Friday, May 11, 2012
My daughter moved this summer and some of our wonderful friends from church gave her a couple of mosquito plants for her deck as a going away preset. It is actually a member of the geranium family and if you brush the leaves, they release a citronella fragrance that is very pleasing.
The leaves are shaped a bit like geranium leaves but they are kind of rough and prickly and it is a plant that has done really well in hot and dry weather. This year has been a true test for potted plants because it has been so hot and dry. It's a great plant for any deck that is not shaded.
Does it repel mosquitoes? I would think it does because the odor is exactly like citronella extract. I haven't seen any bugs on the plant and I would think it would at least be a help for insects that are don't like the smell. I don't think any kind of citronella candles will keep them away if there is an infestation. But, even if this plant didn't do much to keep the bugs at bay, it would matter because it is a great smelling plant.
I do know that it is a semi-tropical tender perennial and will have to come in when the weather changes. I don't think it will survive a frost but it should live inside through the winter. Meanwhile I just love it when the leaves flutter in the breeze because I like the lemony smell of citronella.