Leamongrass – Mosquito Repellent

Q: I was thinking about planting lemon grass to help ward off mosquitoes. Will it grow north of Atlanta?

A: Lemon grass is not usually winter hardy in Atlanta, much less Dawsonville. You might have success growing it against a stone wall that holds wintertime heat. That said, lemon grass is not effective as a landscape mosquito repellent. The leaves do contain a repellent oil but you’d have to smash the stems and smear the juice on your body to get any mosquito-deterring effect. I prefer commercial products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or picaridin.