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Pest-repelling plants to enjoy your patio

Sunny days and warm evenings are tantalizingly close! As is the lure of watching the sunset while sitting outside on your deck or patio. Double your appreciation – and comfort – by integrating plants into your garden design that are natural mosquito repellants.

Check out this selection of super plants to include in your planters all around your patio or deck.

Lemon-scented plants

All plants that give off a lemon fragrance can be used as insect pest-repellant plants. Most insects stay away; mosquitos most of all!

  • Cymbopogon citratus (lemon grass) - tropical, clump-forming evergreen grass with a rich, aromatic, lemon fragrance. Citronella is a very close relative, used for its natural oils as well.
  • Thymus citriodorus (lemon thyme) - pretty, easy to grow, and spreads out quickly. Full sun please!
  • Lippia citriodira (lemon verbena) - beautiful, fast-growing, and easy to grow. Place in the sun. Prized for the flavour of its leaves, in soups and salads.


Pelargonium is a genus of plants that include more than 250 species - all prolific bloomers with magnificent colours, and all with a lemony fragrance that mosquitos dislike! You've got lots of choice, so fill your patio planters with a dazzling display, and don't forget to place a few containers beside the patio doors.


Piperita mentha plants are very effective at repelling mosquitos, wasps, ants, spiders and flies. Highly invasive as plants grow through underground rhizomes, peppermint plants are best grown in containers. Plants prefer a sunny location and fresh, rich, humid soil.

Lemon eucalyptus

Corymbia citriodora is a very special aromatic herb, one that can grow to 60 feet tall in its native Australia. Easy to grow as an annual in flowerbeds, containers, or as an indoor plant during the winter - when pest control is no longer an issue! If you touch Its exotic-looking leaves, the air will fill with a strong lemon scent.

Calendula flowers

Commonly known as marigolds, these buttons of colour are troopers when it comes to pest control. Regular deadheading will produce blooms all summer long. Great as companion plants in the vegetable garden, they excel at repelling aphids, so place them close to cabbage, tomato and lettuce plants. Very easy to grow in-ground or in containers.


As much as lavender attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies, its unique fragrance repels mosquitos and wasps. Gorgeous blooms make this an ornamental plant that can take pride of place in flowerbeds and borders. Poor, rocky soil is adequate for this beauty, as long as it's well-drained. Sun is a must.

Lemon basil

Although all basil plants are mosquito repellants, lemon basil is the most effective. This aromatic herb thrives in partial shade and rich soil. Easy to grow in patio containers too.

To maximize the effects:

  • Integrate repellant plants into your flower beds.
  • Place plants around your patio or deck so that the fragrance of your lemon-scented plants will be carried in the breeze.
  • Set container arrangements strategically next to entry doors to prevent undesirable bugs from getting into the house.
  • Mix and match your repellant plants to cover as many bug and parasite varieties as possible.