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9 Natural Mosquito Repellents to Keep Your Cottage Country Oasis Buzz-Free This Summer

Woman reading in a mosquito net

Summer in the Haliburton Highlands is pure magic. The lakes glisten, the forests beckon, and the days stretch long and lazy. But with the joys of summer come the less pleasant companions—mosquitoes. These pesky invaders can put a damper on even the most perfect evening by the fire pit or a sunset barbecue. Fortunately, Mother Nature provides a stylish and fragrant solution: mosquito-repelling plants! Here are nine incredible plants that thrive in the Haliburton Highlands climate and keep those unwelcome guests at bay.

1. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Why You’ll Love It: Lemon balm is a perennial herb that not only smells divine but also serves as a powerful mosquito repellent. Its lemony scent, which mosquitoes detest, is a win for humans and a loss for those buzzing nuisances.

Woman snipping Lemon balm

How to Grow: Lemon balm loves the Haliburton climate and thrives in well-drained soil with plenty of sunlight. Plant it in your garden, or better yet, in pots around your patio for an extra barrier of protection.

2. Lavender (Lavandula)

Why You’ll Love It: Not only is lavender beautiful with its purple blooms, but it also emits a fragrance that mosquitoes find intolerable. Plus, it can be dried and used in various crafts or as a natural air freshener.


How to Grow: Lavender thrives in full sun and well-drained soil, making it a perfect fit for the sunny patches of your garden. It’s drought-tolerant and deer-resistant, which is a bonus in the Highlands.

3. Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

Why You’ll Love It: Catnip isn’t just for cats. This plant is a powerhouse when it comes to repelling mosquitoes. Studies have shown it’s even more effective than DEET, the chemical found in most commercial insect repellents.

How to Grow: Catnip is hardy and easy to grow. It prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade. Plant it in containers if you’re worried about it spreading too much in your garden.

4. Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus)

Why You’ll Love It: Citronella is famous for its mosquito-repelling properties, and for a good reason. The strong, citrusy scent confuses mosquitoes and keeps them away from your favorite outdoor spots.

How to Grow: While citronella is a tropical plant, it can be grown in containers in the Highlands. Bring it indoors during the colder months to keep it thriving year-round.

5. Marigolds (Tagetes)

Why You’ll Love It: Marigolds are not only vibrant and cheerful, but they also contain pyrethrum, a natural compound used in many insect repellents. Their bright colors will add a pop of color to your garden while keeping mosquitoes at bay.

How to Grow: Marigolds are easy to grow from seeds or as transplants. They prefer full sun and can handle the varied weather of the Haliburton Highlands.

Butterfly on a Marigold

6. Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Why You’ll Love It: Basil is a culinary favorite that doubles as a mosquito repellent. The aromatic oils in basil leaves are unappealing to mosquitoes but delightful for us.

How to Grow: Plant basil in a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Keep it close to your kitchen for easy access, and let it serve double duty as both an herb and a pest deterrent.

7. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Why You’ll Love It: Rosemary isn’t just for cooking. Its woody scent is wonderful for humans and awful for mosquitoes. Plus, it adds a lovely, Mediterranean touch to your garden.

How to Grow: Rosemary needs full sun and well-drained soil. It’s perfect for container gardening, which also makes it easy to bring indoors during the winter.

8. Mint (Mentha)

Why You’ll Love It: Mint is another dual-purpose plant. Its refreshing aroma deters mosquitoes while providing you with leaves for teas, salads, and desserts.

How to Grow: Mint is very hardy and can grow almost anywhere. It’s best to plant it in containers to prevent it from overtaking your garden, as it can be quite invasive.

9. Bee Balm (Monarda)

Why You’ll Love It: Bee balm attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies while repelling mosquitoes. Its vibrant flowers add a splash of color to your garden and make it a lively place.

How to Grow: Bee balm thrives in full sun to partial shade and prefers well-drained soil. It’s perfect for adding height and color to your garden beds.

Bee on a Bee Balm Flower

Bonus Tips for Maximizing Mosquito-Repelling Benefits:

  • Companion Planting: Combine these plants for a multi-layered defense against mosquitoes. For instance, plant basil and marigolds together near seating areas.

  • Regular Maintenance: Keep your plants healthy and fragrant. Regular pruning and watering will ensure they emit their mosquito-repelling oils.

  • Strategic Placement: Place potted plants around patios, decks, and entryways to create a natural barrier.

Ready to Transform Your Garden With These Natural Mosquito Repellents?

Imagine a summer evening in the Haliburton Highlands, surrounded by the beauty and scents of these amazing plants, all while enjoying a mosquito-free environment. Your garden can be both a sanctuary for you and a no-fly zone for those pesky insects.

At Maxwell Signature Realty, we’re more just about finding you the perfect home; we’re about helping you create the perfect lifestyle. Want more tips on how to enhance your outdoor spaces? Follow our blog for the latest in garden inspiration, home improvement ideas, and real estate insights. Let’s make your dream home and garden a reality together!

Click here to get in touch with our team today!


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