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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Share and Learn - how useful are insect repellant plants?

    We are constantly learning something new through this wonderful portal. So I thought, why not have a useful thread from time to time that will share tips, recommendations, suggestions and the like on a particular topic that would provide information and be beneficial to others. These should and based on your own personal experience and/or expertise and not extracted through search engines.

    In this thread, I would like to talk about plants that are supposed to help keep away mosquitoes. A few years ago, I had raised an appeal to help me to get my sleep restored from pesky mosquitoes. Recently, perhaps due to continuous construction work on the roads near our building and at sites of redevelopment projects in our locality, there was a sudden surge of mosquitoes. Nothing worked, not even the tips given in that earlier thread. So finally, out of desperation, I called out to the vendor who comes around on a cycle with various plants whether he had a plant that could keep away the mosquitoes since I had heard about such plants. He convinced me to buy the plant shown in the image below and put various types of fertilizers in it. I decided to rely on his assurance though sceptical. Initially, we did not see any change and mosquitoes continued to harass us. After about 8-10 days, though, all of a sudden, there were no mosquitoes at all. We were quite surprised. We thought perhaps as the road construction work had got completed by Republic Day, perhaps that had helped. Now, while once in a while a mosquito will be buzzing around the room, we are not finding them to be such a nuisance.

    Insect repellant plant

    Have any of you ever bought a plant to keep away any type of insects? Can you tell me the name of the plant I bought, as the young chap's diction was not very clear and he said what seemd to be 'cardamom plant'. It had tiny indigo purple flowers which are no longer appearing since last few days.
  • #722560
    The image you have shared seems to be a plant of Gulmehandi/Balsam.

    You can also plant rosemary, marigold , basis plant and lemon grass in your home. All these plants have mosquito repellent properties.

  • #722576
    Dr Deepali,

    Thanks for your feedback. The flowers of the Gulmehndi/Balsam seem to be larger ones from what I checked through the images online and the ones on my plant are really very tiny. I am relying on your expertise though.

    This particular plant does not seem to require sunlight so would like to know if the others that you have mentioned do require a good amount of sunshine. Ours is a corner flat so any flowering plant that we put outside the door does not flourish at all and dies within a few days. In the balcony, plants get sunshine only for a couple of hours in the morning since it faces the rising sun. I recall trying to grow a marigold plant and it failed, too, to grow. I do have basil (you have mentioned 'basis' - I think that is a typo) which is not doing too well, either.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #722579
    There are many plants in our country which are good insect repellants. Some of them are Basil, Lemon grass, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Lavander, Gulmehandi, Marigold, Garlic, Horsemint, Thyme, Catnip, Citronella Grass, Mint etc.

    The Gulmehandi (Balsam) plant is well known for its resistance to many garden pests. This could be one reason for it acting like a musquito repellant.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #722588
    Good information from the author regarding mosquito repellant plants. I heard about Lavender plant which is a good plant for getting rid of mosquitos. This I came to know from my neighbour in Hyderabad. But I never tried it. We have mosquito nets for all the doors and windows. Even then sometimes these mosquitoes enter inside as we open and close the doors many times. We apply eucalyptus oil to our body so that mosquitos will not come near to us.
    always confident

  • #722595
    In addition to giving you minty fresh breath and adding a refreshing flavor to food, the peppermint plant is an effective mosquito repellent.

  • #722624
    I agree with the author. There are values in keeping such plants in and around the house. I have seen personally this type of effect. A month ago I noticed a snake was moving in our house garden. Within a gap of time it got vanished. I told this to our house owner who resides in the upstairs. He, on the day itself, planted some medicinal plants around the garden. Since then we have not seen any creatures around the house and even the volume of mosquitoes also got reduced.

  • #722626
    I do not think any repellant plant will give the desired results against mosquitoes menace. In cool climates, no plant would help us. Mosquitoes vanish with the heat, and in summer we won't find mosquitoes.

    Pattabhi spoke about snake repellant. It is the plant called "Seria Nangai" in Tamil, a herb that is deadly to snakes, especially the cobras. If we plant 'Seria Nangai' on the four corners of our house, we need not worry about snakes entering our home. The plant is highly bitter in taste. Snake charmers keep the dried branch of this plant to save them from snake bites.

    No life without Sun

  • #722999
    I visited a nearby nursery and inquired about flowering plants that do not require many hours of sunshine, but was kindly informed that they all do! He said indoor plants that do not require sunshine are all leafy ones. I think I'll try the mint and marigold plants a little later, maybe next month, when the sun makes its way around and will brighten up our corner flat's patch of greenery.

    Dr Rao -Eucalyptus oil is extremely expensive and I would not like to use it so extensively on the arms, not to mention likely creating blotches on the bed covers. Instead, I have been following the very useful tip that Venkiteswaran gave in that earlier thread, of first applying a skin cream and then putting lavender talcum powder on it. It may not last the whole night through, but it has truly helped to stop the irritating buzz of the mosquitoes hovering near my ears. In addition, what we do is the following-
    1. We shut all the doors and windows early, before 4.30 p.m.
    2. I also have started putting the electric Good Knight (the bottle one, not the mat) in my room about half an hour before sleeping and about five to ten minutes just before sleeping, I open one window slightly to let any mosquitoes inside get out (they get repelled by the liquid in the bottle so will be looking to escape).
    3. I place two small circular pieces of camphor in a little water in a small steel glass just near my bed.

    All of the above combined have been really effective in ensuring a good night's sleep! I also do plug my ears with cotton as on one of the rare days there are still mosquitoes who seem to have caught on to my tricks!!!

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

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