||On Feb 1, 2012, LolaMarigolda from Glen Saint Mary, FL wrote:
tend to flock to me. I can pull off a few leaves, crush them and then
rub them over my arms and legs and the bugs leave me alone. Depending
on your location, best results are obtained via the method I described.
Finding one in this area is a major pain as they go fast, but we are now
to the point that we are going to start some cuttings off the current
plant (and get those into our greenhouse).
||On Sep 22, 2011, dyzzypyxxy from Sarasota, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
pretty foliage and a lovely scent, it’s worth it even if it doesn’t
keep bugs away. But, I have had some success with rubbing the crushed
leaves on my ankles and arms, then tuck the leaves in my hatband. I
think you must crush the leaves to release enough citronella to keep
This year my huge plant will produce enough cuttings to plant a whole
border along the side of the screened pool - maybe that will deter the
no-see-ums from coming through the screen.
||On Jun 21, 2011, kristindarin from Wake Forest, NC wrote:
was purchased this year to help my 2 kids from getting numerous bites.
I placed it at their swing set and we have no bits. Waiting to cut
parts to make new plants.
||On Jun 17, 2011, XxMissMexX from Hopkins, MN wrote:
bought one of these plants this spring and am happy to see that you can
make cuttings for it, like spider plants. Also interesting were the
ways to use it as a repellent - crushing the leaves, brewing a mix - as
my daughter is unfortunately very reactive to mosquito bites and I hate
spraying her down with chemicals. I will probably start some cuttings
||On May 26, 2011, kotori83 from San Antonio, TX wrote:
grown citronella plants for years now. I don’t rely on it to repel
insects, I rely on it to smell simply divine. I live in San Antonio, so
it grows very well in the heat of our summers, however during the winter
they surely die unless brought inside. I grow my citronella in
thoroughly cleaned 5 gallon paint buckets with coconut substrate (same
stuff I use for all my reptiles)… and they love it, probably because
coconut drains very well and its pH neutral.
About this plant and cats:
I can comment on its toxicity to felines however I know for a fact it
does not repel them in any way whatsoever, I regularly find cats
sleeping on my porch lying under the shade of the citronella plants.
||On May 7, 2011, muttlover from Quincy, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:
try to buy this every year as an annual outside potted plant. It does
not overwinter in IL unless you take it inside and I have cats who might
eat this poisonous plant. I don’t think it works as a deterrent to
mosquitos (at least not my tough skeeters) but it’s nice and vining and
has interesting foliage and survives a shady porch. The only thing is -
I have to buy it early from a plant nursery because it gets sold out
around here really fast.
||On May 6, 2011, erjeffery from Baton Rouge, LA (Zone 9b) wrote:
tough plant, I have this in the ground beside my garage and carport in
partial sun/shade. It endures dry ground and inattention well. It
grows tall (2-3 ft.) and will fall over if not staked. I can’t vouch
for mosquito-repellant properties, but the smell is terrific and strong,
with a slightly more bitter fragrance than lemon scented geraniums.
Plant this where you sit outside in the evenings or when it rains - the
scent alone is worth the effort.
||On Jun 27, 2010, tcgch from Rowlett, TX wrote:
I bought this plant it was big, healthy and smelled great. Now not so
much. I have it planted outside by the pool. It gets sun until noon then
shade the rest of the day. I water regular. Have other plants planted
around it and they are doing fabulous. The Mosquito plant (citronella
Plant) however has turned brown, leaves are falling off and looks very
sick. Please help, I really want this plant to survive. It may or may
not repell, but it smells really good. Any advise?
||On Jun 26, 2010, bsimpson1972 from Chicago, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:
of “Grandma’s houseplants”, that everyone should have! Give it lots of
light, water and food and it will thrive. Pinching is essential, if you
want a bushy plant. Stake it, if necessary. One of the easiest
houseplants, one can have.
||On Dec 4, 2009, gpr1 from Denton, TX wrote:
vet advises this plant is poisonous to cats. I had hoped to over-winter
my two huge citronella pot plants in her atrium-like waiting room, but
she said, “Absolutely not, because it is poisonous to cats.”
||On Nov 18, 2009, mrs_colla from Marin, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
I saw an old decrepid plant, ready to give up, and took a little piece of it and plunked it in the ground.
