These plants do more than just photosynthesise, they also repel uninvited guests.
MOSQUITOES are not at all loved nor welcome in any home. They have been known to bring all sorts of illnesses, not to mention uncomfortable itchiness and unsightly bumps.
Arguably the most popular of the au naturel ways of keeping them at bay are with citronella oil. Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) is a perennial grass that is the source of the citronella essential oil. This coarse grass mainly grows in clumps, and can even reach 1.5 metres in height. This plant is also known as nard grass, mana grass, or nardus. Citronella does quite well in warm climates, and has a very strong smell, especially when you crush its leaves, which makes it hard for mosquitoes to breathe.
Besides citronella, there are some plants that you can keep in your balcony, in pots or in planters, to not only help keep the mosquitoes away, but also add a touch of colour to your space. Do note that these plants are recommended to aid in repelling mosquitoes and should be part of a complete eradication program, which includes the removal of stagnant water and the application of mosquito-repellant lotion.
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)
The closest relative to citronella, lemongrass has a strong fragrance that makes it a natural insect repellent. To help deter mosquitoes, locate it close to seating areas.
Marigold (Tagetes erecta)
Despite being a native of America, this plant is popularly referred to as African marigold. The plant contains pyrethrum, an ingredient found in many insect repellents and has an aroma that bugs, including mosquitoes, find quite repulsive.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
A mint hybrid, peppermint has a high concentration of natural pesticides, mainly pulegone. Bonus: If you happen to get bitten, rubbing crushed peppermint leaves directly onto the skin provides relief.
Pelargonium (Pelargonium citrosum) Popularly called the mosquito plant, the leaves resemble those of a fern but its fragrance is similar to citronella’s, thus repelling mosquitoes.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
Also a member of the mint family, this perennial herb contains nepetalactone oil, which, while loved by cats, is hated by mosquitoes.