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How To Grow Citronella Plant Outdoors

As the saying goes, “A stitch in time saves nine.” Growing a citronella plant outdoors is one of those tasks that will pay off in the long run. Not only does this popular herb bring a pleasant aroma to any outdoor space, it also helps repel mosquitoes and other pesky pests. In this article, we’ll provide you with the know-how on how to grow a citronella plant outdoors.

The first step to becoming an expert gardener is understanding the basics. Citronella plants are tropical perennials originally native to Southeast Asia, but they can thrive in cooler climates as well. The plants are part of the geranium family and have fragrant leaves that contain citronella oil – hence their ability to ward off insects!

Finally, you need to understand the care requirements for growing a healthy citronella plant outdoors. With proper planning and attention, your new citronella plant will be flourishing in no time! Keep reading for our guide on how to get your own citronella plant growing outdoors in no time.

What Is A Citronella Plant?

A citronella plant, like a beacon of light in the darkest corners of your outdoor space, offers a natural way to keep pesky bugs away. As the sun sets and the heat of summer begins to roll in, nothing feels more refreshing than the thought of spending time outdoors without being pestered by mosquitos! Not only are citronella plants aesthetically pleasing, they are low maintenance and easy to care for – making them an ideal choice for any outdoor space.

When it comes to growing your own citronella plant outdoors, there’s no better place to start than understanding what you’re getting yourself into. Citronella plants are actually members of the geranium family (Pelargonium) and grow best in consistently moist soil that is located in a sunny spot. While citronella can be grown from seed, it’s much easier – and faster – to purchase a small starter plant from your local garden center or online retailer.

Citronella plants should not be placed directly into full sun but rather given partial shade where possible. Planting near a patio or balcony will also provide you with some relief from mosquitoes as well as an aesthetic appeal for your outdoor area. Additionally, as these plants can become root bound very quickly, you may want to consider planting multiple small starter plants together in one large pot instead of planting them separately throughout your yard or garden. This will help ensure that each individual plant has enough room to grow while also keeping the area looking neat and tidy.

So whether you’re looking for some bug deterrent that won’t take up too much space or simply want something beautiful and unique in your outdoor area, citronella is an excellent option! Taking just a few simple steps when planting can help ensure success so get ready to enjoy all the benefits that come with having this fragrant herb around!

Where To Plant Citronella

Planting citronella is a great way to create a natural outdoor insect repellent. Take the case of Ellen, who wanted to plant citronella in her backyard. Here’s how she did it:

First, Ellen had to find the right spot for her plants. Citronella prefers full sun and well-draining soil with pH levels between 6.0 and 7.5. To ensure that her plants stayed healthy, she chose an area away from any trees or shrubs that could block sunlight or hinder drainage. She also made sure the space was big enough for her plants to spread out so they wouldn’t be crowded.

Next, Ellen had to prepare the soil for planting. She tilled the soil with a garden fork and mixed in some compost before adding a layer of mulch on top for additional insulation and moisture retention. Her final step before planting was to check the pH level of her soil using a simple test kit found at most garden stores.

Finally, Ellen planted her citronella seeds according to instructions on their packaging: she sowed them 1/4 inch deep, spaced 12 inches apart and watered them regularly until they germinated – usually within two weeks! With these steps complete, Ellen was ready to enjoy an insect-free summer in her backyard oasis!

When To Plant Citronella

Ready to get your citronella project started? Now it’s time to find out the best time to plant the citronella. Growing this fragrant herb doesn’t require a green thumb, but there are some essential steps that need to be taken in order for it to thrive outdoors.

Let’s start with timing. When planting citronella, you want to make sure you do it at the right time of year. This plant does well in warmer climates, so if you’re located in an area with hot summers and mild winters, then you should aim for a springtime planting. This way, your citronella will have enough warm weather during the growing season and can tolerate cooler temperatures during the winter months.

On the other hand, if you live somewhere with colder winters and shorter growing seasons, late summer is usually the best time to plant your citronella. You’ll want to get it in the ground before any signs of frost arrive so that it has plenty of time to establish itself ahead of winter.

Now that we know when to plant our citronella, let’s move on to getting things ready for its arrival – including prepping the soil!

