How we can plant a garden adapted to Florida weather to fight against mosquitoes naturally
As a mosquito misting system specialist, A-NIKS has developed a natural insecticide based on plants and flowers that will repel and kills pests like mosquitoes and no-see-ums while preserving the lives of friendly insects such as bees and butterflies. Our insecticide is pet-friendly and minimizes the typical damage inflicted on the environment by synthetic compounds.
But could homeowners do even better to repel those pests they don’t want around us? Yes, planting a garden adapted to the southeastern weather (particularly the sunny and hot weather of Florida) and based on plants known for their protective properties.
The Southeastern states offer diverse ecosystems suitable for a variety of plant species. Let’s first understand which plants and how to use them to create our eco-friendly, insect-resistant oasis.
First in mind comes Lavender (Lavandula), renowned for its beautiful purplish color and fragrant flowers. Lavender repels mosquitoes and other bugs, such as moths, flies, and fleas. Its insect-repelling property is attributed to the compound linalool, which many insects find unpleasant.
Lavender flourishes in the Southeast’s temperate climates and blooms from late spring to early summer. A well-distributed line of lavender plants along the garden’s perimeter or interspersed throughout would add fragrance and beauty to our green and be a first defensive block against nuisances.
Marigolds (Tagetes) is another compelling option. Vibrant and hardy, these plants produce a scent that repels aphids and mosquitoes. The marigold’s repellent property is alpha-terthienyl, which is toxic to insects and nematodes.
Marigolds grow best in full sun and well-drained soil, blooming from spring through fall. Marigolds around vegetable patches and borders can deter pests and enhance our garden’s health.
Mint (Mentha) is another insect-repelling plant that would work well in Florida. Its intense aroma deters various insects, especially ants, and spiders (who wants black windows in their bushes?). Mint’s repellency lies in its high menthol content, which insects find overpowering.
Mint is a perennial plant thrives in moist and partly shaded conditions throughout the year. However, it’s invasive and can quickly overrun a garden, so it’s best to plant it in containers placed strategically throughout the garden.
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon) is a tropical plant with a strong citrus scent that is highly effective at repelling mosquitoes thanks to its high citral and geraniol content. It thrives in warm, humid conditions typical of the Southeast, growing most actively in the warmer months of spring and summer.
When arranging lemongrass in our garden, we can place several plants around sitting areas, outdoor dining spaces, and other areas of human activity. That’s an excellent tactic to extend our living outdoors.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) repels house flies and mosquitoes: it has a strong and distinctive aroma attributed to estragole and linalool. And we can use it in our cooking to give our food a delicious smell.
This annual herb thrives in Florida’s warm climate, especially in well-drained, sunny locations, and its growing season ranges from late spring to early fall. Let’s plant our basil near doors and windows to provide the natural barrier we seek against insect intrusions.
The Petunia (Petunia x hybrida) is a candidate for our garden. This is an ornamental plant that is beautiful and produces a licorice-like scent that repels aphids, tomato hornworms, asparagus beetles, leafhoppers, and squash bugs. The compound responsible for this repellent effect is pyrethrum, found in many commercial bug sprays. Using petunias instead of synthetic compounds is eco-friendly.
Petunias thrive in full sun, blooming from spring through to fall. Planting these in groupings or clusters around our garden will add a burst of pink, purple, white, red, and yellow while keeping various pests at bay.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is another herb we can use in our kitchen. This herbaceous perennial repels mosquitoes and various insect pests harmful to vegetable plants. Its potent aroma, attributable to the presence of camphor, pinenes, and cineol, drives problems away.
It thrives in warmer climates and prefers well-drained soil. Rosemary is versatile: it can be grown in pots or directly in the ground and strategically placed around our vegetable garden or along garden paths.
Geraniums (Pelargonium) have well-known insect-repellent properties. Due to its main compound, citronellal, the lemon-scented variety deters mosquitoes and other leaf-eating pests.
Geraniums do well in warm climates, preferring sunny locations. They bloom from spring to fall. We can place these plants in pots around sitting areas or directly into the ground along garden paths and borders.
More about plant placement around our insect-repellent garden
Let’s say we have a 2,000 sq. ft. garden that we want to use as a buffer zone to prevent mosquitoes from entering our home and to live more outside.
How to plant these flowers strategically to repel insects:
- Lavender and marigolds along the perimeter
- Containers of mint interspersed throughout our garden
- Lemongrass near high-traffic areas
- Basil plants near entrances to our home and around vegetable patches
- Clusters of petunias near susceptible vegetables or flowers
- Rosemary near vegetable gardens and along paths
- Pots of geraniums around seating areas and along garden borders
- In addition to planting strategically around our garden, rotating plantings each season can help break pest cycles and reduce the overall insect population. For example, swapping the places of marigolds and lavender each season can disrupt the life cycles of many insects.
In addition to planting strategically around our garden, rotating plantings each season can help break pest cycles and reduce the overall insect population. For example, swapping the places of marigolds and lavender each season can disrupt the life cycles of many insects.
Of course, we must pay attention to each plant’s growing requirements for sunlight, soil, and water.
All these plants offer a bounty of other benefits. They add color and fragrance, attract pollinators, and some, like basil and mint, are used in our kitchens. A diverse array of insect-repelling plants makes our garden prettier and has environmental benefits. The right combination of plants and flowers and a well-though arrangement will offer a dynamic, vibrant green that changes seasons and provides practical, natural pest control.
About A-NIKS: A-NIKS is a designer and builder of mosquito misting systems for residential and commercial properties. The company also offers home mosquito spray services and has developed natural insecticides based on plants known to be active mosquito repellents. The company is based in Tampa and operates across central and south Florida.