I’ve got a black thumb. I’m half Dutch and I can’t keep a plant alive. My father has beautiful gardens. I have hostas because you seriously can’t kill those things. Everything else dies. Annuals, hanging baskets, planters, I even killed a cactus once. But I decided to try my hand at making my very own anti-mosquito planter last summer. I researched a number of plants. There were other plants that may have worked a little better but I had difficulty finding many of them, even at my local garden centres. I blame Pinterest for this as anti-mosquito planters were a popular pin last summer. So I had to make do with the less-common plants but I must say, they were a colourful bunch and I was pleased with the results!
The plants I used:
- Lemon grass (tall grass at back)
- Marigolds (orange flowers in centre)
- Ageratum (purple flowers at the front)
To assemble your planter, place a few crushed water bottles in the bottom. This helps aerate the soil and is a great way to keep water bottles from the landfill. If you don’t have any water bottles, you can also use styrofoam bricks such as those used to pad televisions or furniture corners in their shipping boxes. Just break the bricks into chunks.
Next, add your soil. Fill your planter container about 3/4 full. Start arranging your plants in the soil, filling in with more soil around them as you go. My planters were going to be placed against walls so I decided to put the taller plants at the back and the lower plants at the front. If you will be viewing your planter from all sides, I suggest planting the taller plants in the centre and working your way out.
The photo above was taken as soon as I had assembled my masterpiece. Over the course of the summer, my planter flourished. As a result the plants became a bit overgrown and they did not have enough room to grow fully in the planter. This year I will use less plants and leave some space between them.
My local garden centre suggested I use some Miracle-Gro with my plants. I also used it with the annuals I planted in my little side garden against the house. She recommended Ultra Bloom (the purple one). It’s a powder that I added to my watering can every two weeks or so (simply follow the instructions on the box) and it helped keep my hanging baskets vibrant and full all summer long. I also credit the Miracle-Gro with helping my anti-mosquito planter flourish as well as it did. If you’ve got a black thumb like I do, I highly recommend using plant food!
a passionate recreation coordinator by day, crazy farm mama of two by night. i live outdoors: growing my own food, camping and hiking with my border collie with two active kids in tow. when I’m not writing, I’m experimenting with recipes, and crafts – or anything else that might keep the monkeys entertained.