Preparing The Soil For Citronella

Are you ready to transform your outdoor space into an oasis of relaxation and beauty? Then you must include citronella plants! Preparing the soil for these fantastic plants is essential to ensure they survive and thrive in the great outdoors. And boy, let me tell you, if you do it right, you’ll be able to enjoy their unique scent and aesthetic benefits for years to come!

First things first, when prepping the soil for your citronella plant make sure it’s free of weeds or other debris that could interfere with growth. You’ll also want to add some well-rotted manure or compost to give the soil an extra boost of nutrients. It’s also important that the soil has good drainage so that roots can get access to oxygen. Finally, don’t forget about pH balance – citronella prefers a neutral or slightly acidic environment!

Now it’s time for the fun part – planting your citronella! Once you’ve got the soil prepped and ready to go, it’s time to start digging. Make sure each hole is deep enough so that all of your plant’s roots are covered. Also try not to disturb any existing roots – this can damage the plant and lead to stunted growth. After planting is complete, give your plant a thorough watering and voila! All that hard work has paid off – now just sit back, relax and enjoy your beautiful new addition!

Planting Citronella

Planting citronella is a task that’s simply out of this world! Taking the time to plan and prepare before getting your hands dirty will serve you well in the long run. Here are some items to consider before planting:

  • Get the right type of soil
  • Make sure your pot is large enough
  • Consider spacing between plants
  • Choose an ideal location

Once you’ve got everything ready, it’s time to start planting. It’s important to use soil that drains well and has a good balance of nutrients for the plant to thrive. You’ll also need to make sure that each plant has enough room to grow, so take note of the spacing between them. Finally, consider your location carefully-citronella prefers sunny spots with plenty of air circulation.

With all these factors accounted for, it’s finally time to get your hands dirty! Plant each seedling at least 6 inches deep into the soil and water them thoroughly until they’re settled in. And there you have it-your citronella plants are now ready to go! Now the only thing left is ensuring they get enough sunlight and other care they need to grow strong and healthy.

How Much Sunlight Does Citronella Need?

Citronella plants are an obvious choice for those looking to add a bit of unique flair to their outdoor space. Allusions to the bright and cheery scent of citronella candles in the summertime often come to mind. But, if you want to actually grow these plants outdoors, there are a few things you need to know about how much sunlight they need. Here’s what you should consider:

  1. Citronella plants prefer at least six hours of direct sunlight each day – more is even better!
  2. If your climate is very hot and humid, then partial shade can provide relief from the intense heat.
  3. Try placing them in areas that get lots of morning sun but offer some shade in the afternoon.
  4. If you live in a colder climate, then extra light will be needed to keep your citronella plants happy and healthy.

No matter where you live or what type of climate you have, it’s important to remember that citronella plants do best when they’re exposed to plenty of sunlight throughout the day. With this knowledge in hand, it’s time to move on to the next step: watering and feeding your citronellas!

Watering And Feeding Citronella

It’s no secret that when it comes to growing plants outdoors, one of the most important factors is how much water and nutrients they need. But you may be wondering, what about citronella? With its strong aroma and attractive foliage, this hardy herbaceous perennial deserves a place in any garden. Let’s take a look at watering and feeding for successful citronella growth.

First off, be sure to keep your citronella in an area with plenty of drainage as standing water can lead to root rot. You’ll also want to water your plant regularly and deeply, but not too often. Citronella will do best if the soil remains moist throughout the growing season. If you live in a dry climate or during periods of drought, consider using mulch around the plant to help retain moisture in the soil.

Next up is feeding your citronella plant. While it doesn’t require much fertilizer (excessive amounts can actually burn its delicate leaves), you can give it an extra boost by providing some organic compost or manure every spring before new growth begins. This will supply it with essential nutrients needed to thrive in your garden.

In addition to these steps, deadheading spent blooms is also important for encouraging more flowers on your citronella plant throughout the season – more on that soon!

Deadheading Citronella

Have you ever wondered what deadheading means in terms of gardening? It’s a term that might be unfamiliar to some, and yet it’s an important step in taking care of your citronella plant. Let’s explore what deadheading is, why it’s beneficial and how to do it right:

  1. What is Deadheading? Deadheading refers to the process of removing spent flowers from a plant. This helps redirect energy away from the development of seeds and towards the growth of new flowers.

