Growing Citrosa Geranium || Is It Really a Mosquito Repellent Plant ?

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Mosquitoes remind us that we are not as high up on the food chain as we think.

— Tom Wilson


Living in Florida has many perks. Most of us are not too far the ocean the gulf, lakes, or springs no matter where live. Beaches abound. Warm weather is abundant most of the year…and yes, it does get HOT and we whine when it does. Because of the warm climate however outdoor activities are favored and many of us forsake the air conditioner and find ourselves outside working in our gardens, reading a book, going for walks, playing games.

The downside to being outside particularly in the summer is there are an abundance of biting insects that call the outdoors home and enjoy a great deal snacking on the fleshy beings that join them in their habitat. One of the most abundant of these insects is one that needs to introduction: the mosquito.

When I step outside, the Headmaster of the Mosquitoes, announces loudly:

"Hey fellas and gals, she is out here. It is a buffet. Come on over there!!" There is no escaping at least one bite even with repellant spray applied.

Remove leaves from lower portion of the stem

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Rain + more rain= mosquitoes

This year the mosquitoes are abundant because in our area we have had more rain than we have had in several years and it is welcome. My plants love it and are happy happy.

These mosquitoes this year are large and their bite is more of a sting than a ‘hit and run’ bite that I have felt from other mosquitoes. Wearing and armor of bug spray, hoping it is not too toxic, I head outside.

Two steps you can try to take are:

Try to avoid having containers on your property that will collect water;

If you do, empty any them so they do not provide breeding grounds for these insects

Which mosquito repellant plant have you planted in your yard?

See results without voting

Do they work?


There are a number of plants that are said to repel these pests. Their effectiveness is questionable. Some individuals who have planted them report little or no effectiveness by using them and others swear by them.

If you plant one of these plants that are said to be mosquito repellent, I would imagine that the effectiveness would be negligible. On the flip side, planting large numbers of them may just serve as an effective deterrent. It is certainly worth a shot.


Dip bottom portion of stem in rooting hormone

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Hints

  • Choose healthy cuttings to use to begin new plants
  • Keep soil moist during growth period.

What you will need

  • Pots, clay, wood, glass, or plastic, round or rectangular
  • potting soil
  • gardening shears
  • citrosa geranium to make cuttings from
  • rooting hormone if desired

Five weeks later, 5 new, healthy plants just repotted today

Source

Other plants known as mosquito repellant....

Horsemint

Catnip

Marigold

Citronella grass

Lavender

What you to do

  • Select a portion of your Citrosa Gernamium that is healthy.
  • Cut off several sections of the plant where there is a healthy stem using gardening shears.
  • Carefully remove any leaves at the bottom about 3 inches of the plant.
  • Dip in rooting hormone.
  • Place in prepared soil.
  • Moisten well daily if soil seems to be drying out.
  • Allow to root and then you can move to pots or to your flower bed.

A story with a moral appended is like the bite of a mosquito. It bores

you, and then injects a stinging drop to irritate your conscience.

— William Sydney Porter

Mixed reports on effectiveness of these plants

In this video there is a brief discussion of the effectiveness of planting a mosquito plant in your yard. An alternative to the mosquito plant is use of lemon grass. The speaker in this video suggests rubbing lemon grass on your skin to repel mosquitoes.

Even if you find these plants are not repelling mosquitoes they are still attractive and add their fragrance to your yard.

Of further interest to you


Growing Beautiful Plants: Showcasing Some of the Hubbers who have written about gardening

http://pstraubie48.hubpages.com/hub/Growing-Beautiful-Flowering-Plants-Showcasing-Some-of-My-Favorites-on-Hubpages

© 2013 Patricia Scott

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33 comments

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 18 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Good morning AuFAit

Yes, actually I do know why the little ladies bite...and it still does not make me love them any more than I do.

Right now we are in full blown mosquito attack time...poohie. I need to plant a thousand plants around my yard in hopes that they will be repelled. Right now I only have a tiny one as I was not able to bring my plants with me when I moved.

I so agree with you...no bugs really are safe around me...I love all of God's creations in general but truthfully bugs are low on my list of favs.

