Herself's Houston Garden

Conservation through cultivation

Citrosa Geranium

A fellow garden club member brought one of these to a flower show recently. It then dawned on me this might be a way to deal with the mosquito problem out back with out using pesticides. So I purchased a half dozen of them. Four are on the back porch and two are in a damp area of the garden. Time will tell how well it will work.

I’m told crumpled fresh leaves can be placed around inside your home to keep out mosquitoes. Others report it does nothing to repel mosquitoes. If you are looking for a plant high in citronella lemon balm ( melissa officinalis ) has a much higher concentration of citronella and may be a better choice.

Flowers will be purple, I’ll post photos when they appear.

Plant in sun to part shade.

Drought tolerant – good for water wise gardens.

Hardiness is barely 9a – this will winter over in warm winters, not in cold winters, may come back from roots.

Can be invasive if happy under proper growing conditions.

Toxic – do not eat this plant, especially toxic to cats.

Root cuttings – remove plant from soil take a cutting of roots near the crown and replant.
Stem cuttings – allow stem to slightly dry before planting or just place in a glass of water

I didn’t really believe that these plants would do much to deter the local mosquito population so I’m extremely pleased with results. Four plants made the back porch usable, eight plants have cut the mosquito population by at least 90%. They are all out back, mosquitoes haven’t been an issue in the front yard.

I’m also noticing less lizards. Is that the weather getting warmer, less mosquitoes to eat, or do they not like citrosa either? I don’t know.

Either way at about $5/plant it’s worth a try you won’t find a cheaper mosquito fix.

Note: One of the few plants to survive the extreme heat and drought of 2011 summer