  2. Why Should You Deadhead Citronella? By removing spent flowers, you help your plant look its best while also encouraging further blooming. Removing old flowers also helps prevent disease and pest problems, so it ultimately leads to healthier plants overall!

  3. How Do You Deadhead Citronella? To properly deadhead citronella plants, simply use garden scissors or pruners to snip off any browned or wilted flower heads at their base. Be sure not to cut off any foliage or stems as this could damage the plant! When finished, remove all cuttings from the area to avoid potentially attracting pests or diseases that can harm your citronella plants.

Deadheading citronella is an easy way to keep your plants looking great and promote healthy growth – so don’t forget about this important task when caring for your outdoor garden! Now let’s move on to pruning; a key step in keeping your citronella in top shape…

Pruning Citronella

The next step in taking care of your citronella plants is pruning. Pruning can help to keep your citronella plant healthy, as well as make sure it’s growing in the way you want. It’s an easy and effective way to shape your plant, and can also encourage new growth.

Pruning is a simple process, but there are some things to remember when doing it. First, you’ll need to decide on the shape you want for your plant. You should choose a shape that will maximize sunlight exposure while still allowing the leaves to breathe. Then, using a pair of shears or scissors, carefully cut away any excess branches or stems that are blocking the light or hindering airflow. Make sure not to take off too much at once—you don’t want to damage the plant!

Lastly, pay attention for signs of new growth after pruning. This will indicate that your plant is responding positively to its new pruned shape and environment. If you see no changes after pruning, it may be time to adjust how much light and water it’s getting or look into controlling pests and diseases of citronella. TIP: Be sure to wear gloves when pruning since citronella plants often have sharp leaves!

Controlling Pests And Diseases Of Citronella

Maintaining citronella plants outdoors comes with a few challenges, not least of which is controlling pests and diseases. Unfortunately, many varieties of bugs and fungi are drawn to the fragrant oils in this herb’s leaves, so it’s important to be proactive in preventing infestations or outbreaks. Here’s what you need to do:

• Monitor the plant regularly for signs of pests or disease. Look for discoloration or holes on the leaves, as well as any webbing or other suspicious-looking residue.

• Use natural pest control products like neem oil or insecticidal soap in order to keep bug populations under control. You’ll want to reapply these treatments every week or two during peak season.

• If your citronella gets infected with a fungal disease, remove any affected parts of the plant immediately and then treat it with an appropriate fungicide. Make sure to follow all directions carefully when using any type of chemical product on your plants.

• Water sparingly – too much moisture can encourage fungal growth – and make sure that the soil drains well. Citronella prefers dryer conditions than most other herbs, so don’t be afraid to let it get a bit parched before giving it more water.

• Keep weeds away from your plants; they can harbor pests and diseases that may spread to your citronella if not taken care of properly. A simple weeding session once a week should suffice for prevention purposes. By taking these preventative steps, you’ll have much better luck keeping your citronella healthy throughout the growing season. With proper maintenance and care, you’ll be able to enjoy its bright scent all summer long! Now that we’ve discussed pest and disease control, let’s move on to winter care of citronella…

Winter Care Of Citronella

Winter can be tough on any plant, and that’s no different for citronella. If you want to keep your citronella healthy through the cold months, there are a few things you should do. First and foremost, you’ll need to make sure it has proper drainage. Citronella doesn’t like wet feet; if the roots sit in water for too long, it could spell disaster. Make sure to use a well-draining soil mix when planting, and check regularly during the winter months to see if your pot is retaining too much water.

When winter hits, it’s time to give your plant some extra protection from the cold weather. Bring it indoors if possible—it should be able to handle temperatures between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit with no problem. If bringing it inside isn’t an option, then cover the pot with a tarp or plastic sheeting until spring arrives.

It may seem like a lot of work to keep citronella alive during the wintertime, but by following these steps you shouldn’t have any problems keeping your plants healthy until warmer days return. With proper care and attention, your citronella will be ready for propagation in no time!

Propagating Citronella

Propagating citronella is a great way to get your own homegrown crop of this fragrant herb. It’s not hard to do, but it does require some patience and attention.

