14 How to Grow Citronella Plants Grass Repel Mosquitoes Garden 2022
Cymbopogon nardus, common name citronella grass, is a perennial aromatic plant from the family Poaceae, originating in tropical Asia. It is the source of an essential oil known as “citronella oil”. Cannot be eaten because of its unpalatable nature.
- Scientific name: Cymbopogon nardus
- Higher classification: Fresh Lemongrass
- Rank: Species
These are the care you should give citronella. A plant that repels mosquitoes
In addition to giving the landscape a green and wild touch, citronella or lemongrass is a magnificent repellent that keeps mosquitoes away due to its citrus aroma that these insects find unpleasant. The most common variety is Cymbopogon nardus, although others include Cymbopogon citratus or Cymbopogon winteranius.
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The anti-mosquito plant
Surely you have heard it many times: citronella repels mosquitoes. You may even have ever lit a candle made with the essential oil to protect yourself from these annoying insects.
The citrus aroma of citronella that we like is very unpleasant for mosquitoes, which makes them move away. Such is its repellent power that its leaves are distilled to obtain the essential oil of citronella with which to make, in addition to candles, other flavoring products.
Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) is a perennial herbaceous plant that originates from the tropical areas of Asia. It grows in a bush and belongs to the grass family. Its leaves are long and flat, of intense green color.
A warm environment
Since this is a plant of tropical origin, it needs heat and humidity to grow. A temperature of around 25ºC is ideal for citronella, so you should be careful if you live in an area with cold and harsh winters. Be careful with frost and extreme temperatures, which can endanger citronella.
The soil, which is rich in nutrients
You can grow citronella in any terrain, as it is not too demanding on the substrate. It just needs to be fertile and maintain good drainage.
To ensure the former, it is advisable to enrich the soil with organic matter before planting citronella. Add a good layer of compost or worm castings.
Make sure you don’t go thirsty.
At this point, the one that determines the irrigation pattern is where we find the most significant demand that citronella presents since it is a plant that is very sensitive to drought.
As an excellent tropical species, it likes humid environments and cannot stand a lack of water since the roots dry out can be very harmful. That is why you should try to water it enough, especially in the hottest times of the year.
As soon as you plant the citronella, water it daily for two weeks. Establish the same irrigation pattern when the heat hits, since in summer, citronella doubles, and even triples, its water needs. Later, in winter, you should reduce the frequency of watering.
In full sun or better in semi-shade?
Although it can develop fully while receiving direct sunlight, citronella grows healthy in semi-shade. It is enough for him to receive between 6 and 8 hours of sun a day.
If you are growing it in a pot as an indoor plant, try to put it near a window where exposure to light is sufficient. Observing it will give you a clue as to whether it is getting too much sun or too little if you see that its leaves show symptoms of dryness, water it and move it to a shady place.
Grow it in a pot
Citronella is a suitable plant to grow in a pot indoors; as long as in summer, you can take it out to a balcony, a terrace, or a garden.
You will need a container large enough for the plant to take root. In winter, when temperatures drop, it will be very well indoors, protected from frost since it does not tolerate them.
Is it necessary to transplant citronella?
Although this depends on the growth of each plant, there will come a time when your citronella will need a larger container. You will notice because you will see that it stops growing or because the roots begin to appear through the holes that the pot has at the base (and that serve to drain excess irrigation water).
If this happens, it is time to transplant it into a larger pot so that you can give it more space and nutrients, and it will continue to grow with energy. This plant can reach two meters in height.
A revitalizing plus
From time to time, it is convenient to fertilize citronella to provide more nutrients, which can benefit its growth and development.
How? It starts from the beginning of spring until the end of summer and fertilizes every 15 days from spring, adding organic material such as compost, worm castings, or manure to the soil.
Multiply citronella, sew and sing
One of the charms of this extraordinary plant is that it is straightforward to propagate by cuttings. You have to divide the plant, including the roots, and plant the cutting in the ground.
Citronella can also be multiplied through the stems, leaving them in water until they take small roots, taking approximately four weeks, depending on the ambient temperature.
When this happens, you can already plant the citronella in a pot or the garden soil, taking great care in doing so not to spoil the roots since, at this point, they are very delicate.
Planting and growing citronella, the mosquito repellent plant
Summer has finally arrived, with all its aromas and sounds: the song of cicadas, the swaying of the waves, the chirping of birds, and that unmistakable “ZZZZZZZ” … the sound of mosquitoes, unwanted guests of our barbecues, and an annoying accompaniment for aperitifs on the terrace.
Fortunately, nature provides us with an excellent ally to make summer nights more enjoyable. Citronella.
An evergreen repellent
Citronella is a perennial herbaceous plant native to South Asia’s warm and tropical regions. In English, it is also known as “lemongrass.” Its leaves are very long and of intense green color. Its smell is reminiscent of lemon, a characteristic that also makes it suitable for preparing sauces, soups, and infusions. The effectiveness of citronella as an anti-mosquito plant derives from its smell, which insects find unpleasant.
Where to find it
The most repellent varieties of citronella are Cymbopogon nardus, Cymbopogon citratus, and Cymbopogon winterianus. You can easily find the plants to grow in pots or the garden in nurseries and fairs dedicated to gardens and orchards. The seeds are sold in garden stores and on the internet.
How to grow it
In the garden
Please place it in sheltered places near bushes or ornamental plants to avoid getting too cold in winter. Remember that the plant begins to suffer when the temperature drops below 8 ° C.
In a pot
In spring, place the plant in the sunniest balcony area, fall or winter indoors, near a window. If you prefer to start with seeds, you should plant them in March and July.
Regular and frequent, especially in summer.
Remove the dry leaves, prune any plant parts that appear weak in fall, and do not allow the water to pool in the saucers as the plant’s roots could rot. Size It can reach a height of 1 meter, and its leaves can grow up to 60-70 centimeters long.
Do citronella plants really keep mosquitoes away?
Despite the claims made on “Mosquito Plants” (lemon-scented geranium or “citronella plant”) sold at big box stores, the plants themselves don’t repel mosquitoes. … Planting them in your landscape will do little to repel mosquitoes. The best way to control and prevent mosquitoes is by disrupting the mosquito life-cycle.
Is citronella plant and lemongrass the same?
Both, citronella (Cymbopogon Nardus) & lemon grass (Cymbopogon Citratus) are cousins in nature. They look similar and grow the same way, and are processed in the same manner too. But, scientists say, Citronella is not for consumption while lemon grass is known as a herbal tea drink.
What is citronella plant good for?
A member of the geranium family, citronella carries the fragrance of citrus in its foliage. When leaves are crushed and the oil rubbed on the skin, it smells wonderful and may help naturally discourage mosquitoes. (The plant itself does not act as a deterrent to the pests.)
Is citronella plant poisonous to humans?
Toxicity. … No evidence has been found for human toxicity. The base chemical of the plant, citral, is categorically rated low, slightly toxic, not acutely toxic or not rated. True citronella is derived from drying the plant Cymbopogon nardus.
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