Mosquitoes. The name itself brings an itch to the skin and a frown to the face. Not only do they bite, and suck your blood, they leave an itchy welt and can even carry diseases like the Nile virus. Festive outdoor parties can be ruined by the presence of these pesky insects, but spraying chemicals on your friends and family isn’t the most pleasant thing to do either.Using plants like the marigold can not only help repel mosquitoes but provide bursts of colors throughout your yard or patio. It’s unpleasant smell helps deter those tiny skin-nibblers and is an easy and inexpensive alternative to poisonous chemicals. Many insect repellents use a compound called Pyrethrum, which is found in marigold. This is what makes the marigold plant so effective in naturally repelling these pests. Here’s how to go naturally mosquito-free with marigolds.
Things You'll Need
- Marigold plants, different varieties
- Potting soil
Using Marigolds to Keep Mosquitoes Away
Pot them up. Marigolds come in lots of big bright colors like orange and yellow, and come in a variety of bloom sizes, so mix them up by potting up five large pots for an average patio or large and medium sized pots for a vaster space. You can intersperse them amongst your other patio flowers to add variety.
Create a boundary-border. Use the smaller variety of marigolds like the French marigold and Queen Sophia to edge your flower or vegetable gardens. This will provide a boundary that will help discourage mosquitoes from coming around while you are weeding or simply walking to and from your home.
Place near windows and doorways. This is an important step. Fill your window boxes with Golden Gate marigolds and pot up a few larger varieties like the African marigold near the doorways to help keep the blood suckers from coming into your home and buzzing around you at night. Pot up a couple to put on the bedside tables at your cabin to keep your vacation itch-free.
Dress up your outdoor table. Signet Marigolds have super-bright flower heads and a lacy leaf that will help cheer up an outdoor eating area while keeping the mosquitoes away. Pot up a variety of sized pots to make a memorable summer centerpiece. If your guests get hungry, they can even eat this particular variety of plant!
Tips & Warnings
- Take off the dried flower heads at the end of the season and plant the seeds next spring to replenish your favorite marigold plants for free. Just keep dry all winter and plant in spring.
- Marigolds are susceptible to spider mites and grasshoppers, so monitor your plants throughout the growing season.
- Photo Credit enimal~ sxc
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