Using Plants to Improve our Environment and our Mind


I love house plants and I’m always looking for something that can serve multiple purposes. Who doesn’t want an indoor plant that looks good, makes you feel good and purifies the air at the same time? When choosing plants for outdoors, this year, I want something that smells nice, is edible and can keep those nasty mosquitos away.

Whether you keep potted plants on your balcony at your apartment or condo or do a little gardening at home there some some great plants to keep around that will help keep mosquitos at bay.

Based on my research here are some plants I want to test out this summer:

Lemon Balm
This member of the mint family has white flowers and a light lemony scent. It’s  supposed to keep away biting insects but it’s also an invasive species, so keep it in a planter!

This yummy smelling plant not only repels mosquitoes but is supposed to keep moths and flies away too. It is most effective when actually rubbed on your skin. Use it perfume your home or in the kitchen!

Marigolds                                                                                                                                                        Growing up we always had marigolds in our garden and I grew to love their distinct scent. Apparently the marigold effect is pretty powerful and gardeners have even used them in vegetable gardens to deter other insects.

I always see this one at the grocery store. It has a citronella like smell but it might not actually be the most effective. You can try rubbing it on your skin if there’s nothing else around.

Sage + Rosemary
If you’re planning to gather around a fire, try burning a little sage or rosemary. The incense these plants give off when they burn not only smells good but is unpleasant enough to mosquitos that it will keep them away—as long as you’re near the smoke. Herbs are so great to grow because you can also use them when cooking.

Other plants that deter mosquitoes:


  • Basil
  • Garlic 
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Tea tree
  • Catnip

This is not an exhaustive list but I figure it’s a good start! Using plants to stave off pesky insects like mosquitoes is a great non-toxic alternative to coils, repellants and other sprays that are commercially sold.  We know how important it is for our health to eat organic fruit and vegetables and we can extend this to the environment around us – what we breath in and put on our skin too, makes a difference.  In addition, simply by having plants around your home or workspace you improve your well-being, lower stress and anxiety, raise productivity, improve concentration and memory, increase nature appreciation and promote overall happiness.

Happy gardening!