Mosquito Plant (Citronella)

(Pelargonium graveolens Citrosa)

A scented geranium, this is a great patio plant, especially in containers. Do not over-fertilize because too much nitrogen reduces leaf fragrance. Sometimes called citronella, but actually a citrus-scented geranium. Although crushed leaves do have some ability to repel mosquitoes, the plants alone are grown more for their refreshing scent than mosquito-repelling characteristics. Place them near a gate or path where you brush against the leaves as you walk by, or in a pot where children can rub the leaves to enjoy their fragrance. Plants are vigorous growers and drought tolerant. Move indoors before frost.

  • Type Tender perennial
  • Planting time Spring, after the last frost
  • Features Strongly lemon-scented leaves
  • Light Part shade
  • Soil Light, well drained, on the dry side
  • Spacing 18 to 24 inches
  • Plant size 24 to 36 inches tall
  • Garden use Herb garden, flower border, containers

Some Bonnie Plants varieties may not be available in your local area, due to different variables in certain regions. Also, if any variety is a limited, regional variety it will be noted on the pertinent variety page.

Categories: , , SKU: 715339012272
At a glance
Nutrition Information

Light requirements: Full sun to part shade. Protect plants from hot afternoon sun in southerly zones.

Planting: Space 18 to 24 inches apart.

Soil requirements: Nutrient-rich, moist soil is ideal, although mint grows in nearly any type of soil. Amend soil with organic matter, such as compost.

Water requirements: Mint thrives in moist to slightly soggy soil. Consider planting mint near downspouts or in low, damp spots in your yard.

Frost-fighting plan: Mint is perennial in zones 3 to 11. Plants tolerate light frosts, but eventually die back to the ground in all but the warmest zones. If you need plants to survive a light frost, cover them with a frost blanket. Protect newly planted seedlings from late spring frosts.

Common issues: Mint can quickly overrun a planting bed, spreading by above- and underground stems. Keep it in check by planting in containers or beds bordered by sidewalk or driveway, or by planting in partially submerged pots in planting beds. Leaf flavor turns bitter when flower buds appear. Mint is generally pest-free.

Harvesting: Pick mint leaves at any point in the growing season. For strongest flavor, harvest leaves at midday when essential oil concentrations are strongest. Gather individual leaves or clip leafy stems. Plants branch freely from just below where you snip stems, so place cuts to prune and shape plants.

Storage: Store mint stems at room temperature in a water-filled jar; use within a week for freshest flavor. Stems root easily in water. For longer storage, dry or freeze leaves.

For more information, visit the Mint page in our How to Grow section.

Nutrition Facts

2 tablespoons, fresh:
  • Calories: 2
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Dietary fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Vitamin A: 3% DV
  • Vitamin C: 2%
  • Vitamin K: 0%
  • Vitamin B6: 0%
  • Folate: 1%
  • Potassium: 1%
  • Manganese: 2%

Nutritional Information

Commonly used as a flavoring in beverages and foods, mint is also believed to have medicinal purposes—both as a leaf and as an oil. Peppermint oil is often applied to the skin as a treatment for headaches, muscle and nerve pain, inflammation, and even for repelling mosquitoes. A good source of Vitamins A and C, mint helps with vision and immune functions. The herb is also packed with antioxidants that protect against cell damage, boost the immune system, and form collagen in the body.