Did you know that some outdoor plants have natural insect-repelling properties?

Mosquito season is in full swing here in Utah, and abatement crews are reporting record numbers. The state is taking steps to get rid of the pesky bugs, but mosquitoes may still invade your yard.


Instead of reaching for the bug spray, consider making the following mosquito-repellant outdoor plants a part of your garden.

No. 1: Citronella Grass

Citronella is a common ingredient in insect-repelling sprays and candles. The live outdoor plants are just as effective at keeping mosquitoes at bay.

A low-maintenance ornamental grass with a lemon scent, Citronella can grow up to 6 feet tall. Most Utah gardeners opt to grow Citronella grass in pots or containers that can be moved indoors for the winter.

No. 2: Lavender

Lavender is prized by gardeners for its richly-colored flowers and pleasant, relaxing scent. Mosquitoes, however, aren’t as appreciative of the fragrance of these outdoor plants.

With full sun and good drainage, lavender can thrive in just about any Utah garden.

No. 3: Marigolds

With their bright, cheerful colors, marigolds are a beautiful addition to any landscape. But, these easy-to-grow annual flowers aren’t just about looks – they also exude a smell that deters mosquitoes.

Planted in the ground or in containers, marigolds are a popular choice for entryways, patio areas and vegetable gardens.

No. 4: Basil

Utah gardeners grow basil for its culinary uses, but the herb also doubles as a mosquito repellant. The pungent smell of these outdoor plants can help keep the annoying pests from setting up camp near your home.

Basil is a warm-weather plant that prefers well-drained soil and lots of sun. Most varieties are sturdy and drought-tolerant, so they grow well in Utah.

No. 5: Rosemary

Rosemary is another familiar culinary herb with a scent that helps stave off mosquitoes.

A woody-stemmed plant with needle-like leaves, rosemary can reach up to three feet in height. Because the plant isn’t hardy in colder climates, rosemary is typically grown in container gardens.

No. 6: Lemon Balm

Lemon balm, a calming, curative herb used in teas, has a strong lemon aroma that wards off mosquitoes.

Fast-growing, drought-resistant and tolerant of many lighting conditions, lemon balm grows well in Utah. However, because these outdoor plants are rampant growers, they’ll need periodic attention to keep them from spreading throughout the garden.

No. 7: Catnip

Cats may love catnip, but mosquitoes definitely don’t feel the same way. The easy-to-grow perennial herb is highly effective as an insect repellent.

Catnip can grow just about anywhere, and plants can reach three to five feet in height. Like lemon balm, catnip can be an aggressive grower in some areas, so Utah gardeners may need to put in a little effort to keep them in check.

Don’t let mosquitoes stop you and your family from enjoying your yard and garden this summer. To find insect-repelling more outdoor plants that grow well in Utah, head to Millcreek Gardens in Salt Lake City today.