Spending time outside is the best part about summer, but battling the mosquitos... not so much fun. Here are nine plants to grow that are not only beautiful or delicious, they also take the sting out of summer.
Alliums (otherwise known as onions, garlic, leeks and chives) keep the buzzing at bay and also repel Japanese beetles. Try Chives, or the potent and delicious Garlic Chives.
Basil will repels mosquitoes, thrips, and flies. Holy and Lemon basils are especially recommended for repelling mosquitoes. Holy basil also makes an excellent tea.
Bee Balm is a perennial with edible flowers that is great for pollinators but not liked by mosquitoes. Lavender-pink, edible flowers explode like fireworks in summer on these mildew-resistant, 3' plants.
Catnip provides pure entertainment if you have feline friends, and it is used to make a calming tea or bath for children or adults. Sow this perennial herb and enjoy a nightcap of catnip tea on your patio, mosquito free. Catnip also repels mites, ticks, spiders, termites, cockroaches, Colorado potato beetles, flea beetles, deer, rabbits, and squirrels.
French Marigolds are known as effective repellants to rabbits, flies, and mosquitoes, and are toxic to nematodes (soil pests that feed on roots). They also attract beneficial insects like lacewings, ladybugs, and parasitic wasps. Double duty!
Lavender's fragrance is a heady and intoxicating delight, unless you are a mosquito, and then it is a "keep away" sign. Grow this drought-tolerant perennial near outdoor gathering areas to enjoy this beautiful shrub, sans mosquitoes. Lavender also attracts pollinators along with beneficial insects like hover flies.
Lemon Balm is a delicious, lemony herb used in tea and herbal medicine. In full sun or part shade, this perennial performs when is comes to mosquito repelling. Some gardeners have even told us they put a sprig in their hat for a lemony cloak of protection. Lemon balm is also attractive to beneficial parasitic flies and wasps that prey on garden pests.
Rosemary is perennial and often evergreen in USDA hardiness zones 8 and warmer. To us it is a culinary delight, but it is despised by mosquitoes and many garden pests like cabbage moths, bean beetles, and carrot flies.
Thyme repels cabbage loopers, cabbage worms, and cabbage moths, as well as mosquitoes. This woody, perennial herb has many culinary uses and its flowers are a favorite of bees. Thyme oil is a natural, proven miticide used by beekeepers to keep hives healthy and varroa-mite free.