How to Grow and Care for Citronella Plant (Mosquito Plant)

Acclaimed for its distinctive citrus scent, the much-lauded Citronella plant, scientifically known as the Citronella Geranium, is a popular addition to many gardens.

Citronella Plant Care

It prefers a full sun but benefits from a bit of afternoon shade, especially in hotter climates. Make sure you place these plants in pots on your patio where they can receive six hours of sunlight each day.


Citronella plants thrive under full sun to partial shade conditions. Ideally, these plants enjoy a location that receives at least six hours of sunlight daily, yet also offers some afternoon shade.


Citronella plants prefer well-draining soil conditions. Overwatering these plants can lead to root rot, a common issue faced by gardeners.


When it comes to watering citronella plants, a balanced approach is required. These beautiful members of the geranium family thrive in moisture, but are prone to root rot if they are subjected to overwatering.

Temperature and Humidity

Citronella plants thrive best in cooler climates with moderate humidity. A member of the geranium family, these citrosum species prefer temperatures between 15°C to 21°C (60°F to 70°F).


This South African plant requires a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.


Maintaining the optimal growth and health of your citronella plants involves regular pruning. Focus primarily on dead or dying leaves and stems, making sure to slice at leaf nodes to encourage new growth.


Citronella plants, which are actually scented geraniums, thrive outdoors in the full sun during summer but need to be overwintered indoors in areas with harsh winters.

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