Must Have: Citronella Plant

Until my aunt-in-law gifted me a citronella plant, I had no idea what a citronella plant looked like. Or that you could even buy one.  Citronella is known for its oil which has a smell that repels pesky biting insects like mosquitoes.

She bought me the plant because I was having an awful allergic reaction to mosquito bites. For reasons unknown, mosquitoes aren’t bothering me as much now that it’s summer. But then again, I haven’t seen as many now that we have the citronella plant. When it does seem buggy, I just rub my arms and legs on the plant and I’m left with a faint citronella smell.  This is very favorable over the alternative –  dousing myself with bug spray.

The citronella plant is an annual and I’m learning that it is hardy in cool and steaming hot weather! It has been growing in one of the planters on the porch in full sun.

I’ve read that the citronella plant is better at repelling mosquitoes than a citronella candle. Next year I will put the citronella  plant on my must have gardening list! It is so nice to have a natural alternative to bug spray.  Thanks Aunt Veronica!

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