Natural mosquito repellants have long been a topic of conversation among those who live an active, outdoor lifestyle. The conversation has increased with the recent publicity surrounding the Zika Virus (& the West Nile Virus) as most of us would prefer to keep our outdoor areas pest free without using commerical insect repellants. While we realize there are some areas where enclosing the pool to combat insects is a necessity, there are many areas where the pool area can benefit from the use of other options.
Enter a list of plants that provide a deterrent to mosquitoes naturally.
The Challenge: Many swimming pools do not have landscaped areas close enough to the pool for the plantings to work effectively. The Solution: Use decorative planters! These can be strategically placed in areas around the pool to offer protection.
Here are 6 of the most effective mosquito repelling plants 5 of which can actually go from containter to kitchen for consumption!
- Woody schent that keeps mosquitoes away (as well as some moths & flies)
- Thrives in containers
- Great for hot & dry climates
- Can be pruned into all sorts of shapes – make great decorations
- Safe for use in cooking
- All forms of Basil (Basil comes in many varieties) repel mosquitoes & flies
- Thrives in containers – keep damp with good drainage & lots of sun
- Can be combined in containers with other plants & flowers (Just make sure they all have the same needs i.e. moisture, sunlight etc.)
- Safe for use in cooking
- Essential oils in the plant are natural repellants for mosquitoes
- Thrives in containers – need full sun & good drainage
- Endures most climates but loves warmer weather
- Safe for use in cooking – make sure you are using “Culinary Grade” plants to insure safety for consumption.
- Member of the mint family (also known as Horsemint & Beebalm)
- Thrives in containers – tolerates shade well – drought resistant
- Safe for use in cooking – dried leaves can be used to make herbal tea.
- Repels mosquitoes
- Thrives in containers – actually best for this plant as it spreads/grows rapidly
- Safe for use in cooking – fresh mint leaves are a nice addition to the iced tea
- Known for its distinct smell & natural mosquito repellant properties
- Thrives in containers – VERY low maintenance
- Loves warmer climates and can handle direct sunlight
- Best varieties for this purpose: Cybopogon nardus & Citronella winterianus
- NOT SUITABLE FOR COOKING – DO NOT CONSUME
Now all that is left is for you to decide on planters & plants! Here’s to many summer days & nights spent this year living poolside – hopefully, pest free!