The thing grew like heck! I had to prune it so much, I finally gave it away. It grows too big in the ground.
But, it can live with not too much water, it blooms all summer and never gets sick or bugged.
If you have room for it, or the lust to prune several times a season, go ahead and plant it.
||On May 29, 2009, angsaidso from Owego, NY wrote:
an FYI … you can actually grow cutrtings from this plant by tossing
them in a cup of water!! I have rooted numerous cuttings by clipping
them off the stems of the plant at an angle and just tossing them in
water. They take a while to get going, but once they go, they grow VERY
long roots and take off in soil right away. Easier than having them
rot in a pot, but you have a longer wait. They also do not wilt up or
lose leaves during this process either.
As for mosquitoes, I don’t know if it works or not. I was given this
plant when it got too big for my neighbor to deal with. It is growing in
a gallon pot inside (I live in NYS) and grows all year long. But I do
let it dry out pretty good between waterings.
Peace ~ Ang
||On Apr 16, 2009, Shweetie30 from Mableton, GA wrote:
wonderful! Just purchased this plant today for the first time at a
local plant sale. The lady who sold it to me said to use it in your
sugar bowl. Put a couple of leaves in the sugar bowl, add some sugar,
then another leaf or two, and keep layering it. Supposedly it will give a
delightful flavor to your sugar!
||On Feb 20, 2009, dimar7a from Quincy, MA wrote:
love this plant.i,m not sure if it repels bugs,but it smells great. we
have had this plant for 3 years now.I have cutting,s going in a vase now
for spring. I also put cuttings in the garden during the summer,they do
great. have never had a problem with them taking over.also does not
flower very often,but the foliage and sent is why i grow them
||On Feb 16, 2009, olesagegrouse from Casper, WY wrote:
had a citronella scented geranium (in a container) for eight years now,
can readily testify to its virtues as an insect repellant. Fresh
leaves, slightly macerated, have been placed on inside windowsills, kept
mosquitos at bay even when leaves dried out. When working in the yard,
I macerate leaves, rub them on arms and back of neck: flying, biting
critters stay away!
Fire ants, when visiting Puerto Rico every winter, were AWFUL at times!
One summer, I placed several citronella leaves in a small jar of cider
vinegar, let it “brew” in hot sun for several weeks. Took it to P.R.,
would rub feet/ankles with it before going into “fire ant country”,
NEVER got bitten thereafter.
My plant’s cut back to 5 inches in height every fall, cuttings started
then in deep styrofoam cups. When several inches tall, pinching back
begins. By June, plants are lovely little bushes that have just
bloomed, or are about to.
To have a true “bug deterrant”, it MUST BE the citronella, NOT the
lemon-scented! There IS a differance in cultivars and what they’re ment
||On Feb 16, 2009, capejafreem from Hyannis, MA wrote:
grown this plant on my deck, on Cape Cod, for many years. I don’t
count on it to repel insects, but I do rely on it to offer a delightful
refreshing scent as I brush past it. In the fall, I cut the plant back
and root the cuttings. Mother and babies survive in a sunny window, so
that by the following spring I have our new supply of fragrant and
pretty plants to beautify our deck.
||On Feb 16, 2009, joy112854 from Crestview, FL wrote:
Spring I bought two of these and two geraniums, as I live in hot and
humid Florida where mosquitoes frequent. I placed one of the four in
each corner of my 12 x 30 decks in pots. I didn’t have any problems
with the mosquitos as long as I stayed on the deck. As far as being
hard to kill, that is not so, they grew really well all Spring and
Summer, I did not get any blooms, just foilage. Come winter, they died.
I will again buy four more to add to my deck this Spring/Summer again.
||On Feb 15, 2009, steadycam3 from Houston Heights, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:
February 14, 2009 I saw these plants for sale at Wal-Mart here in
Houston. Citronella geranium. Ive never grown them but used citronella
oil as a child to repel mosquitoes so I was curious.
