Last Updated: May 29th, 2012 - 03:07:02
| Mosquito Plant
Apr 20, 2008, 10:38
The Mosquito Plant is a genetically engineered geranium hybrid with a unique characteristic: it repels mosquitoes! It is easily grown as a
potted patio plant, and easily enjoyed for its attractive foliage and
sweet lemony scent, as well as for its mosquito repelling powers. It produces a leafy, attractive, foot-tall plant during its first season.
The Mosquito Plant was created by a Dutch botanist, who genetically
incorporated traits of the Chinese citronella grass into a scented African geranium.
The resulting cultivar still had the growth and habit of the geranium,
and its sweet lemony citronella scent. Citronella is the substance in citronella candles,
which have long been used to deter mosquitoes. It doesn?t harm them, but
they don?t like citronella and avoid it. It is most effective as a
repellent if you crush a few leaves and rub them on your skin. This
releases the citronella and a sweet perfume.
Like most geraniums, the Mosquito Plant is normally potted and grown outdoors during the warm season (after last and before first frosts). During the colder seasons the plants can be wintered-over indoors. In the warmer southern zones Mosquito Plants can be grown outdoors year-round where the plants can reach a mature size of 3 to 4 feet high and wide.
Planting and Care:
New plants can be potted in a 4-inch or larger pot. Or they can be
grouped in a patio planter spaced a foot apart. Use any potting soil
recommended for geraniums. Keep watered and occasionally feed with a
soluble plant food, as you would any potted plant. Mosquito Plants like
full sun, but do well in partial shade. In the fall, you can move the
plants indoors to enjoy as houseplants, or winter them over with your
other geraniums in a heated garage, near a window or under grow lights.
During the summer, put potted plants on patio tables and near lounges to
keep mosquitoes at bay. For even more protection, crush and rub the
leaves on your skin for a sweet, natural perfume that bugs mosquitoes.
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