Keeping bugs away from you while you are relaxing on your porch is important. Instead of relying on bug spray, try planting one of these six plants that naturally repel bugs.

You might be surprised that many plants can repel bugs, such as mosquitoes and flies. Insects have a strong sense of smell, and they are typically deterred by certain scents. These six plants naturally repel insects. You can plant them in your garden or put them in pots around your patio. Either way, they'll do their job!


  1. Citronella Grass

    If you've used a citronella candle to repel insects, you know the scent put off by citronella grass. The candles are made with the oil that comes from this plant. Citronella is, by far, the most popular plant used to repel mosquitoes. It has a strong, pungent odor.

    You can set citronella grass out in small pots to mix with centerpieces or just as simple decorations.


  2. Lavender

    You may love the scent of lavender, but mosquitoes do not! Plant lavender along the entryway of your garden to stop insects from attacking your plants. You can put plants of lavender throughout your garden and on your patio.

    If you are out and about, lavender oil can be applied to your skin as a natural repellent.

    Related: It's Bug Season! 6 Home Remedies for Bug Bites


  3. Rosemary

    Rosemary makes a fantastic kick in your dinner dishes, but it also helps to keep pesky bugs away from your family. It's a great pick for the summer because rosemary survives in the dry weather nicely. Many people love the strong, lovely scent of rosemary, but mosquitoes think the scent is horrible.

    Try planting rosemary in containers, but it also works as a hedge. Try adding rosemary to arrangements for a unique texture, but it also helps to keep bugs away from you.


  4. Basil

    Basil is one of the most common annual herbs that repel mosquitoes and houseflies. Most people associate basil with Italian dishes, but it can also keep your patio bug free.

    Planting basil can be tricky because the plant requires at least six to eight hours of full sunlight. The soil needs to be moist and well-draining. Believe it or not, the leaves also can help treat mosquito bites! All you have to do is roll leaves between your hands to help release the natural oils, and then apply it to your bite to reduce the swelling.

    Related: 6 Perennial Veggies and Herbs to Expand Your Garden


  5. Lemongrass

    Lemongrass is close to citronella in scent and is closely related to it in species. It repels mosquitoes, but most people don't realize that lemongrass is edible and used in many Southeast Asian cooking.

    The plants can grow three to five feet tall, adding a unique texture and depth to your garden. It is a good idea to keep the plant in a container, so long as it's in a sunny spot.


  6. Mint

    Mint is lovely in desserts, dishes, and cocktails, but it is also a perennial herb that repels mosquitoes. This herb is one of the easiest herbs to grow, but it can be tricky to remove. It loves to overtake an entire area! So, it is best to plant it in a pot, so it doesn't decide that it needs to spread. Put it in a pot near your back door, so you can pick off the herb when needed!
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