Do Citronella Plants Really Repel Mosquitoes? - Everything You Need to Know

Do Citronella Plants Really Repel Mosquitoes? - Everything You Need to Know

No one wants mosquitoes in their surroundings, and there is a plethora of store-bought products that you can use to get rid of mosquitoes. But most of them are chemical based, and are harmful for the environment too. So, instead of using these chemical based mosquito repellents in your house, plant some citronella plants and keep mosquitoes away. If you have bought one yourself and are asking yourself: do citronella plants really repel mosquitoes?, here at, we are going to find out the effectiveness of these plants in fending off mosquitoes.

How do citronella plants work to repel mosquitoes?

The best way is to grow citronella plants in your yard or your garden, which are the places where most of the mosquitoes come from.

Citronella basically works by masking the surrounding aroma around your house which attracts mosquitoes. Due to this, mosquitoes do not come too near your surroundings. If you are living in a warmer climatic condition where there are no chances of frost, grow a citronella plant directly in the ground behind other plants of your garden. A citronella plant can grow as much as 1.80 meters in height, and can form big, grassy clumps. If you are living in freezing cold climate, then it is fine to plant citronella inside big planters. Doing this will allow you to move the plants indoors during harsh, freezing weather conditions. Go for cybopogon nardus or citronella winterianus plants only. There are citronella-scented varieties as well, which are not authentic citronellas, and are not as authentic and effective too.

For more ideas, take a look at our article on how to keep mosquitoes away with citronella.

Limitations of citronella plants to repel mosquitoes

Many would argue that if the aroma of citronella plants repels mosquitoes, they can be effective only if you sit right beside the plants. The chemical emitted by these plants is very small, and you can smell it only when you brush against it or crush one of its leaves. According to many, growing a citronella plant has almost no effect on controlling mosquitoes. However, a research conducted in North America proved that citronella oil can be effective in repelling insects. But if you want it to work, you will need to apply it very frequently, almost once in every hour. Another effective mosquitoes repellent oil is neem oil.

Effectiveness of citronella candles

There are citronella candles that are widely used to ward off mosquitoes. These candles, made of citronella oil, emit aroma that mosquitoes don’t like. In a study, people who used citronella candles received much less mosquito bites as compared to people who did not use anything. However, some argue that the aroma emitted by these candles is very small, and may not be effective enough to deter mosquitoes.


Without proper experimenting and testing, your conclusion may be anecdotal. Citronella plants are effective in some surroundings, while others find them hopeless. So, you can’t come to decision before first trying them. Having some citronella plants in your garden looks good, even when they do not repel any mosquitoes. So, why not plant some and give some greenery to your patio. Their effectiveness in repelling mosquitoes can be treated as an added advantage.

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