Marigolds are a beautiful flower, but they also have so many uses and benefits of growing them alongside vegetables or many other plants! Read for the benefits of marigolds and why you should grow them in your vegetable garden!
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What are Marigolds?
Marigolds are a small flowering plant that typically have beautiful blooms in the red-yellow color range, often having multiple colors in the flower. They are annuals, so you do have to plant them every year. Most grow 6-12 inches in height, but some varieties can grow to 4 feet tall!
Marigolds like full sun and are very forgiving with care, so if you accidentally forget to water once they should be okay! They can be grown in flower beds or containers too! It’s better to grow them in the same container as the tomato plant if you are using them to protect tomatoes!
Tip: If you deadhead (cut off) the flowers when they start looking like they are dying, you’ll be able to get more blooms in the growth season too.
Find the 4 most common marigolds to have in your garden here!
1. Marigolds Repel Unwanted Bugs
One of the benefits of marigolds is that they repel unwanted bugs like mosquitoes, cabbageworms and cabbage moths. Marigolds have a fairly distinctive smell, and this smell is known to repel unwanted bugs.
With the cabbageworms and cabbage moths, the fragrance of marigolds masks the smell of cabbage, which is how these plants are protected by growing marigolds in your vegetable garden!
Similarly, mosquitoes do not like the scent of marigolds. You can plant them all around your garden or in containers on your porch to repel the mosquitoes!
2. Repel Harmful Microscopic Worms
Alongside repelling bugs by the scent, one type of marigold (the French marigold) root system deters microscopic worms called nematodes. Not all nematodes are bad, but there are some that can be harmful to vegetable gardens, especially plants like tomatoes.
If you grow French marigolds in containers with your tomatoes, they will be protected from these harmful nematodes that could potentially harm or kill your tomato plant. Nematodes can harm your plants by preventing them from absorbing nutrients through the soil.
Curious when to pick tomatoes? Read here!
The way these benefits of marigolds in your garden work is by the nematodes going after the marigolds rather than the vegetable plant. There are also some compounds in these marigolds that kills these nematodes, but it has not been noted how affective that is.
One of the best ways to have this work with growing marigolds in your vegetable garden is to actually plant the marigolds a few months earlier in the soil than you’ll be planting the produce, then removing the marigolds. This way you aren’t worried about if the nematodes are going for your produce or the marigolds!
This does require forethought, and if you’re ready to plant your vegetables now, go ahead and add marigolds now too!
3. Attracting Ladybugs
It’s a great idea to attract ladybugs into your garden! The best reason to attract ladybugs into your garden is because they eat aphids!
The scent of marigolds doesn’t repel all bugs, and the vibrant colors of the marigold flowers attracts the ladybugs.
(Find other plants that attract ladybugs here!)
4. Add Beautiful Color
Marigolds bloom a very vibrant color ranging from bright yellow to red, and might even be multi-colored. This adds a great addition of color to any garden. While this is not a major benefit of marigolds, it does make the garden very aesthetically pleasing.
5. Some Marigolds are Edible!
Please note not all marigolds are edible, but some the flowers are and can even be considered medicinal! One marigold variety that is edible is the pot marigold (although not actually a marigold) There are many recipes for marigolds, they can be used as a flower on a dessert, be used in tea, or cooked!
Not only are marigolds beautiful, unwanted insect repellant, and lady bug attracting, but you can also eat the flowers! These are just some great benefits of marigolds being grown in your garden or around your patio!
Looking for other plants that also repel unwanted bugs? Onions are another great plant to use! Read how to grow your own onions in containers here.
Want to keep these plant ideas for later? Save them to Pinterest!