The Truth About the Citronella Plant
A very handy plant to keep around is definitely the citronella plant. Scientists refer to this plant as Pelargonium citrosum; however, common names include deodorizer plant, mosquito plant, and obviously citronella plant. Throughout the article we will examine all you need to know about the popular plant as well as its assumed benefits.
In terms of physical appearance, these plants tend to be anywhere between two and four feet in height. They need to be spaced at least one foot from other plants and objects. Furthermore, the citronella plant also has gorgeous lavender blooms that develop throughout the year. The foliage is evergreen and elicits a fragrance.
Anyone planting this greenery should take plant hardiness zones into consideration. Ideally zones nine to eleven are recommended. Be sure to place the plant in areas that receive either full sun or partial shade throughout the day. However, note that this plant thrives in at least six hours of sun exposure each day. Anyone living in an area known to have some issues with drought can rest assured; believe it or not, this plant is fairly tolerant of mild periods of drought. Moreover, it also does great when planted in pots indoors if located near a window. In terms of soil requirements, anything in the mid range is suitable. Specifically, the plant does great in pH levels 6.1 to 7.8.
If the plant appears yellow it is probably nutritionally deprived and need a soil that contains more nitrogen. Be sure to use organic supplies in order to treat this condition and remove all dead or fallen leaves. Having well-drained, organic, soil with the appropriate pH levels, while also watering adequately, is the best method to prevent this yellowing. Also note that this plant is completely intolerant to frost. Be sure to plant it after the last frost of the year and keep it indoors, if at all possible, during extremely cold and frosty winters for best results.
Although the above information describes a plant that is frequently purchased in stores across the world by the name “mosquito plant,” it is essential to understand that an authentic citronella plant is actually referring to grass that closely resembles lemon grass. Although the oil from this grass is said to repel mosquitoes as well as other insects (and occasionally cats), it is recommended that you purchase citronella oil from a local store for these purposes instead of relying on the grass.
Believe it or not, the oil used to combat mosquitoes is frequently mixed with other oils. However, if depending on candles or oil for citronella lamps, be sure to read the ingredients and make sure that actual citronella oil is used. If not, it may be relatively fruitless to buy these items in an attempt to combat mosquito issues. Most people who are looking to learn about the citronella plant is interested in the one purchased in stores with citronella scent; therefore, the majority of this article focuses on this frequently purchased plant. Just note that it has not been scientifically proven to actually repel mosquitoes like oil from the citronella grass.
In conclusion, the citronella plant purchased at most nurseries and stores around the world is not the same thing as the citronella grass that contains the mosquito repelling oil. However, this plant is very popular and proves to be extremely fragrant and beautiful with lavender blooms. It tolerates drought pretty well but completely dies in periods of heavy frost. Anyone wishing to add this plant indoors our out can be successful if the soil is properly maintained, drained, and watered. However, if the reader is seeking the grass with citronella oil that repels insects, this plant will not meet your needs.