You have probably heard about the citronella plant. You might even have one or two around your home right now. The citronella plant is commonly found under a variety of names including, citronella plant, citrosa geranium, mosquito plant and it scientific name Pelargonium citrosum. While many of it’s names suggest that it contains citronella, a common ingredient in insect repellents it actually does not. The citronella plant is a variety of scented geranium that produces a citronella-like scent when the leaves are crushed.

The citronella plant in bloom.
The citronella plant in bloom.

This plant is loved for it’s citrus scent, which despite its lack of actual citronella is believed to repel mosquitoes. However, does the citronella plant actually keep mosquitoes away? The truth, no it does not. Research has shown that this plant is ineffective as a mosquito repellent, even if you were to crush the leaves and rub them on your skin you would just smell like the plant. While it may be pretty and smell great, the mosquitoes will still keep coming you way. So keep that bug spray handy!



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