Mosquito plants are fairly easy to grow and can be used to deter mosquitoes. These are often much more popular than other methods of pest control because there is no need to use chemicals. The mosquito plant is officially known as the citronella plant. This is a perennial or annual plant.
The reason this plant is thought to deter mosquitoes is because the plant contains oils which are very similar to the oils used in commercial products used to repel mosquitoes. The flowers aren't unpleasant and the scent is actually quite nice. It's easy to grow these plants in the majority of climates, but if you want to grow them as a perennial, you will need to give them some special attention throughout the winter in cold areas.
Step 1 - Choose a Location
You first need to spend time looking for a good place to plant your mosquito plants. Mosquito plants need to receive a lot of sunlight, although they can tolerate partial shade if the weather is very hot. Sprinkle some compost over the area where you are planting the plants and then use a pitchfork to incorporate this with the rest of the soil.
Step 2 - Prepare the Hole
Before you can plant the mosquito plants you need to prepare a hole. Dig a hole which is as deep as the original pot and double the size of the root ball. When removing the mosquito plant from the pot you need to be very careful so that you don't cause any damage. If you're not careful, you will break the root ball or the stem of the plant.
Step 3 - Plant the Mosquito Plants
Place the plant in the hole and fill it with soil, press down with moderate force, and then water heavily. This should help to remove any air pockets between the roots.
If you are planting more than one plant, you should space them a couple of inches apart. This will give each plant enough space to spread out and grow.
Step 4 - Care for Mosquito Plants
You should water the mosquito plants once a week. Overwatering can cause the roots to rot, which will be damaging to the plants. Every 2 months you should feed the plants using fertilizer. Before fertilizing, water the plant and water it again afterward. This will prevent damage to your plants. The dosage of fertilizer required will depend on the strength you are using. It's important to follow the instructions on the packet.
Step 5 - Winterize the Plant
If you want to make the plant last over a year then you will need to look after it through the winter. To do this dig the plant up and put it into a pot which is big enough for the roots. Throughout the winter you should try and keep the temperature of the plant constant. To do this it will be easiest if you keep it indoors. After the last frost, the plants can be planted in the ground again.