Citronella Grass – Planting, Growing and Care

Citronella grass is one of the most effective natural ways to repel and fight mosquitoes and different insects and pests. It is widely used in making of different natural and even chemical insect repellent products. But, it is not only an efficient mosquito repelling tool, citronella grass will also look great in any home or garden. So here are tips on how you can plant, grown and take care of citronella grass in your home.

Besides citronella grass being successful at repelling mosquitoes and insects, it has other valuable features. Citronella grass is a great ingredient in medicine, as it relieves migraines, tension, and even depression. Not only that, citronella oil can be a great help when trying to reduce fever or as a muscle relaxer. Overall, it has many antispasmodic, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal features which are widely used in medicine. And citronella grass is also a valuable substance, which is widely used in the production of cleaning products.

Growing citronella grass

1. Weather and temperature requirements

Although citronella grass is very beneficial in many spheres, taking care of it is very easy and does not require a lot of effort. It can be planted indoors and outdoors, but if you live in a climate zone where you experience harsh winters, then during the cold seasons the plant should be taken indoors before the first frost. Therefore, although the citronella grass is considered to be quite an adaptable plant, exposing it to long periods of cold weather can damage the plant greatly.

citronella mosquito plant

2. Soil requirements

As these plants are tolerable and can adapt to various circumstances and weather conditions quite well, the only requirement for the soil is to be well draining. As citronella grass needs to be watered and fertilized often, the soil has to absorb a lot of liquids. But, it will grow the best in moist loamy soil.

3. Sun requirements

The citronella plants can be placed in direct sunlight and are tolerable to it. But they do prefer and will grow better in a slightly shaded area, which receives six to eight hours of sunlight per day. So, even if you are growing the citronella plant indoors, you should make sure that the sun rays can reach the plant every day, or as often as possible. The best places for citronella grass are near the patio wall, or in locations where it will be surrounded by trees or shrubs. If you notice that the citronella grass looks scorched or withered you might want to consider moving it to an area with more natural shade.

Citronella grass plant care

As citronella grass naturally is found in humid regions it requires a lot of water.

If you expose it to direct sunlight for the majority of the day, you will need to water the plant more often.

Similarly, if you are keeping the plant indoors, the dry air might be causing the citronella grass to dry out faster, so it will need more water. Therefore, if you have a lot of sunlight or if the air is comparably dry you will have to water the grass plant as often as once a day.

Citronella grass plant is not considered to be invasive and will not spread all over your backyard once planted, as it reproduces from seed and through division, rather than by grass runners. But, despite it, it is still an aggressive grower and can uproot other plants growing nearby. So if you are planting the grass outdoors, it is advised to plant it in a grass container or in an enclosed area.


Main editor

Expert in mosquito control and the main website editor at Karen started InsectCop to help people get rid of mosquitoes. But now she gives advice an all things pest control.


Chandra Nath Dutta

How can i get the grass for planting at my home? An early response is required.


    You can either get citronella grass seeds and sow them in your garden. Or get citronella grass cuttings and plant those. Alternatively, you can also get lemongrass seeds, cuttings or grown plants and use those instead of citronella grass.

joe catapang

does citronilla have flowers?


    Citronella grass does not bloom, but the citronella geranium does and therefore has flowers.

Al Coelho

I got cintronella seeds and planning to plant them indoor as I live in UK and the weather is cold. Questions for you:
1-Should I plant indoor or outdoor?
2-how long does it take to grow?
3-are they annual plants?
Urgent reply will be highly appreciated.


    You can grow citronella grass both indoors and outdoors. But, since it’s cold in the UK and therefore the plant won’t get enough warmth if grown outdoors, growing the citronella grass in a large pot indoors sounds like a great plan. And citronella grass is a perennial so it’s not an annual plant, rather it lives more than two years, usually 4 to 5. Yet, a lot of gardeners, especially in northern climates, grow Citronella grass as an annual plant, since if not brought inside it will die during the winter.


I bought some citronella seeds but there was no instructions on planting/sowing them. These are the plant type seeds not grass. How do I sow the seeds in container pots? Thank you.


    Chose a decent-sized pot (around 10 inches in diameter) that has a drainage hole at the bottom. Purchase soil for the pot, citronella plants will grow best in soil that has some fertilizer added into it. Then plant the seeds in the pot, water the soil and set the pot in a sunny or partly shady area that receives a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight. Afterward, water the plant whenever the top of the soil has dried out and watch your citronella plant flourish.

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