Bug Repellent Outdoor Plants

To keep bugs away this summer, outdoor plants can be an effective – and natural – way to repel pests.
From spring until autumn, Northern Utah has the perfect climate for spending time outdoors. With all the worry about mosquitoes and the Zika virus, however, you may be tempted to skip it and stay inside. If you don’t like using the harsh chemical bug repellents, you can create a natural zone of protection right in your own garden or back yard.
Outdoor Plants that Repel Mosquitoes
Most of the outdoor plant species that chase mosquitoes away grow well in our area. Here are a few of our favorites.
You may know it from candles and bug sprays, but citronella is a type of perennial grass. The plant grows into beautiful fountain-like clumps that are as decorative as they are useful. Plant several around your porch or patio, or wherever you like to spend time outdoors. Put a few more in small pots and place them around your seating space.
Like citronella, marigold flowers also contain a chemical frequently used in pest repellent sprays. They are also beautiful and easy to grow. These are annual flowers, however, so you’ll need to replant each year.
Lemon Balm
A relative of mint, this herb can be dried and used to make tea. In your garden, it’s a hardy beast that will grow almost anywhere (even in the shade) and requires little water. This plant is also perfect for growing in containers, which you can move around with you.
Another colorful and decorative addition to your garden or patio, geraniums also repel mosquitoes and other insects. Add them to hanging baskets and containers for extra protection.
More Natural Tricks for Repelling Insects
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
This essential oil is an effective and natural way to repel mosquitoes as well as ticks. You can even create your own insect repellent spray at home by mixing 25 drops of lemon eucalyptus oil, one teaspoon of real vanilla extract and four ounces of rubbing alcohol. For a more moisturizing version, replace two ounces of the alcohol with two ounces of coconut oil. Place it in a spray bottle and shake well before using!
White Vinegar
White vinegar is effective for repelling ants. Place some in a spray bottle and spritz it around your patio and other outdoor areas where ants gather. Be careful where you spray it, however, as it will kill grass and outdoor plants. If you use it inside, avoid spraying on fabrics and always test a bit first, to make sure it won’t discolor the area you’re spraying.
Cinnamon has been used as a natural insect repellent for centuries. Sprinkle it around your outdoor spaces to deter pests or lay down a line to keep ants and other insects from crossing.
Millcreek Gardens is Northern Utah’s one-stop-shop for gardening supplies, trees, shrubs, annual flowers and rose bushes. We have everything you need to keep your landscaping and garden healthy and beautiful all year long.
Visit us today to pick up all your supplies, including indoor and outdoor plants.