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Mosquitoes can put a huge downer on the simple pleasure of just being outside. Gardening, walking, and sitting on your porch can become unbearable and drive you inside in minutes.

Sure, there are lots of potions that you can douse yourself in from chemical repellants to more natural products, but there is another thing you can do to help ward off those pesky, flying critters.

Many plants hold essential oils that act as repellents to mosquitoes and other undesirable bugs, too, and can be of help just by having them on and around the well-trafficked areas of your outdoor spaces.

What’s more, many of these plants are easy to grow, beautiful, smell amazing, and may even have other medicinal or culinary attributes.

1. Lavender

Source: Epic Gardening/YouTube

Not only is lavender a stunning plant adored by humans and pollinators alike, but it is also resistant to unwelcomed garden creatures such as hungry deer, and ravenous rabbits, and repellant to mosquitoes.

It is the essential oils in the leaves of lavender that help to repel mosquitoes. Have some pots of lavender around your porch and along pathways that receive foot traffic.  Be sure to regularly and gently agitate the plant to help release all of its heady aromas.

Lavender is a perennial plant in zones 5-11 depending on the type you grow. This is a drought-resistant plant that prefers well-draining soil in a full sun position.

2. Marigolds

Source: Toward Garden/YouTube

Not to be confused with calendula, aka ‘pot marigolds’, true marigolds (Tagetes spp.) are a true friend to gardeners and garden fans.

Marigolds are often planted as border plants around gardens and as sacrificial plants as slugs and snails love them. As well, they are thought to help control nematodes and are believed to emit a smell that deters mosquitoes.

Fortunately, these annuals are easy to grow and are super low maintenance. Again, be sure to regularly agitate the plant to release the oils.

Grow marigolds in the ground or pots.  They love a sunny spot with well-draining soil.  Remove dead flower heads to encourage more blooms and keep the dried seeds for next year’s garden.

3. Citronella Geranium

Source: Stacey Here We Grow Again/YouTube

An actual true geranium, citronella geranium (Pelargonium citronellum) is an attractive plant with lush green leaves, delicate pink flowers, and a really strong scent. It is this scent that is loved by humans and thought to be hated by mosquitoes.

Brushing against the leaves releases a strong citronella-like smell. This plant is not hardy to cold weather, so either keep it as an annual in the ground or bring pots of it indoors over the cold winter months.

4. Floss Flower

Source: Tonya, with the Flowers./YouTube

Floss flower (Ageratum) is a Dr. Seuss-like flower that contains a mosquito-repelling chemical called coumarin. Just as with the other plants listed here, agitating the plant helps to release these compounds into the air and deter mosquitoes from your outdoor space.

Floss flower is a very tender plant that is grown as an annual outside of zones 10-11.  It can be planted as a border plant as it remains quite low or works very well in containers. It can grow in full sun to partial shade and doesn’t require a special soil type.  Make sure that your plants get about an inch of water a week.

5. Peppermint

Source: Epic Gardening/YouTube

Peppermint is already endlessly useful in the kitchen and bathroom, and it seems that it might be of great benefit to you on your porch as well.

Peppermint is thought to have effective mosquito-repelling talents. As many of us know, plants from the mint family tend to spread like crazy and soon take over your outdoor space.

As a result, growing peppermint in pots not only means that you can have it on hand in your seating area, but you can also help prevent it from taking over.

The best way to start a peppermint plant is either by buying one at a nursery or finding a friend or neighbor who already has one.  It is almost impossible to fail at propagating peppermint from a cutting.

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