. These herbs are great for cooking, and they will make tasty additions to your salads.

13
Pennyroyal
Flickr user born1945

Pennyroyal

This flower is used not only to repel mosquitos, but also to rid gardens of fleas and other pesky insects. You can also add it to hot water to make a menstrual-cramp-curing tea!

15
Citronella
Flickr user nociveglia

Citronella

After crushing blades of citronella, you can either combine it with other repellent blooms to make a salve or simply apply it to your skin for instant relief.

16
Bonnie Plants Citronella Mosquito Plant
homedepot.com

Bonnie Plants Citronella Mosquito Plant

This Bonnie Plants Citronella Mosquito Plant ($10) features lemon-scented leaves, so be sure to brush against them as you walk by to get the fragrance.

17
Lavender
Flickr user sagesolar

Lavender

Lavender oil repels mosquitos and makes a great perfume; plus, your garden will never smell better than when lavender is in bloom!

18
Bonnie Plants Lavender Live Plants (4-Pack)
amazon.com

Bonnie Plants Lavender Live Plants (4-Pack)

Investing in these Bonnie Plants Lavender Live Plants (4-Pack) ($18) will pay off in so many ways. These herbs not only smell delicious, but they are used for essential oil, culinary processes, and more!

19
Lemon Thyme
Flickr user Dawn Huczek

Lemon Thyme

The citrusy aroma of this plant drives away annoying bugs (like mosquitos) and attracts helpful ones (like bumblebees). You can also dilute crushed leaves to create a skin salve that won't cause irritation.

20
Bonnie Plants Live Lemon Thyme Plants (4 Pack)
amazon.com

Bonnie Plants Live Lemon Thyme Plants (4 Pack)

These Bonnie Plants Live Lemon Thyme Plants (4 Pack) ($21) will give your dishes a kick with their aromatic lemon flavor. You won't regreat caring for them.

21
Marigold
Flickr user jcapaldi

Marigold

"Marigolds have a scent that [bugs] HATE and the added bonus of being easy to grow and lovely to look at," reports The Happier Homemaker. "Marigold plants contain pyrethrum, a commonly used insect repelling chemical found in many insect repellents."

22
Raw Earth Color Marigold Seeds
amazon.com

Raw Earth Color Marigold Seeds

These Raw Earth Color Marigold Seeds ($9, originally $12) are great for planting indoors or outdoors. They grow just 8-12 inches tall, and are long-blooming.

23
Peppermint
Flickr user wonderferret

Peppermint

Mint's aroma repels mosquitos that would otherwise enjoy buzzing around your home, and the plant also offers plenty of perks in the kitchen. Fresh mint tea, anyone?

24
Bonnie Plants Live Peppermint Plant (4-Pack)
amazon.com

Bonnie Plants Live Peppermint Plant (4-Pack)

If peppermint is your tea flavor of choice, then you need this Bonnie Plants Live Peppermint Plant (4-Pack) ($23). It has bright green leaves, a minty scent and taste, and you need to harvest it often to keep it bushy.

25
Rosemary
Flickr user ndrwfgg

Rosemary

Rosemary naturally repels mosquitos from your garden and can also be combined with other herbs to create a repellent salve for skin.

26
Bonnie Plants Live Rosemary Plant (4-Pack)
amazon.com

Bonnie Plants Live Rosemary Plant (4-Pack)

If you love rosemary, then do yourself a favor and start growing your own garden, starting with this Bonnie Plants Live Rosemary Plant (4-Pack) ($25, originally $26). We're big fans of the herbs and its numerous applications, in cooking, oil making, etc.

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