Best Citronella Grass: Everything You Need to Know to Grow and Use it

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Are you tired of pesky mosquitoes ruining your outdoor gatherings and summer evenings? Look no further than citronella grass in the form of Citronella grass repel mosquitoes, a natural and effective mosquito repellent. Not only does these Citronella plants have practical benefits, but it also has a lovely lemony scent and can be used in various culinary and medicinal applications.

In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about how to grow citronella grass and how citronella grass repel mosquitoes.

What is Citronella Grass?

Citronella Grass
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Citronella plants, also known as Cymbopogon nardus, are tropical plant native to Southeast Asia. Citronella grass cymbopogon nardus is a member of the grass family and grow citronella grass up to 6 feet tall with long, slender leaves and a distinct lemony scent. The essential oil extracted from this perennial grass is commonly used as a natural mosquito repellent in candles, sprays, and lotions.

The essential oil extracted from citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus) has been shown to have antimicrobial and antifungal properties, making it a useful ingredient in many natural remedies.

Citronella grass scientific classification

Botanical NameCymbopogon nardus
Common NameCitronella grass
Plant TypePerennial
Mature Size6 ft. tall, 4 ft. wide
Sun ExposurePartial shade to full sun
Soil TypeMoist, loamy, well-draining soil
Soil pHNeutral
Bloom TimeSummer to fall
Flower ColorLight brown
Hardiness Zones10 to 12, USA
Native AreaAsia
citronella plants

Citronella Grass vs Lemongrass

Citronella grass and lemongrass are two citronella plants that are often confused due to their similar appearance and fragrance. However, they are two different species with different properties and uses.

Citronella grass, scientifically known as Cymbopogon nardus, is a tall, perennial grass native to Sri Lanka and India. It is most commonly used as a natural mosquito repellent due to its strong lemony scent, which masks human scent and confuses mosquitoes.

Lemongrass, on the other hand, is a tropical herb from the same family as citronella grass, but it has a sweeter, milder lemon scent. Its scientific name is Cymbopogon citratus, and it is native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. Lemongrass is often used in cooking, as a medicinal herb, and in aromatherapy due to its calming properties.

While both citronella grass and lemongrass have similar uses and properties, they are not interchangeable. Citronella grass is primarily used as a natural mosquito repellent, while lemongrass is used for culinary and medicinal purposes. It’s important to correctly identify these citronella plants to make the most out of their unique properties and benefits.

Citronella grass vs Lemongrass are two closely related citronella plants that are often confused with each other due to their similar appearance and aroma. However, they are two distinct species with some differences in their characteristics and uses.

Citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus) is a type of aromatic plant that is known for its distinctive lemony scent and is often used in the production of candles, soaps, and other scented products.

Citronella grass cymbopogon nardus is a tall, perennial grass that is native to Sri Lanka and other parts of Southeast Asia. It is commonly grown for its essential oil, which is a natural insect repelling perennial grass plant and has other medicinal properties. Citronella plants have long, slender leaves with a slightly blue-green color and a distinctively citrusy aroma.

lemon grass plant (Cymbopogon citratus), on the other hand, is a tropical plant that is also native to Southeast Asia. It is a popular culinary herb in many Asian cuisines, particularly Thai and Vietnamese, and is also used in herbal medicine. Mostly, Cymbopogon citratus has long, narrow leaves that are light green in color and a sweet, lemony scent.

While both insect repelling ornamental grasses belong to the same genus and have similar fragrances, they differ in their primary uses. Citronella grass cymbopogon nardus is primarily grown for its essential oil, which is used as a natural insect repelling grass and in aromatherapy, while lemongrass is mainly used as a culinary herb and in herbal medicine. Additionally, Citronella grass cymbopogon nardus is a larger plant that requires more space to grow citronella grass, while lemongrass can be grown in smaller spaces or containers besides sunny window.

Citronella grass requires a sunny window because it is a plant that thrives in warm and sunny conditions. As a tropical plant, it is adapted to grow in areas with high levels of sunlight and warm temperatures.

When grown indoors, citronella grass needs at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day to grow and thrive. Placing the plant in a sunny window ensures that it receives the necessary amount of sunlight to support healthy growth and natural mosquito-repelling properties.

In addition to sunlight, citronella grass also requires well-draining soil and regular watering to maintain its health and vitality. By providing these basic requirements, you can grow a healthy and attractive citronella plant that not only adds beauty to your indoor space but also helps to repel mosquitoes naturally.

How to Grow Citronella Grass

It is relatively easy to grow citronella grass, and citronella plants can be cultivated both indoors and outdoors. Here are some tips for growing this clump forming grass:

Citronella Grass Varieties

There are several varieties of this repelling Citronella plants, including Java citronella, Sri Lanka citronella, and Maha Pengiri citronella. Java citronella is the most commonly grown variety, and it is the one typically used for essential oil production.

Soil and Water Requirements

These citronella plants prefers draining soil and moderate watering. It can tolerate some drought but does not do well in standing water or overly wet conditions.

Sun and Shade Preferences

Citronella plants thrives in full sun but can also tolerate partial shade. It is important to provide at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.

