Stop Mosquitoes With a Citronella Scented Geranium

Need an easy to grow container plant that keeps mosquitoes away from your patio? Try growing a citronella scented geranium this summer!

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Do Scented Geraniums Repel Mosquitoes?

scented geraniumVia Burpee
Citronella scented geranium

Scented geraniums are delightful plants to have around, because the ornamental foliage has a pleasing fragrance. Scents include mint, pine, rose, nutmeg and lemon. The leaves release their lovely scent when brushed or touched, so grow your scented geranium on the porch or in a window box for a quick whiff.

Burpee offers a citronella scented geranium that promises to keep pesky mosquitoes away from your backyard barbecue. Reviewers rave, giving the plants 5 stars, saying the plants were healthy and lush, with true mosquito-repelling power. (Psst—need more bug-repelling plants? Try growing nasturtiums!) One verified purchaser says, “No matter which way the breeze was flowing, the bugs just stayed away.” Another mentioned that the plants also produce small pinkish-purple flowers.

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Care and Growing Tips

  • Common name: Scented geranium
  • Scientific name: Pelargonium spp.
  • Zones: Annual
  • Light needs: Full Sun
  • Soil: Moist, well-draining

Like other geraniums, these plants grow well in containers with well-draining potting soil. Place them in full sun and admire their fast-growing, fragrant foliage all season long. These pretty plants are easy to grow. In fact, geraniums are best when left to their own devices. Water thoroughly, but only as needed. Then sit back and let these plants indulge your senses.

Did you know—chocolate cosmos flowers smell just like your favorite sweet treat!

Backyard Tip

These plants are considered annuals and will not survive outdoors after a killing frost or hard freeze. However, like begonias, you can overwinter your scented geraniums indoors as houseplants. When properly cared for, a geranium plant can survive for several years. Easy propagation from cuttings also makes it simple to share your favorite geraniums with friends and family.

Next, discover more mosquito-repelling plants you need in your backyard ASAP.

Lori Vanover
Lori has 20 years of experience writing and editing home, garden, birding and lifestyle content for several publishers. As Birds & Blooms senior digital editor, she leads a team of writers and editors sharing birding tips and expert gardening advice. Since joining Trusted Media Brands 13 years ago, she has held roles in digital and print, editing magazines and books, curating special interest publications, managing social media accounts, creating digital content and newsletters, and working with the Field Editors—Birds & Blooms network of more than 50 backyard birders. Passionate about animals and nature, Lori has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural and Environmental Communications from the University of Illinois. In 2023, she became certified as a Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener, and she is a member of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology and sits on the organization's Publications Advisory Committee. She frequently checks on her bird feeders while working from home and tests new varieties of perennials, herbs and vegetable plants in her ever-growing backyard gardens.