Have a lovey weekend. Angels are on the way to you this brand new Saturday morning ps


Au fait profile image

Au fait 18 months ago from North Texas

With so may acres making up your backyard I should think you could have a pretty good crop of these mosquito repelling plants, maybe even have a business on the side selling them and advising on their care.

I don't know if you are aware, but mosquitoes don't bite people for food. Only the female mosquito bites. She uses the blood to make her eggs. Only female mosquitoes take blood. They use the protein and iron found in blood to make their eggs. Females feed on nectar and water, just like the males do. (http://www.inrs.illinois.edu/expo/pdf-files/mosqui...

Generally if you have a male mosquito around he is flitting about here and there and may not be near humans or animals at all. Sometimes they flail against the walls, ceilings and windows like most other flying insects because he's trying to get out. Since they don't bite they really have no use for animals of any species. They're just lost.

You know those commercials they used to make showing a glass container full of mosquitoes and a man would put his arm inside it to show that once treated with their magical mosquito repellant the mosquitoes wouldn't bite, they "wouldn't even light?" All the mosquitoes in that container were probably males. Mosquito repellant or not, the male mosquitoes don't bite and probably don't light either, unless they're needing a rest.

I don't know for sure, but I think the females are singers. If the thing is singing to you, don't be lulled into thinking they aren't getting ready to bite. ;)

I don't like any of them (mosquitoes and biting bugs generally) and they're all at risk around me. I think all creatures have a right to their lives just like humans do, but the nasty ones like fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, scorpions, recluses, black widow spiders, etc., have no assurance of keeping their lives around me.

I love the idea of keeping mosquitoes away with plants, a natural more healthful way of solving the mosquito problem, if only it works. You will have to keep us informed if you plant a lot of these so we will know from your scientific experiment whether or not we can rely on them.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 20 months ago from sunny Florida Author

I am really not certain how well it works Peggy but I loved having it in the yard..it smells divine.

I hope to plant more this summer for that reason mainly.

thank you for visiting Peggy.

Hoping all is good in Texas.

Angels are on the way to you this afternoon ps


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 20 months ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Patricia,

In hot and humid Houston we certainly have our fair share of those hungry mosquitoes also. Bites from certain ones carrying disease can also be dangerous. Fortunately during the summer months our subdivision does some weekly spraying which keeps them under control. They also encourage us to empty containers where they can breed. We always change out our birdbath water daily. I do not bother planting mosquito repellent plants but just plant ones for their beauty and to keep the bees and butterflies and hummingbirds happy. Up votes, shared and will pin to my plants board. May this day bring you many blessings!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 23 months ago from sunny Florida Author

My flower bed were filled with these ...they grow quite large and they do keep the mosquitoes at bay in the area where they are planted.

Angels are on the way to you today Thanks for visiting. ps


aesta1 profile image

aesta1 23 months ago from Ontario, Canada

Come summer, mosquitoes will again be a problem for us. They seem to love me more. I plant marigolds but this summer, I will try citrosa geranium.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 23 months ago from sunny Florida Author

O yes...I will have to plant some lavender too just because...marigolds are said to work...

I love this plant as it is so fragrant.

Wishing you a lovely new year.

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


Ruby H Rose profile image

Ruby H Rose 23 months ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

I have lavender growing most of the time which helps. I hope to plant marigolds to see how they do. I still use citronella candles and sprays as a back up plan. Great planting ideas, some I haven't tried yet.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Thelma

Growing these has been so exciting. I have just planted a new batch of them. They grow so nicely once the cuttings are made.

Thanks for visiting. Angels on the way ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Thelma

Growing these has been so exciting. I have just planted a new batch of them. They grow so nicely once the cuttings are made.

Thanks for visiting. Angels on the way ps


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

Thanks for sharing this information. In a few months, mosquitoes will be around me again. I have to try planting this flower in my garden. Voted this up and pinned to my garden board. Have a great week!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Yes, they are, scribenet. I hope to have a yard full of them soon as I really do like their appearance.

I also am adding some of the others to my yard as well.

Angels are on the way to you...thank you for visiting today ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Yes, they are, scribenet. I hope to have a yard full of them soon as I really do like their appearance.

