Do Marigolds Keep Insects Away?

Save

Marigolds are one of the best plant allies for garden vegetables and fruits due to their ability to repel or kill insects and larvae that may feed on or damage crops. Marigolds are mostly pest free and are considered easy to grow, low-maintenance annuals. They bloom throughout the heat of summer, preferring a site with full sun and good drainage.

Types of Marigolds

  • African marigolds (Tagetes erecta), also known as American marigolds, are taller plants that produce large-sized double flowers. French marigolds (Tagetes patula) are a bushy type with smaller flowers. They are suited to rainy conditions. Pot marigolds (Calendula officinalis) are not considered true marigolds, but offer some of the same protection as true marigolds. Pot marigolds may not stand up to intense summer heat, but they do have the additional benefit of producing edible flowers.

Pesticide Effects

  • Marigolds not only repel cabbage moths, chemical exudates from the flowers and foliage of marigolds have proven lethal to Mexican bean weevils, and marigold root compounds kill cabbage maggot larvae. The odor of marigold plants is unappealing to pests, and the roots emit a substance that repels many types of nematodes. Marigolds "can suppress 14 genera of plant-parasitic nematodes," according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension.

Beneficial Insects

  • Marigolds attract beneficial insects to the garden. These insects feed on or parasitize insect pests that may trouble your crops. Marigolds attract lacewings, lady beetles and parasitic wasps.

Cover Crop

  • Root-knot nematodes attack a variety of crops, and no chemical controls exist for use in home gardens, so marigolds are a valuable tool for gardeners. Growers can plant African or French marigolds as a cover crop. Planted before other garden crops, marigolds release alpha-terthienyl, which has an allelopathic effect. These marigolds can control populations of root-knot nematodes and provide the additional benefit of reducing some fungi, bacteria, viruses and insects that may lead to plant diseases.

Pairings

  • Marigolds are plant allies that you can pair with eggplants, potatoes, pumpkins, tomatoes and squash plants to provide the benefits of protection or improved growth. Marigolds deter Mexican bean beetles from damaging beans, discourage Japanese beetles from harming corn and deter beetles from causing harm to cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, squashes and potatoes. Marigolds help prevent nematodes from affecting eggplants and tomatoes. Pot marigolds deter beetles from visiting asparagus plants and tomato worms and general pests from bothering tomatoes.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

Resources

You May Also Like

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Make a Vertical Clay Pot Garden

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!