||On Apr 24, 2008, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:
growing this plant in sandy soil in mostly sun. In my climate, it has
shown no sign of becoming invasive. In fact, it seems to be struggling a
bit, but has returned again this spring and is currently flowering. I
enjoy brushing up against the leaves and releasing the scent when I am
in the area where it is planted. If you want it to repel mosquitoes,
you probably need to stir up the odor by moving the plant around, or
brushing against it, or crushing a few of the leaves (as was suggested
above). That would help get the light citronella odor moving around in
||On Mar 28, 2008, vader_fan from Austin, TX wrote:
love the scent. Mine don’t grow well, they are pretty much the same
size as when I bought them months ago. I’m sure it’s user error as I am
not the best gardner in the world. I do bring them in when I have
guest over and “squish” them a little to bring out the scent then put
them back outside… they are also effective at removing grease smells
for seafood smells if you put them in the kitchen a couple of days.
||On Nov 18, 2007, Kieferkk from La Marque, TX wrote:
I have had several of these plants, but none of them ever looked like
the first one I bought. It had the shape of a small Christmas tree and
it really smelled good. All of the other plants I got at large
hardware stores,were called “Citrosa” as if someone had developed
these plants themselves. They were more open than the first tightly
packed plant that I had. I usuall take concentrated garlic caps to ward
off mosquitos, but when I forget, I could always take a few leaves to
rub on me, and they would go away. I have had some last outside in a
5gal bucket into the third year. I used cloning powder and gel to get
new plants. A branch broke off so I stuck it in the pot and it took off.
I think that lack of good care and getting root bound has caused my
plants to die on me. I found the website for a supplier of organic
plant supplies that I use to put on my plants years ago, and now I
believe that this won’t happen again. Gardens Alive! Laweranceburg
Indiana. Between citrosa plants and lemongrass,the bugs leave me alone;
that is all I use.
||On May 27, 2007, eldn829 from Harrisburg, PA wrote:
plant takes over if you don’t keep on top of it. My suggestion is to
keep it potted. You can’t kill it…I’ve been trying for two years.
||On Apr 14, 2007, NacMacFeegle from Springfield, VA (Zone 6b) wrote:
a great scented plant. The dried leaves go well in potpurri. As for
its mosquito repelling nature- I think it highly depends on whether YOU
are more appetizing to the mosquito than this plant is disgusting to the
bug. Allow me to explain: I had one on the side table to my adirondack
chair on my patio in VA. I could sit in the chair and get eaten alive
as if the plant was invisible. When my parents were visiting my father
sat there all day and not one bite. Mom says that at home the bugs go
after him and not her- but clearly they prefer me to him. So yes, it
REPELS mosquitos just like a watch repels water- doesn’t mean you can
wear the watch swimming
||On Sep 23, 2006, Tnkmcclain from Tulsa, OK wrote:
LOVE this plant. I will be the first to admit that, as for a mosquito
repellent, it fails miserably. But I bought one 2 years ago, and it’s
lovely. I read that they are sometimes used as bonsai. I can see why.
Mine is potted,and has lived outside in the Summer, and inside in the
Winter. I am thrilled to finally find out about planting the cuttings.
I would love them all over my house. They smell fresh and lemoney to
me. Get past the “insect repellent”, they are beautiful, aromatic house
plants, or an interesting addition to your outside potted (I recommend
||On Aug 18, 2006, soulbloom from Richmond, VA wrote:
will give this plant a positive even though it doesn’t work as
advertised. Mosquitoes probably laughed at me when I proudly introduced
them to my backyard. I’ve sat two large plants on both sides of me
while I was sitting and a mosquito still landed on me. I don’t feel too
let down cus the mosquitoes around here don’t really respond to much
repellant unless its in excess. I do like the smell and shape of this
plant however. Its strong and everyone always ask what it is when they
see or smell it.
||On Oct 20, 2004, Larabee from Houston, TX wrote:
buy this plant to keep the mosquitos away, like I did. It won’t work.
I even got bitten up while I was potting this plant! I keep it by my
back door but it really doesn’t repel bugs at all.
That said, it’s easy enough to care for and the leaves are unusual
enough that they add interest to my container herb garden, so I won’t
get rid of it. But I wouldn’t buy it again.
||On Aug 24, 2004, rosiespics from Fairfax, VA wrote:
is actually my sister’s experience using the mosquito plant to drive
away the bugs. My sister lives in Hong Kong and people mostly do not
install screens for their windows.
