Citronella Plant

Do O citronella plants really repel nasty mosquitoes?

The answer is both yes and no. Although citronellas are nicknamed mosquito plants, they don’t always do the trick at keeping the pests cornered . There are two different sorts of citronellas — citronella grass and geranium citronella —and one, the grass, are often effective if the oil is correctly extracted.

Citronella Grass

Cymbopogon nardus may be a tropical-looking, clumping grass native to Southeast Asia . Oil from this citronella grass is extracted commercially and wont to make products like citronella candles, incense and sprays. Most researchers say they’re effective, natural mosquito deterrents, a minimum of to some extent.

Citronella grass by itself won’t repel mosquitoes. you’ve got to extract the oil, which you’ll treat simply crushing or rubbing the leaves against your skin. Be safe and check out this on alittle patch of skin initially to form sure you won’t have an allergy .

Citronella grass is hardy in Zones 10-12, and its coarse-textured leaves can grow to 6 feet tall and wide. it’s very almost like lemongrass and is usually mistaken with it. Citronella grass thrives in bright, filtered sunlight and wishes moist, loamy soil. Citronella grass is extremely thirsty, so you’ll got to water as often as once each day to form more plants for your garden, divide the grass into clumps and replant them within the spring. Feed them with some nitrogen-rich fertilizer, following the directions on your product for a way much to use and when to use it.

Citronella Geraniums

The other quiet citronella, Pelargonium citrosum, belongs to the Geraniaceae. Like citronella grass, it’s a lemony or citrusy fragrance, but most researchers agree that it’s not effective at keeping mosquitoes away. However, it’s easy to grow for its nice scent, pretty blooms, and lacy, medium-green foliage.

Citronellas associated with geraniums need six to eight hours of sun each day and are winter hardy in Zones 9-11. they will be planted within the spring after the last frost has passed and therefore the soil has warmed up, round the time you plant tomatoes. They like moderately rich, moist soil. Space them 18 to 24 inches apart in beds, borders or containers. It’s nice to plant them where you’ll brush the leaves as you walk by, so you’ll enjoy the scent they release when they’re bruised.

While citronella geraniums can tolerate some drought, they grow best when watered regularly. Poke your finger into the highest inch of soil; you’ll know it’s time to water when the soil feels dry. They also appreciate regular feedings with all-purpose plant fertilizer. Follow the directions on your product to understand what proportion to use and the way often.

To overwinter citronella geraniums, pot up the plants in containers with drainage holes and fill them with good quality potting soil. Then bring them indoors and provides them a spot during a sunny window or under a grow light. Move the plants back outside when the weather is reliably warm. For best results, help them reacclimate to the outdoor conditions by giving them a touch longer within the sun and wind every day for one week up to 10 days.

How to Harvest Citronella Oil

To make your own natural mosquito repellant, combine 1 cup of vegetable oil with 1/4 cup of citronella grass stems and leaves during a slow cooker and cook them for four to eight hours. Then strain the mixture through a cheesecloth into a clean, dark jar or glass. to form the oil more fragrant, add fresh leaves and stems to the vegetable oil, but less vegetable oil. Strain the mixture again and repeat the steps until the citronella oil is as fragrant as you would like. Store the citronella oil in a dark, cool place for up to 6 months, or add it to candles and lotions. Be safe, and never ingest citronella oil.

5 Natural Ways to Mosquito-Proof Your Yard

Keep pests cornered and stay bite-free with these easy tips and DIY projects — no chemicals required.

Last year was my first year as a home-owner , and my first year handling a mosquito-infested yard. Admittedly, I did little to discourage them, but they were everywhere, waiting to strike whenever I stepped outside. Mosquitoes are quite just a nuisance; they will also carry dangerous diseases just like the West Nile virus and therefore the Zika virus. This year, I’m determined to urge my mosquito problem in check , but I’m reluctant to douse my yard (or myself) chemically . If you, too, want to stop mosquitoes the safe and natural way, try these simple tips and DIY projects.

Banish Standing Water

Stone Birdbath With Pink Flower

The best thanks to keeping mosquitoes cornered is to eliminate their breeding sites. Check your entire property for standing water, paying particular attention to places where it’s susceptible to collect: clogged gutters, pet bowls, kiddie pools, watering cans, tarps, trays underneath potted plants. Keep your lawn mowed and weeds in check to stop water from pooling in foliage.

If you’ve got a birdbath or pond in your yard, consider treating it with Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt. This present bacterium kills mosquito larvae but isn’t harmful to humans or animals. Pick some up at your local garden center.

Hang a Bat House

Thin out the mosquito population by inviting their predators, like bats, dragonflies and swallows, into your yard. With only one bat house, you’ll host up to 50 brown bats, who can eat thousands of mosquitoes each night. Buy one at a home improvement store, or make your own.

Make This: the way to Build a Bat House

Buy or DIY Citronella Candles

Citronella candles are often effective at keeping mosquitoes away, but as long as they’re the important deal; some store-bought candles merely contain an artificial citronella scent instead of the volatile oil . With just a couple of supplies, you’ll make a military of those homemade citronella candles. Light them round the perimeter of your outdoor living spaces to make a mosquito-free zone.

Make This: DIY Citronella Candles

Blow Them Away

If you can’t enjoy a pleasing evening on the porch without being eaten alive, just turn the fan on (or install one if needed). Mosquitoes are fairly weak fliers, so they’ll avoid your outdoor living spaces if there’s a breeze.

Repel Them With Plants

Certain plants and herbs, like marigolds, lavender, lemon balm, and basil, are said to possess mosquito-repellent properties. However, opinions are mixed on whether simply having these plants in your yard is enough to keep off the pesky critters. For a stronger solution, make these herbal bundles and toss them on the hearth or BBQ during your next outdoor get-together.

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