CITRONELLA PLANTS by Vickie Kline

I recently made a great discovery. It’s possible many of you know about this already, but it was news to me… Citronella plants. These plants from the geranium family are pretty, smell good, have scalloped leaves with lavender flowers, and act as a mosquito and fly repellant.

In the past, we’ve used citronella candles on our back deck to try to keep mosquitoes away. I believe it helped, but the scent was too much for me, causing wheezing and coughing. (Why is it when we try to resolve one problem we end up creating another?) Anyway, while at the Herb Day sale recently, I discovered there is a citronella plant with a pleasant, lemony aroma. We had a gathering on our deck and placed four small plants down the center of the table as our centerpiece decorations. It was a cool evening, but I was not bothered by mosquitoes at all and they usually LOVE me!

In doing some research on the citronella plant, I found other useful information. If you add a pinch of purchased citronella oil to unscented lotion and apply to your skin, mosquitoes and pesky flies will stay away. To make a liniment for repelling flies and mosquitoes, place four ounces of dried citronella leaves into a pint jar and fill with isopropyl alcohol. Allow mixture to sit for three days, strain, and apply to skin. (There are strict instructions not to drink this blend… um, common sense, please).

So, try the non-chemical, natural, good-smelling way of repelling flies and mosquitoes… Citronella plants.

Strive to be healthy!

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