7/24/14 FUN FACT FRIDAY – Plants that are natural repellants for Mosquitos!

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Try planting mosquito repellant plants in your garden. Be sure to plant enough in the garden. A better option might be to plant them into containers that you can move and group around a patio or table area when needed, and moved indoors, when the weather gets to cold.

Pennyroyal helps to repel mosquitoes, gnats and also ticks and fleas! Pennyroyal is often used in commercial natural mosquito repellent creams and sprays. It is best used when the leaves are crush and rub them onto your skin. Pennyroyal is a good companion plant. Many find success planting pennyroyal near patios and outdoor seating areas. Pennyroyals do exceptionally well when potted.

Feverfew is great for repelling mosquitoes and other flying biting insects. For the maximum benefit, plant feverfew in conjunction with citronella grass and/or lavender. Unlike some of the other mosquito repellent plants, feverfew is quite hardy and does quite well in a wide variety of light and soil conditions. If you’re starting plants indoors, it’s best to group 3 or 4 seeds together in 1/4-inch deep soil. Don’t bury seeds deep in the soil, as this plant is light dependent to spark germination and growth. It’s safe to transplant after the first true leaves have grown. Make sure to give feverfew around 8 to 12-inches of space between other plants.

Citronella grass is one of the best mosquito repellent plants and it can be planted and used in a similar way as citronella candles. Belonging to the geranium plant family, it is often found in DEET free natural mosquito repellents. While some proponents claim that by simply growing the plant repels mosquitoes, the actual results are mixed. The repelling fragrance produced by its leaves seems to primarily work when the leaves are crushed. Once the plant has matured, remove several of its leaves. Using your hands, rub the leaves together to crush them and release its essential oils. Rub these oils over your body. Another suggestion is to sprinkle crushed citronella leaves around your outdoor seating area. Citronella grass planted in your garden & yard is best used in conjunction with feverfew and lavender. Citronella is quite hearty and capable of being grown in a wide variety of climates. While the plant thrives outdoors during warmer months, make sure to transplant it to indoor locations before the first frost. Citronella prefers a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day – this is regardless of its indoor or outdoor location. While full-sun is preferred, they can tolerate partial shade. Citronella may thrive in a variety of soils, as long as it’s well-drained. To maximize the production of mosquito-repelling oils, occasionally fertilize with all-purpose plant food. On average, a citronella plant can grow anywhere from 2 to 4 feet high. To encourage new growth, pruning and pinching is highly recommended.

Lavender belonging to the mint family, is a fragrant herb native to the Mediterranean region. Producing beautiful blue-violet flowers, the oils it creates have a long history being used as a medicinal tincture. There are several ways you can use lavender to naturally repel mosquitoes. The most effective of these methods is by extracting its oils. To utilize this method, simply grind its flowers and apply to the areas of your skin where mosquitoes like to bite. Lavender can be successfully grown indoors and outdoors.   Cut and or dried lavender can also be placed on windowsills to stop mosquitoes entering the house. Additionally, dried lavender flowers can also be used in wardrobes to repel moths and keep clothes smelling fresh.

Marigolds are beautify, strongly aromatic herbaceous flowers commonly found throughout the world. Based upon their season-long blooms and delicious scent, Marigolds are good as a ‘companion plant’ and to help protect other plants. Marigolds contain a chemical compound called thiopenes in the roots. This plant repels aphids, cabbage maggots, white flies and many other pests. Marigolds are particularly good at protecting tomato plants. Marigolds require lots of direct sunlight. Although they can flourish is almost any type of soil, these flowers tend to do best in well-drained, moderately fertile soil. As spring warms the soil, sow them directly into the garden. If you’re growing from seeds, starts the seeds indoors around 4 to 6 weeks before the last spring frost. When seedlings grow to around 2-inches tall, separate them and plant in flats of loose soil. You may also transplant them into a garden. Once planted, marigolds require very little upkeep. Never water marigolds from overhead. Rather, water at the base of the flowers. Don’t worry about fertilizing these plants. Due to its sensitive nature, excess fertilization causes the foliage to rapidly develop, which reduces flower production.

Peppermint has a strong, poignant scent. The majority of bugs despise the scent and taste of peppermint. Its strong essential oils waft effortlessly through the air to naturally repel mosquitoes and other common insects. Should you be bitten by a mosquito, rubbing its leaves directly into the bite offers near-instant itch relief. An excellent benefit of growing peppermint is its ease. As with any other plant belonging to the mint family, peppermint is fast growing and requires minimal care. When growing peppermint outdoors, plant about 2-feet apart in moist soil. This plant spreads quite rapidly and requires a decent amount of room to flourish. At its peak, peppermint grows around 1 to 2-feet tall. In your garden, plant peppermint near tomatoes and cabbage to thwart pesky insects. While these plants tend to do best directly in a garden, they also do quite well in pots these plants require full sunlight to and moist soil. To enhance the mosquito-repelling effectiveness of peppermint, pick several mature leaves from the plant. Mince the leaves into tiny pieces and scatter across your entire outdoor sitting area. While the plant itself will help repel mosquitoes, by mincing the leaves and spreading them, the oils are released in greater concentrations. Consider rubbing a little of the minced leaves across areas of your skin where mosquitoes like to bite. However, be careful when doing this. If you have sensitive skin, the oils can cause a rash or irritation. Test on a small portion of your skin and wait 20 minutes. If no reaction occurs, apply to a larger area.

Lemongrass , Catnip, Rosemary, Basil, Garlic, Clove, Eucalyptus are also plants that help to repel Mosquitos!

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