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Friday, 13 March 2015

CITROSA OR MOSQUITO REPELLENT PLANT IN MY GARDEN

Last year we have been hearing of people we know being down with dengue fever and some have been admitted to the hospital. And there were banners hung up in various housing estates including ours and parts of towns alerting the public that the places were considered dengue danger zones. There were leaflets distributed to remind the public to keep their houses and compounds clean and lookout for stagnant water in containers and removing these breeding grounds for dengue mosquitoes.

There were constant house to house check-ups by the local council officers and health authorities and summons were issued if the breeding places were found in one's compound. There were also constant fogging in these areas whenever new cases of dengue fever were admitted to the hospitals and reported to the relevant authorities.

Dengue mosquitoes have white markings on their bodies and they breed in stagnant water. We are always on the look out for any possible breeding places for mosquitoes and all water containers are to be covered at all time. Empty containers have to be scrubbed and washed clean to remove any mosquito eggs because the eggs can survive in dry state for a long time and able to hatch in favourable condition.

The egg can hatch within a day into a larva. In about 4 days the larva will turn into a pupa and about 2 days into an adult mosquito. And if the female mosquito bites and sucks blood, about 3 days later will hatch eggs. A mosquito has approximately 2 weeks life span, can hatch 3 times in its life time and each time it hatches 100 eggs. Dengue mosquito usually bites at dawn or dusk but also during the day time if found in premises.
It was during the peak dengue danger time, my hubby bought 2 of these mosquito repellent plants from the nursery. He has been hearing his friends talking about this plant. When he was at the nursery, he too heard the nursery boss talking about this plant. So he ended up buying 2 small pots of Citrosa plants to ward off mosquitoes. I asked him, "are you sure these plants will keep mosquitoes away"? He replied that if they do not, then we just keep them like other plants in our garden.
The leaves are fern-like, with beautiful patterns and I have read somewhere that these plants can bloom, so I am hoping that my two plants will bloom too. I have since re-potted them into slightly bigger pots and placed them one on each side under my front porch area, near to my front door.
Some claimed that this plant repels mosquitoes but there are some that claimed it does not repel mosquitoes at all. The leaves when crushed smell like lemon grass and lemon grass contain citronella. I do not know whether the leaves of my two Citrosa plants contain citronella or not. I can try by crushing the leaves and rub the crushed leaves on my exposed skin, then go to my garden in the evening and see if I get bitten by any mosquito or not. So far I have not tried it out yet.
This is the underside of the leaves. The upper side of leaves is greener, the underside is lighter is colour. The leaves are thin and light, and whole plant is slightly hairy. One of my Citrosa plants which is in a more shady area is growing leggy and thin, whereas the other one which is receiving more light is growing well. It is growing well in moist, well-drained soil.

I have propagated from the plant which is leggy and have moved the baby plants into the sun to see if it thrives. I have also been feeding it with small amout of fertilizer regularly.
He will cover you with His feathers,

and under His wings you will find refuge;

His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

You will not fear the terror of night,

nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,

nor the plague that destroys at midday.

(Psalm 91:4-6, New International Version-NIV)

23 comments:

  1. Usually, plants is plants to me, i do not know the name of the plants...

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sharon, I only recently started to learn the name of my garden plants...lol..

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  2. Oh, I'd love to get those plants. I need them. I have the oil version and I love how the smell makes me feel like I'm in a spa or rainforest. :)

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  3. Good morning Nancy,
    Very important post about dengue fever. In Brazil we have this problem too.
    Thank you to let me know about Citrosa!
    Have a nice weekend.
    Hugs!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sonia, you are most welcome. Have a nice weekend too..hugs! hugs!

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  4. We bought a few of this plant too but none survived. :( Maybe we gave them too much water. If you try the test, please let us know here whether it works to keep mozzies far away or not, ok? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mun, sure, will update you whether it works or not.

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  5. Hi Nancy....
    Thanks for the info about dengue.
    Pls let us know whether the plant is really mosq repellant. We have huge number of mosq in chennai.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Priya, sure will. Thanks for visiting.

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  6. The Dengue is scary for sure! How long does it take to get over it? I am glad you are alright so far. I have never heard of this plant, I wonder if we have them here?

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    Replies
    1. Usually it will take about 2 weeks to recover. Thank God for His protection over us.

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  7. i think my neighbor has tried some of these plants. we have west nile virus here spread by mosquitoes and it can be deadly, too.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Tex, there is an increase in mosquitoes spread diseases that are deadly.

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  8. Nancy, I have heard about this plant and I wonder if it actually works. I won't mind buying this plant as it is quite decorative.

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    1. Hi Phong Hong, that is what my hubby said. If it doesn't work, we can keep it as ornamental plant...the leaves are pretty and decorative.

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  9. Let us know how it works, Nancy


    ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral
    =^..^=

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    Replies
    1. Hi Cloudia, let me try it out first.

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  10. Replies
    1. Hi S.Kucing, yes, me too....smells like lemon grass.

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  11. I believe they do work especially if you crush leaves when mosquitoes are around.
    You must have quite a problem with them where you live :(
    Very interesting post, thanks for sharing
    and good luck!!
    Keep well, Nancy

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    Replies
    1. Hi Noushka, yes, dengue has been a big problem here. I do hope by crushing the leaves it will work. Thank you, dear.

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  12. So the plant doesn't smell unless you crush the leaves?

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