Citronella Plant Quick Guide

photo of citronella plant

Citronella plant a great ornamental and fragrancy plant, it is commonly known to be a natural mosquito repellent. While it might not do anything on its own. When its leaves are crushed a lemony fragrancy oil comes out that can be rubbed on the skin. At best, it would protect you for a little while, but would require tons of citronella to eliminate the pests.

Note: Citronella may irritate the skin of some people and/ or cause allergic reactions. Please consult before applying it on it skin.

Quick Guide

the Citronella plant is a fairly hardy plant. In zones 9b through 11 it can be grown as a perennial. In other zones it can grow as an annual. This plant can also grow as large as 2 to 3 feet tall. Here we put together a quick guide to help you plant this in your garden, patio, porches, or deck!

When and where to plant

Ideally, wait until all chances of frost have passed when the soil begins to feel warm in the spring. It is common to plant citronella around the same time as tomatoes. FYI this plant makes a great companion, you can plant with Lavender, marigolds, catnip, lemon balm, thyme, and more!

Secondly, you will want to pick a location. Find an area that gets plenty of morning sun and has afternoon shade. Once you have decided this, pick if you are using a garden bed or container.

  • If planting in a garden bed. Place 1 to 2 feet apart in the depth of the container they are currently in. Along with some fresh new warm soil.
  • If planting in a container. This plant requires adequate drainage, place them in a clay pot with a hole at the bottom. Apply a light mixture of soil such as cactus potting soil.

When to Water

When the citronella plant is first placed into a pot or bed. Keep the soil slightly damp while the plant begins to establish itself.

Once they are accustomed to their new spot, begin to water in garden beds once a week during dry periods. If in a pot, stick your index finger in the soil, If the soil is dry then water the plant.

How to Propagate Citronella

  • Choose a stem on the plant that looks mature, healthy, and with several leaves growing from it. Take a clean cut right above the group of leaves on the stem to avoid mother plant getting a disease.
  • Use pruning scissors to cut leaves of the stem and leave the top 2 or 3 leaves.
  • Clean the root. You can also apply cinnamon to the cut to prevent disease and promote growth. Then stick in a small container filled with soil.
  • Put the cutting in a warm area with bright but indirect sunlight. After a few weeks new growth should begin to appear.


We hope you found this guide helpful! If you enjoyed this and want to learn more. Make sure to come back, as we will continue to add more guides about all sorts of plants! if you have questions please leave a comment and lets talk!

Citronella Plant Tools to Plant

image of foxfarm potting soil
photo of fiskars pruning sheers
photo of small shovels
photo of citronella plant
photo of gardening gloves

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