Get rid of mosquitos by planting a flower? -

Get rid of mosquitos by planting a flower?

It's time to put some flower power in your garden! Geraniums are hearty annuals that do more than just look pretty.

Brent Green is a Los Angeles based landscape designer who likes to use them because they actually help control pests.

Geraniums are a wonderful addition to your garden. They bloom for a long period of time, they're relatively low maintenance and they're drought tolerant.

As a bonus, they actually repel mosquitos. There's something in the oil of the leaves that has an odor that mosquitos find distasteful.

Zonal geraniums grow into a bush of about two-to-three feet by two-to-three feet.

Ivy geranium is more of a cascading geranium. It also blooms for a very long period, but it has a cascade effect and is very effective in pots or window boxes.

There are also scented geraniums. Certain varieties are citronella and lemon rose. The way that you tell them apart is you kind of bruise the leaf a little bit and it releases an aroma of either lemon rose or citronella.

Geraniums are very easily rooted by cuttings. You can take a snipping, and stick it in sandy soil. After several weeks, you've got roots. You've actually cloned a parent plant by making a cutting.

Brent says geraniums grow year round in zones 9 through 12 and are a summertime favorite around the country. They thrive in containers that make them perfect for window boxes.

Another great thing about these geraniums is you don't have to actually plant them in the box. You can simply remove them or leave them in their containers. For the winter remove them from the outdoors and put them indoors where they're safe and protected from the cold. Then bring them back in the spring and set them back in the box.

Brent says the citrus scented geraniums are the most effective in repelling mosquitos, but you can also find them in other scents too – like coconut, apple and strawberry.

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