First off, you’ll want to make sure you have the right soil. Citronella loves well-draining soil that’s slightly acidic with a pH of between 5 and 6. You can buy special citronella soil or create your own by mixing equal parts peat moss, sand, and compost. Make sure your container has drainage holes in the bottom before adding the soil.

The best way to propagate citronella is through cuttings from a mature plant. Cut off several 4-inch sections just below the leaf node and remove the lower leaves so you have about 1-2 inches of stem remaining on each cutting. Dip the cut ends into rooting hormone, then place them in damp potting mix or sand. Keep them moist but not soaking wet, and soon enough you should see new growth emerging from the stems!

Now that you’ve got your citronella plants set up for success all that’s left to do is wait for them to grow big and strong enough for harvesting!

Harvesting Citronella

Now that you’ve propagated your citronella, it’s time to harvest the mature plants. Harvesting is a great way to increase the size of your crop, and will also help with pest control.

Harvesting citronella should take place in late summer or early fall, when the plant has plenty of mature leaves. To harvest, simply cut off the outer leaves at their base, making sure not to damage any of the inner growth. You can then store these leaves in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to use them.

When harvesting citronella from outdoor plants, make sure to wear gloves and protective clothing to guard against any potential irritants or pests that may be present. Also keep an eye out for any signs of disease or pest damage before harvesting – if you spot anything suspicious, discard all affected portions right away. Now that your citronella harvest is complete, let’s move on and look into the uses and benefits of this versatile plant.

Uses And Benefits Of Citronella

Once you’ve harvested your citronella plant, the possibilities are endless. This wonderfully fragrant herb has a multitude of uses and benefits that make it an ideal addition to any outdoor area. Let’s explore what this powerful plant can do for you!

Firstly, citronella is best known for its natural insect repellent properties. This makes it perfect for keeping pesky bugs away from your garden or patio during the summer months. Just add some freshly cut stems to a vase of water and place them around the area to keep bugs at bay! Additionally, you can make your own homemade bug spray by mixing a few drops of essential oil into a spray bottle filled with water.

Secondly, citronella is great for adding flavor to food dishes. Its unique lemony flavor can be used in a variety of recipes such as salads, soups and sauces. You can also use it as an ingredient in marinades or as an infusion in tea and other beverages. Finally, don’t forget about aromatherapy – burning citronella candles or diffusing the essential oil can help create an atmosphere of relaxation in any outdoor space.

Though it may seem like the perfect plant with its multiple uses and benefits, there are still certain issues that may arise when growing citronella outdoors. To ensure the healthiest plants possible, having proper knowledge on troubleshooting common problems with citronella is key!

Troubleshooting Common Problems With Citronella

Maintaining a citronella plant can be tricky – especially if you’re growing it outdoors. But don’t worry, ’cause we’re here to help you troubleshoot any issues that come up. Let’s take a look at what might be going wrong with your outdoor citronella plant.

First up, check the soil. Citronella needs moist, well-draining soil to grow properly. If the soil is too dry or too wet, the plant may not survive. Also make sure your area gets enough sunlight – citrus plants need at least four hours of direct sun every day. If it doesn’t get enough sun, the leaves will start to turn yellow and drop off.

Finally, keep an eye out for pests like aphids and spider mites which can damage the leaves of a citronella plant. You can use insecticidal soap or neem oil to get rid of these pests quickly and effectively. With just a little bit of effort, you can keep your citronella plant healthy and thriving in its outdoor environment!


Conclusion: Citronella is a great way to naturally repel pests in your garden and outdoor spaces. Planting citronella is easy, and with a little bit of preparation and care, you can enjoy the benefits of this aromatic herb all season long. As a handyman, I would recommend propagating citronella by division or by seed to ensure that you have plenty of plants to provide protection against pesky bugs. Plus, harvesting your own citronella can be quite rewarding! Use the leaves for teas and oils, or even dry them for use as an insect repellent. With some effort and knowledge, growing citronella outdoors can be an enriching experience that yields many rewards. In conclusion, learning how to grow citronella plant outdoors will help keep your outdoor spaces pest-free while providing you with useful materials to use throughout the year.

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