Citronella (Mosquito Plant)(Pelargonium graveolens Citrosa)
Light requirements: Part shade. Full sun is okay in more northerly zones.
Planting: Space 18 to 24 inches apart.
Soil requirement: Although mosquito plant prefers rich, moist soil, it grows in a range of soil types.
Water requirements: Keep soil moist after planting. Once established, mosquito plants in planting beds should survive on rainfall. In containers, plants need irrigation whenever soil is dry.
Frost-fighting plan: Mosquito plant is perennial in zones 9 to 11. Plants are not frost-tolerant, but can survive a light frost if covered with a frost blanket.
Common issues: In low light stems can get lanky and need staking. Mature plants in plastic containers often suffer wind-throw during summer thunderstorms. If high winds are forecast, shift pots to a more protected location. Mosquito plant is generally pest-free.
Harvesting: Pick mosquito plant leaves at any point in the growing season by gathering individual leaves or leafy stems.
Storage: Fresh leaves or stems keep in water five to seven days.
For more information, visit the Citronella page in our How to Grow section.