Plant care

How to Care for Citronella

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: June 13, 2019
How to Care for Citronella

Do you know about lemongrass and citronella? While the two plants are different, they look and smell quite similar - the first one looks like blades of glass, while the second looks more like geranium. While lemongrass is known for its beneficial properties, maybe you're interested in warding your house from mosquitoes.

Citronella is a magnificent plant in all its aspects: it helps us to ward off pesky insects, the smell is intensely refreshing, it is very pretty and requires little care. But despite the fact that the citronella plant does not need us to tend to it constantly, in this article we give you some tips on how to care for citronella so you can keep it in perfect condition throughout the year.

You may also be interested in: How to Care for Sage

Steps to follow:


Citronella needs to live in warm climates. The first thing to keep in mind if we want a citronella plant in our garden is that the best time to put it there is in spring.

Because citronella does not bear cold temperatures well, it is advisable to transplant it to a pot in autumn and keep it inside, safe from frosts, making sure that it receives as much light as possible by placing it by a window or on the balcony. It's a very good choice for your indoor garden!

During this period, water it less frequently and let the earth dry completely before you water it again.


If you want a plant in your garden that repels mosquitoes then dig a hole for it or place it in a pot that is twice the size of its current pot. Cover the plant with a combination of three parts potting soil and one part earth.

Citronella is a plant that needs full sunlight, so you should place it somewhere in your garden where it can receive at least six hours of sun a day.

How to Care for Citronella - Step 2

Plant it in an area that is well drained, ensuring that water will not puddle around it. Remember to water the plant well, especially in times of drought, and remove yellow leaves when these appear.

If you keep citronella in a pot you can add to its pot base pieces of broken pot so that the hole is not obstructed and so maintain good soil drainage.

Moreover, it is not advisable to use garden soil as a potting base. Garden soil is much more compact and does not drain well because it has a lot of clay. This can lead to the appearance of fungi or weeds around your anti-mosquito plant.

How to Care for Citronella - Step 3

Like all medicinal and potted plants, citronella requires the application of some form of nutritious feed for plants every two weeks or so.


Once your plant is well maintained you can use it for various medicinal and cosmetic purposes in a very simple and beneficial way. To learn how to take full advantage of citronella, we recommend you read the article on how to make citronella oil.

How to Care for Citronella - Step 5

Now you now how to care for citronella! No matter the mosquito population in your area, you'll have a well-cared for, pretty plant that fits any kind of garden.

In order to keep your garden at its best, take a look at our garden maintenance section.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Care for Citronella, we recommend you visit our Gardening & plants category.

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William Williamson
Why are my outside citronella plants leaves turning brown?
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How to Care for Citronella