Sunday, July 13, 2014

Bug Repellent Imposter

Bug repeller or nice smelling plant?
I think I've been duped.  I bought this plant thinking it was the real deal mosquito repelling citronella plant.  What made me think that?  Only the tag that said "Citronella Plant" with a picture of a mosquito that had a big ol' red "x" through it.  However, I've come to find out that its botanical name is "Pelargonium 'Citrosa,'" which clearly puts it in the geranium family.  Say what?  The real plant that produces the citronella oil commonly thought to repel mosquitoes looks more like a lemongrass shrub.  Well you can see that's not what this looks like.  Repellent or not, I like how it looks and I like how it smells even better.  It's actually a lemon scent that is further enhanced when you brush by it or crush the leaves.  

This plant needs at least six hours of sunlight and will grow 24-36" tall.  It is a tender perennial so that means it won't survive winter in Virginia.  But if you're in zone 9-11, you're in luck.  

Bookshelf:  Container Gardening Books

1 comment:

Swimray said...

I had one of these three years ago. It grew about 2-feet tall by the end of summer, but its spread was about 3-feet wide. I did know it smelled like Citronella to us but not to mosquitoes.