Geraniums: Make Those Insect Pests Bug Off

Geraniums are brightly-colored perennial flowers that are known to repel insects. They bloom in spring and last throughout the summer, until the first frosts of fall. 

Why do Geraniums Repel Insects?

Geraniums repel insects due to the oils that the plant secretes. One of these natural oils is citronella, which is widely used in bug repellants and candles to drive away insects. 

The plant belongs to the genus pelargonium and is commonly known to discourage mosquitoes, Japanese beetles, cabbage worms, rose chaffers and leafhoppers. 

How to Use Geraniums in Your Home

Geraniums deter bugs from social areas and repel insects from other plants. Place them in planters on windowsills or in pots around a porch to keep bugs at bay. Plant them in flower beds and vegetable gardens to fend off insects from other plants like roses, grapes, corn and cabbage. 

There are a variety of geraniums to choose from, including:

  • Zonal
  • Fancy-Leafed
  • Regal
  • Stellar
  • Scented

Zonal, fancy-leaved and regal thrive in pots in sun-filled areas. If using the repellant agent for other plants, stellar and scented varieties are a good choice as they do not grow as tall and need less sunlight than other geraniums.