Before my sister got the plant, she reported that “I would not have been
able to sleep through the night in summer without the AC on and the
windows closed because of the mosquitoes. Now I have no problem with
sleeping with windows open.”
||On Jul 15, 2004, egstewart1 from Beaufort, SC wrote:
purchased a small plant this year, so far it seems to be working to
keep the giatn mosquito population down on my patio. The plant soes seem
to be turning brown around the edges though so I moved to more shade
and I will see how it does. I’m going to try a cutting and put pne on my
front porch, will comment if and when I get results.
||On Jul 8, 2004, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:
have never had any trouble finding this plant at nurseries here in the
Catskills–perhaps because we have an incredible number of bugs. For
years I kept a plant hanging near my front door every summer, purchasing
a new one each year. It has never thrived, whether it was a wet year or
a dry year, hot or cool. Nor did it do anything to reduce the insect
population near the door. Other pelargoniums do better–the
nutmeg-scented flourished last year, and the rose-scented varieties also
||On Jun 2, 2004, ccranford from Plainview, AR wrote:
had seen these 3 plants at a local nursery and didn’t buy them. They
were 3.99 each and didn’t know anything about them. Later I got to
thinking about it and decided I really did want them, so I sent my
husband to get them today. He bought them for 2.00 each. I came to
this web site to check them out and see positive output about them. I
am excited to get them in the ground. We live at the lake and have lots
of mosquitos. I feel like I made a really great purchase after I see
the comments here. I will report on them later.
||On Mar 2, 2004, sg_sunny wrote:
don’t see any seeds so I’ve tried to do stem-cutting. I cut the top
5-10cm off and pot it in soil. I did it for 3, 2 survived and is
growing well. Soaking the stem in water before potting in soil didn’t
work as the ends get rotted. I watered the soil thoroughly, especially
in Singapore’s hot hot hot weather.
||On Dec 8, 2003, Trish70 from Eccles, WV wrote:
I bought 2 small plants in spring of 2003 and planted them in a medium pot.
They have really grown very well,I brought the pot in before the first
frost, and it took off even more .It grew to about 2feet tall and for no
reason its starting to die. I have watered with miricle grow and
keeping my fingers crossed.
Its not completely dead but any suggestiond is gladdly appreciated.I
love the scent it gives and the beautiful green foligue. Its a very hard
plant to find so i dont want to loose it. thanks to any one who can
||On Jul 29, 2003, babycake wrote:
have one plant outside my door, in my garden. The scent is wonderful,
and I haven’t had any bugs all summer. Heavy rains this spring created
an abundant mosquito population and I havn’t been bitten once. The
plant was bought at 1 foot high; is now 5 feet and climbing.
||On Jul 18, 2003, creekperson from East Liverpool, OH wrote:
bought this plant and was given a free sample of “OFF” that is made
from this plant. It works, not only the lotion but the plant itself. I
put the plant under a lamp on the deck of my pool and no mosquitos (or
other bugs) came around, and we all know what a light brings outside out
The plant has taken off so well, it’s 2 times the size it was in 4 weeks. I would buy more but can’t find them now.
||On Jun 5, 2003, CaraRose wrote:
just contacted my local garden shop. They said that any of the scented
geraniums (which is what this is) will repel insects because of the high
concentration of essential oils. She suggested that anyone have trouble
finding this species also try “Snowflake” because the plant’s leave get
||On Apr 21, 2003, Citrosa wrote:
have had great success with this plant. I plant them every year and the
mosquitos run for the hills. My only problem is the plant are getting
harder to find each year.
||On Apr 17, 2003, redhen from Weatherby Lake, MO (Zone 5b) wrote:
bought two of these last summer and put on my patio. They do seem to
work. I brought them in the house this winter and they took off, they
also made the room smell great!
||On Apr 17, 2003, tkm0904 wrote:
got this as a small little plant approx. 6 mos ago. Now it is big
& bushy (been repotted twice & actually needs it again.) I’m
afraid if I put it in the ground it would grow into a great big tree.
It really does work to keep the mosquitos away & I just love the
smell of it. When I water & spray the leaves it becomes especially
||On Jan 19, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
foliage of this is very aromatic. It can be used as an insect
repellent, or in cooking; it gives off a wonderful citrus flavor.
Flowering is uncommon due to viruses, but as more plants are grown using
tissue-propagation, the chances of flowering increase, allowing seeds
Seed will not come true to the named cultivar, varying amounts of scent and leaf-shape will occur.