Propagation and Harvesting

This type of mosquito repelling grass can be propagated through division or by citronella seeds. It is best to propagate in the spring, and the Citronella plants should be harvested when it is about 2 feet tall. The leaves can be cut and used for various applications.

Pests and Diseases

Repelling citronella plants grass is relatively pest-free, but it can be susceptible to mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. Diseases such as rust and leaf spot can also affect the plant.

Soil for Citronella plants

Citronella plants thrives in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. The plant prefers draining soil that is slightly acidic, with a pH range of 5.0 to 6.5. Soil that is heavy and clay-like can become waterlogged, which can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases.

To improve soil drainage for citronella plants, it’s important to amend the soil with organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure. This will help to improve soil structure and allow water to drain more easily. Additionally, adding sand or perlite to the soil mix can also improve the draining the soil.

Another important factor in improving soil draining for citronella plants are to ensure proper watering practices. Overwatering can lead to waterlogged soil, which can suffocate the plant’s roots. Water the plant deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out slightly before watering again.

By improving soil drainage and ensuring proper watering practices, you can create an optimal growing environment for citronella grass, resulting in a healthy and thriving plant with natural mosquito-repelling properties.

Uses for Citronella Grass

Citronella grass bunnings has numerous practical and enjoyable uses beyond its mosquito-repellent properties.

Mosquito Repellent Properties (Citronella grass repel mosquitoes)

Citronella grass is a natural and effective way to repel mosquitoes. Its strong lemony scent, which is derived from the essential oils contained in the plant, is known to mask the scent of humans, making it difficult for mosquitoes to locate and bite.

Citronella grass is a popular choice for those who want to enjoy their time outside without being bothered by repel mosquitoes. The plant is easy to grow and maintain, and its natural mosquito-repelling properties make it a great addition to any outdoor space.

Citronella essential oil derived from these ornamental grasses are used in many natural mosquito repellents, such as candles, sprays, and lotions. By incorporating citronella grass or its products into your routine, you can enjoy the outdoors without the nuisance of mosquitoes with the help of citronella essential oil. So, next time you plan an outdoor event or spend time in your garden, consider using citronella grass to repel mosquitoes naturally.

Citronella essential oil Production

This Culinary herb is a valuable crop for essential oil (citronella oil) production. The citronella oil is extracted through steam distillation and is commonly used in perfumes, soaps, and other cosmetic products.

Culinary Applications

These Scented citronella plants have subtle lemony flavor and are used in various culinary applications. It is commonly used in Thai, Indonesian, and Vietnamese cuisine and can be used to flavor soups, curries, aperitifs, and desserts. The tender, inner leaves can also be used as a garnish.

Medicinal Benefits

Citronella has a long history of medicinal use in traditional medicine. In citronella grass benefits, it is commonly used to treat digestive issues, fever, and headaches. It also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Other Uses

This Perennial grass can be used in various other applications, such as in aromatherapy, as an air freshener, and in cleaning products.

Precautions and Safety

While these type of insect repelling ornamental grasses are generally safe to use, there are a few precautions to keep in mind. It is important to dilute citronella essential oil before applying it to the skin, as it can cause irritation in its concentrated form. It is also important to keep the citronella plants away from pets and small children, as ingestion can cause stomach upset.

Pros and Cons of Citronella Grass


  • Citronella grass is a natural insect repellent.
  • citronella grass repel mosquitoes and other insects effectively.
  • It is ideal for outdoor areas like patios, gardens, and campsites.
  • It is also used in personal insect repellent products.
  • Citronella grass is easy to grow.
  • It is a hardy and low-maintenance plant.
  • It grows well in warm and humid climates.


  • Citronella grass has a strong odor.
  • Some people may find the smell unpleasant.
  • It can cause skin irritation in some individuals.
  • Citronella grass requires regular pruning to maintain its growth.
  • It may not survive in colder climates.


Citronella grass is a versatile and useful plant that can be grown and utilized in various ways. From its mosquito-repellent properties to its culinary and medicinal uses, these Citronella plants are excellent addition to any garden or household. By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can enjoy the benefits of this Perennial grass and keep pesky mosquitoes at bay.

How to grow citronella plants grass?

To grow citronella plants, choose a warm, humid location with draining soil. Plant seeds or cuttings, water regularly, fertilize monthly, and prune occasionally.

Where to buy citronella grass plants near me?

To buy Citronella grass as pesticide near you, you can check with your local nurseries, garden centers, or home improvement stores. You can also search for online retailers or check with farmers’ markets in your area.

Does citronella grass repel mosquitoes?

Yes, citronella lemon-scented grass is known for its mosquito repellent properties. It contains citronella essential oil, which has a strong scent that masks other attractants to mosquitoes and can help keep them away.

Can you eat citronella grass?

Citronella grass as insecticide is not commonly eaten as food, but it can be used to flavor some Southeast Asian dishes. Eating large quantities may cause digestive discomfort.

Is Citronella grass vs Lemongrass the same?

Citronella grass as mosquito repellent and lemongrass are different species, but they share similarities. Both contain citronella oil and have a citrusy scent, but citronella plants are taller with wider leaves, while lemongrass is used as a culinary herb and for medicinal purposes.

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