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10 Plants To Spruce Up Your Santa Barbara Garden and Keep The Mosquitos Away

yellow and orange marigolds from a Santa Barbara garden Do you know there are some beautiful plants that can safely act to keep mosquitos out of your Santa Barbara garden and yard? Here are 10 that are most effective:
1) Mint
Mint is an effective mosquito repellant that also helps to keep flies away. It’s also a great addition to an herb garden. It can be invasive, however, “and can take over an area very quickly,” says “Plant mint in a large coffee can with the bottom cut out to keep it from taking over your garden.”
2) Lavender
Besides keeping those pests away, adding lavender to your garden brings with it beauty and a lovely scent. How does this plant keep mosquitos at bay? It’s simple: they don’t share our love of the scent. “Have you ever noticed that insects or even rabbits and other animals have never decimated your lavender plant? It is because of their lovely fragrance, which comes from its essential oils that are found on the leaves of the plant,” reported Garden Design. “It is even argued that lavender oil hinders a mosquito’s ability to smell! This plant is very tough and drought-resistant once established and only needs full sun and good drainage. And while it can endure many climates, it thrives in warmer areas.”
3) Catnip
Catnip works as a mosquito repellent thanks to the ingredient nepetalactone, which is “10X stronger than even DEET in a recent study,” according to Best Plants. “It is a good non-toxic alternative to traditional chemical sprays.”
4) Citronella
I hate those stinky citronella candles in my yard. They’re “often laden with chemicals,” according to Natural Living Ideas. But go the citronella plant route and you can get the mosquito-repelling qualities in a more natural manner. “The citronella plant (officially known as the citrosum plant and often referred to as the mosquito plant) can be grown in your garden for mosquito control. The plant carries the fragrance of citronella in its foliage, and when a leaf is crushed and rubbed onto the skin, the aroma is very pleasant, yet it helps to naturally repel those mosquitoes. While not as effective as bottled repellents, it comes without the high price or potentially hazardous chemicals, and when grown in the garden, you’ll always have it on hand.”
5) Lemongrass
This ornamental grass contains citronella, and many – expect for mosquitos – find the scent to be pleasing.
6) Marigolds
Marigolds also have a distinct smell that repels mosquitoes,” according to Angie’s List. You don’t have to have a green thumb to grow marigolds, but you’ll look like you do! Start from seeds or from a “starter plant from a nursery or floral department.” Placement close to doors and windows or in outdoor living spaces will help ensure that mosquitos stay away from the places your family typically congregates. And, “They also deter insects that prey on tomato plants – an added bonus for gardeners.”
7) Lemon Balm
Not only will Lemon Balm keep those bloodsuckers from invading your Santa Barbara garden and yard, but, “This member of the mint family has white flowers and a gentle lemony scent, as well as some healing properties,” reports Rodale’s Organic Life. Because it’s considered a calming herb, lemon balm has been “used as far back as the Middle Ages to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain and discomfort from indigestion (including gas and bloating, as well as colic),” according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
8) Rosemary
Rosemary is a great fresh herb to add to roasted chicken, potatoes, and steak, but do you know it’s also effective at repelling mosquitos? “Plants can be grown in containers on a patio and shaped into ornamental pyramids, grown in herb gardens or planted in landscaped beds, where some varieties can grow quite large,” notes Mother Nature Network (MNN).
9) Lemon Thyme
Lemon thyme is a perennial that is a popular herb to use in cooking. It also sends mosquitos away. “The plant itself will not repel pesky mosquitoes,” says MNN. “To release its chemicals, you must first bruise the leaves. To do this, simply cut off a few stems and rub them between your hands.”
10) Basil
Another plant for your Santa Barbara herb garden is basil. “Basil is another herb that can also double as a pest repellent,” according to Garden Design. “The pungent smell the basil leaves give off is what keeps pests at bay. This herb likes to be kept damp, needs good drainage, and enjoys lots of sun. You can plant basil in containers or in the garden, alone or with other flowers, as long as both plants meet the same requirements.”
Sprucing up your Santa Barbara garden to keep mosquitoes away will also add the curb appeal to your home when you plan on selling your luxury property in Montecito or one of the other upscale Santa Barbara communities. Give me a call at 805.886.9378 or email me at and we can discuss other pest-repellent plants that will make your yard look (and smell) spectacular!

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