9 Best mosquito repelling plants for small yards

by Mama Loves Home

So you’ve read several guides on what to plant to help reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home – but what if you only have a tiny yard or outdoor living space?

What plants grow well in smaller pots that you can use as a natural mosquito deterrent?

Here are our top 9 recommendations for easy to grow plants that can act as a mosquito deterrent even if you’ve only got a limited space (and bonus points some of them are really pretty & you can use in your cooking too!!)

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We can’t speak highly enough of Basil as a home garden staple.  Not only can you add it to your curries, but it is a versatile plant to put around any natural water sources to help control the number of eggs mosquitos lay – they can’t stand the smell! Basil loves a full sun position in your garden and can work in a pot with good drainage.

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm – a herb from the mint family – contains high levels of a compound called citronellal which gives it a strong lemon aroma that bugs such as mosquitoes, fleas and gnats cannot stand. You can keep lemon balm potted indoors or outdoors with well-drained soil and partial sunlight. As an added bonus the leaves can be crushed and rubbed directly on vulnerable areas of your skin as a natural added layer of defence.


Rosemary is an aromatic solution that can be brilliant in keeping the mosquitos at bay. It has a wooded scent but does not have a strong, overpowering fragrance. You can use it on your skin too as part of a natural mosquito repellent. They work well in pots so can be used both indoors and outdoors, but they prefer hot, dry climates. If you live somewhere susceptible to frost, bring it inside for winter. Of course, it’s perfect for your lamb roast too!


Similar to rosemary, sage is another great multi-tasking herb. It can grow with minimal space and is as versatile in the kitchen as it is repelling those mosquitoes. It’s scientific repelling qualities aren’t as widely proven, but hey, anything that solves more than one purpose is a winner for our small garden needs! Sage loves full sunlight and grows great in a clay pot.


Mosquitoes hate mint! As do ants and many other pests, the smellier the better! It can easily grow in pots, and the leaves can be dried and used around your home as a natural pest control. Mint likes damp, well-drained soil and partial sunlight. And of course, goes marvellously well with a lovely cuppa you can enjoy in your mosquito-free yar!


Moving on to some of the prettier solutions, lavender can thrive in hotter climates which are more prone to mosquitos. Lavender will deter the mosquitoes, fleas, even spiders while attracting more welcome winged friends such as butterflies and bees. There are many different varietals of lavender, small-growing lavender cultivars are best if you need potted plants in a tight space, with well-drained soil and full sunlight.


Geraniums love dry, sunny climates and don’t need excessive watering. Their lemony scent, reminiscent of citronella grass works as a deterrent to both mosquitoes and flies. Their beautiful blooms will conversely attract butterflies to your small garden. They can do well in pots but don’t like to be soggy, you need well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight and they will colorfully thrive while keeping our winged friends at bay.


Another super easy plant to grow they work well in smaller containers or flower beds as well as indoors. A wonderful splash of color and another natural mosquito deterrent.


An easy-to-grow and hardy annual, marigolds emit a smell that deters mosquitoes and other pests. Marigolds contain a compound called Pyrethrum, which can be found in many mosquito repellents. They work well in pots, placed near the entrance to your home – maybe try them on your window sills. Do be aware though that the colorful petals do attract wasps so one to watch with kids around.

(Psst if you want to grow tomatoes in your small garden, marigolds are also the perfect companion to help keep the pests away from your prized fruits! )

So as you can see, even if you are a little limited for space and only have a small terrace or patio, there are plenty of colorful, fragrant and practical plants that can help keep those pesky mosquitoes from ruining your outside time.

Remember a few plants alone won’t be enough to ward off all of the mosquitos, make sure you check out all our tips for preventing mosquitoes from your yard and home.

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