I also am adding some of the others to my yard as well.

Angels are on the way to you...thank you for visiting today ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Yes. to be perfectly honest, they creep me out too. This year is the worst they have ever been. I am a mess.

Avoid them at all costs.

Angels are on the way to you ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Yes. to be perfectly honest, they creep me out too. This year is the worst they have ever been. I am a mess.

Avoid them at all costs.

Angels are on the way to you ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Deboarh

I agree...they are pretty so if they do not work at least we have beautified our yards which is a good thing.

Thanks for visiting today . Angels are on the way to you ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Good morning Pamela

I did not know of these either until I found them in my daughter's yard. Cannot wait till the cuttings grow.

Thanks for the Angels..they are on the way back to you.. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

I know what you mean, Vicki. When I step outside they swarm around me passing others by!!!

And no matter whether these plants work on not I love having them in my yard.

Angels are on the way to you this morning...thank you for stopping by.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi rebecca

Marigolds give off an unpleasant odor (I think) and it may be what is believed to repel these unwanted insects. So they will find a home in my yard each year.

Angels are on the way to you and yours this morning... T hanks for stopping by ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Jill

As soon as these cuttings grow to a good size, I will plant them in my flower bed. Love the way they smell and their frilly leaves.

T hanks for stopping by...Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Rose

We keep having all of this glorious rain which my plants love so more mosquitoes keep coming. However I am vigilant about emptying containers where water collects so do not have them as bad as some others report.

Thank you for visiting this morning. Happi mosquito-free Tuesday ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Ok Bill

So, my sister and I had planned to visit the northwest this year but so many things happened we will not be visiting until another time. However since you report few if any of these annoying insects we may come sooner than later!!!

Have a lovely Tuesday...Angels are on the way ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Good morning caroline muscle

Yes these mosquitoes are wild and wooly this year for sure. And, big!! Yesterday I saw them carrying my neighbor's dog away!!!

Thanks for visiting...I hope you are not having to smack at 'em too much this summer.'Angels are on the way ps


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

I am definitely not a mosquito fan, Patricia, so may give the citrosa geranium plant a try. Learning to spell 'geranium' was the hard part. :)


rose-the planner profile image

rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

This was definitely a useful and interesting article. It is good to know that there are plants that repel Mosquitoes. We have a property in SW Florida and I heard about the huge stinging Mosquitoes they expect this year. It creeps me out thinking about it. So, I will have to keep this in mind when I come down again. Thanks for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I had one of these plants a long time ago and wish I had one now...but at least I now know it's name! Thanks. Not sure of the mosquito repellant properties either, but it is an interesting plant and has a nice citrus odor.


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 3 years ago from Iowa

I tried some of this for the first time this year. I have a couple of plants in containers by my vegetable garden. I don't know how effective they are, but they are pretty.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States

I did not know about the geranium. I have always planted marigolds, but we still have mosquitoes. Thank you for your informative hub. I'm sending angels to you this morning and hope you have a blessed day.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Great information, PS, and so very handy to have. We do not have much of a problem with mosquitoes....too much wind, too often rain, not high enough temps...and for that I am grateful. :)

Sending you hubs and blessings this hot Monday

bill


Vickiw 3 years ago

I had to smile at this. I planted many of these in our harsh northern climate, where Mosquitoes and blackflies abound! Maybe I am just irresistible, or extra delicious, but they sure continued their love affair with me! Anyway, as you point out, this geranium has a wonderful lemony perfume. Maybe it does work for some people? I can't wait to hear the experiences of others!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

I read somewhere once that the mosquito is the world's deadliest animal. I have been meaning to get some marigolds. I didn't know that they repelled the nasty boogers. What a bonus. Thanks for writing this!


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 3 years ago from United States

Hi Patricia. I plant this along our deck but had never thought of growing more from cuttings. Will start some as soon as it stops raining! Thanks for the ideas. Shared, pinned & voted up. Take care, Jill


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Having grown up in Florida, I remember all the different things that people used to try to keep those skeeters away, and never really having much success.... but then, FLA mosquitoes are viscious !!! And, this year's batch of 'Tiger" mosquitoes promises to be even worse!

Great post !!!

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