(tips on growing marigold in your garden)
Bright orange flowers add a splash of color to your garden. But, those lovely marigold flowers can also provide a natural pest deterrent as well as strength to other plants.
We talk about a number of plants that make great companions for marigold and have found two vegetables that experts disagree on. After you check out the rest of this marigold companion guide, be sure to also check out our guides on growing marigold and companion planting guides.
Marigold Companion Planting
Marigold companion planting enhances the growth of basil, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, gourds, kale, potatoes, squash and tomatoes. Marigold also makes a good companion plant to melons because it deters beetles.
Beans and cabbage are listed as bad companion plants for marigolds.
Marigolds, Cabbage & Broccoli.
As you might have noticed, I listed cabbage on both the good companions and the bad companions lists. Like so many things in gardening, the experts often have differing opinions. Cabbage and I suspect it’s fellow Brassica broccoli appear to be questionable companions. Since neither of our conflicting sources mentioned why they felt positively or negatively about cabbage as a companion, it might be best to assume the worst and consider both broccoli and cabbage as bad companions for marigolds.
Marigold & Insects
Marigolds have traditionally been used as borders around treasured flower beds and vegetable gardens. Scented varieties of marigold will deter beetles, beet leaf hoppers, Mexican bean beetle and nematodes. Pot marigold repels asparagus beetle and tomato worm and Mexican marigold is thought to repel rabbits.
We found out the hard way that the newer hybrid marigolds have not retained this natural pest controlling scent. We purchased some light yellow plants and the ravenous aphids promptly destroyed them. Of course, I suppose, you could argue that the nasty little things were so busy eating our marigolds that they left our vegetable garden unmolested.
Not all the news about marigold is good though. They do tend to attract spider mites and slugs.
Marigolds as a Natural Pesticide.
The roots of French marigolds produce a chemical that is so strong it is an effective pesticide for years after the plants are gone.
Mexican marigolds produce a stronger version of this chemical which has the potential to inhibit the growth of some of the more tender herbs.
Additional Marigold Information
(Calendula officinalis, Linn.)
To learn more about growing marigolds be sure to check out our marigold fact sheet.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore marigolds. Their colors are so bright and striking in a garden. But, when it comes down to it, many of us plant them in hopes that they will be able to chase away harmful garden pests or at least keep them away from more valuable things like our prize tomatoes. If you are trying to keep your garden pesticide free, The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control: A Complete Guide to Maintaining a Healthy Garden and Yard the Earth-Friendly Way might offer some additional ideas to winning the war against aphids or whatever little insect demons are plaguing your garden.