Saturday, July 22nd, 2017 by Sela Gutter
Adding a plant of citronella (or more than a few) to your patio can help control mosquito bites as the Minnesota summer wears on! Let's learn a bit more about the plant! Citronella mosquito plant (Pelargonium citrosum) is a scented geranium with tiny lavender blossoms and lacey aromatic leaves. The leaves of this plant are supposed to repel mosquitoes when crushed, which gives this scented geranium its name.
This shrubby perennial reaches 12 to 24 inches tall and wide growing well in hanging baskets and window box planters. History Scented geraniums originate from South Africa near the area of the Cape of Good Hope. In the mid-1600s, this plant was transported to Holland and England. These scented plants were so popular, that hundreds of different types were breed including the citronella mosquito plant. Growing Conditions This scented geranium grows well outside in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10.
Citronella mosquito plants grow as tender perennials in USDA zone 7 and need winter protection. These plants grow as aromatic houseplants in colder areas. Plant them in the ground in an area with rich soil that drains well. They also need at least four hours of direct sunlight each day to grow strongly. Watering Pelargoniums prefer the soil on the dry side rather than wet. Let the soil dry out between watering sessions so the soil does not become water logged. These plants do not tolerate overwatering. Too much water and the leaves begin to turn yellow before dropping off the stems. If unsure whether or not the mosquito plant needs water, then do not water.
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