Citronella grass is one of the most effective natural ways to repel mosquitoes. Not just mosquitoes, but it also works on many other insects and pests. Various natural and even chemical insect repellent products use citronella as an ingredient.
But, it’s not just an efficient mosquito-repelling tool. Citronella grass also looks great in any home or garden. So, here are tips on how you can plant, grow, and take care of citronella grass in your garden.
Uses of Citronella Grass
Besides being successful at repelling mosquitoes and insects, citronella has additional valuable features. Citronella grass is a great ingredient in medicine as it relieves migraines, tension, and even depression. Not only that, citronella oil can help when trying to reduce fever or as a muscle relaxer.
Overall, it has many antispasmodic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal features. These are widely used in medicine. Citronella is also a valuable substance for the production of cleaning products.
Growing Citronella Grass
Weather and Temperature Requirements
Citronella grass is very beneficial in many areas. The good news is that taking care of it is very easy and doesn’t require a lot of effort. You can plant it both indoors and outdoors.
But, if you live in a climate with harsh winters, you should move the plant indoors before the first frost. So, even though citronella grass is generally quite adaptable, exposing it to long periods of cold weather can damage it.
These plants are tolerant and can adapt to various circumstances and weather conditions quite well. The only requirement for the soil is for it to drain well. You’ll have to water and fertilize your citronella grass often, so the soil has to absorb a lot of liquid. That said, citronella will grow the best in moist, loamy soil.
You can place citronella plants in direct sunlight, which they will tolerate. But they do prefer and will grow better in a slightly shaded area with six to eight hours of sunlight per day. So, even if you’re growing your citronella plant indoors, you should make sure that the sun can reach the plant every day or as often as possible.
The best place for citronella grass is near the patio wall or anywhere surrounded by trees or shrubs. If you notice that your 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 is naturally found in humid regions, it requires a lot of water.
If you expose it to direct sunlight for the majority of the day, you’ll need to water the plant more often.
Similarly, if you’re keeping the plant indoors, the dry air might make the citronella grass dry out faster. This means it will need more water. So, if you have a lot of sunlight or if the air is comparably dry, you’ll have to water the grass as much as once per day.
Citronella grass isn’t considered invasive. It won’t spread all over your backyard once planted as it reproduces from seeds and through division rather than by grass runners. Despite this, it’s still an aggressive grower and can uproot other nearby plants. So, if you’re planting the grass outdoors, it’s best to plant it in a grass container or in an enclosed area.