Citronella Plant and How to Grow It-
Citronella plants are a tender perennial which means to grow this plant year after year conditions must be optimal. This is the opposite of the hardy catnip plant. Citronella prefers full sun but can survive in partial sun and is a herb. It grows best in dry soil that with little to no fertilizer. Too much fertilizer could lead to less of the lemon smell that distinguishes the plant.
As a Repellent-
Citronella oils are famously known for being used in candles and burned to keep mosquitoes away. These citronella candles use oils from the plant and burn a distinct smell that is unpleasant to mosquitoes. The plant itself does not have a strong enough scent to be an effective natural repellent, but there are many ways to use the plant to keep mosquitoes at bay. Many citronella plant growers will take a few leaves and crush them against their clothes or skin to repel mosquitos. This act, however, needs to be repeated as the smell will wear off. If you have a charcoal grill or a fire pit, you can throw a couple of the leaves on the coals and you’ve made yourself an equivalent homemade citronella candle. Similar to crushing the leaves on your skin, you need to keep your fire or coals stoked with leaves from your plant for it to remain effective. We have planted a couple of citronella seeds and have a complete step by step guide for planting here.