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13 Reasons You Should Grow Marigolds in Your Veggie Garden

Apart from adding a charming touch of warmth to your garden, growing marigolds offers a ton of benefits, from attracting pollinators to improving soil quality. 

If you need a little more convincing, keep reading as we share the best reasons for growing marigolds in your garden!

Why plant marigolds in your vegetable garden?

1. Marigolds act as a natural pest repellent.

Marigolds act as a natural pest repellent
Image: Martha Stewart

On the hunt for an organic and damage-free pest control option? Then you’ll be glad to know that marigolds are believed to be a natural insect repellent.

Marigolds contain Pyrethrum, which is a neurotoxin to flying bugs such as gnats and mosquitos along with Limonene, an oil that has a powerful citrus smell that masks the scent of crops.

Did you know that marigolds can also perform “nematode antagonism” in the soil? It’s a process of releasing chemicals that are toxic to the little critters, effectively killing them off.

Having said that, what are you waiting for? Marigolds make a great addition to protecting your vegetable garden alongside other pest management practices.

2. Marigold’s extensive root system helps aerate the soil.

Marigold’s extensive root system helps aerate the soil
Image: Backyard Garden Lover

Marigolds are great at helping aerate the soil thanks to their extensive root system that tunnels deeply, breaking up dirt as it grows.

Apart from that, it also helps contribute to the cycling of soil nutrients when its leaves decompose and bring back organic material into the soil.

To boot, marigolds aren’t picky and will grow in virtually any kind of soil type and condition. Hence, there’s no need to think twice about planting ‘em in your vegetable bed.

3. Marigolds are beneficial companion plants.

Marigolds are beneficial companion plants
Image: Gardener’s Path

Looking for a buddy for your plant? Aside from great companionship, marigolds offer a ton of other benefits that can help improve the overall health of your crops. 

Here are some good companion plants that grow well alongside marigolds:

Companion PlantBenefits
TomatoNematode, whitefly, and aphid repellent
PepperNematode repellent
CucumberBeetle repellent
BeansAphid and beetle repellent
SquashSquash bug and aphid repellent
PumpkinSquash bug and aphid repellent
CabbageCabbage worm repellent
NasturtiumCucumber beetle, whitefly, aphid repellent

4. Marigolds attract helpful pollinators.

Marigolds attract helpful pollinators
Image: Newcastle University

Marigolds, especially the yellow and orange varieties, are known to attract all kinds of pollinators, from butterflies to bees, because of its sweet nectar which is a food source for them. 

By growing marigolds, you’re creating a more inviting and supportive environment for pollinators, ultimately boosting your biodiversity. 

This is great if you have a ton of vegetable and fruit-producing crops as you’ll need all of the pollinators you can get for optimal seed and fruit production.

5. Marigolds draw in predatory insects.

Marigolds draw in predatory insects
Image: Rural Sprout

Aside from their good looks, marigolds have a hidden talent – they can attract several kinds of predatory insects that can protect your farm from various pests. 

By planting enough marigolds, you can support an army of predatory insects that can cover 

Here’s a list of a few critters marigolds are known to attract:

Attracted Predatory InsectPrey
LacewingsMealy bugs

5. Marigolds act as effective trap crops.

Marigolds act as effective trap crops
Image: Grow Gardener Blog

In the agricultural world, trap crops are essential to give stubborn pests plants to munch on to protect valuable fruit and vegetable-bearing crops. 

Because marigolds have an attractive smell, they’re more appealing to pests. As a result, they serve as a protective barrier while you employ pest control measures.

6. Marigolds have a long blooming period.

Marigolds have a long blooming period
Image: The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Did you know that an annual marigold’s blooming period lasts between 8 to 12 weeks? 

Meanwhile, a perennial marigold cultivar has an even longer blooming period, typically lasting all spring all the way to summer with some re-blooming later on.

So if you love keeping your garden lively with fresh blooms, then it’s worth checking out the best kind of marigold variety that best suits your living conditions. 

Having said that, ideal growing conditions such as temperature, soil quality, and light exposure, among others, are what influence the duration of your plant’s blooming period.

7. Marigold flowers are edible.

Marigold flowers are edible
Image: Wild Open Country

For gardeners with an interest in culinary, you’ll be glad to know that marigolds that aren’t treated with any harsh chemicals are safe to use in the kitchen.

A couple of creative ways they can be used as edible flowers are in:

  • Salads
  • Garnishes
  • Herbal teas
  • Desserts
  • Herbal butters
  • Jellies
  • Preserves
  • Vinegars
  • Oils
  • Alcoholic beverages

However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all marigold varieties are edible. Tagetes patula and Tagetes tenuifolia are the most popular edible cultivars.

8. Marigolds have natural oils that can be used for soaps, essential oils, and beauty products.

Marigolds have natural oils that can be used for soaps, essential oils, and beauty products
Image: Pretty Prudent

For creative gardeners, marigolds are also great to use in soap formulations, essential oils, along with infused beauty products such as salves, balms, creams, and lotions.

Marigold petals, especially from the Calendula officinalis (pot marigold) variety, are known to have anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, which can be beneficial for dry and irritated skin. 

Though, it’s important to practice conducting a patch test to see whether you have any allergies or sensitivities.

9. Marigolds possess medicinal properties

Marigolds possess medicinal properties
Image: Chinese Teas 101

Marigold is known to possess medicinal properties and health benefits such as treating inflammation, aid digestion, treat wounds, and even boost skin health, to name a few.

Hence, it’s popularly used in salves, oils, and teas, among other herbal remedies depending on the user’s preferred application method. 

While it’s not uncommon to find marigold-infused medicine, we highly recommend consulting your physician before self-treating any of your injuries or conditions. 

This way, they’ll be able to ensure that this won’t counteract any existing medication and prescribe the correct dosage.

10. Marigolds can be used in floral arrangements and displays.

Marigolds can be used in floral arrangements and displays
Image: Midwest Living

A house filled with beautiful flowers is surely a happy one! So what better way to make use of your marigold’s flowers than to curate floral arrangements to display around your home?

What’s great about marigolds is that they have several cultivars with unique characteristics, from bright reddish-orange French Marigolds (Tagetes patula) to cutesy little Dwarf Marigolds.

11. Marigolds can be crushed for natural coloring for food or dyes

Marigolds can be crushed for natural coloring for food or dyes
Image: My Tiny Laguna Kitchen

In case you didn’t know, marigolds can be used as a natural dye because they’re so pigmented. So if you’re looking for a chemical-free way to color fabrics and other textiles, then all you gotta do is collect marigold flowers from your garden!

It’s important to highlight that in order for the dye to adhere well to your material, you’ll need alum. Luckily, this is pretty easy to find at any local craft store or online.

In order to get the exact shade that you want, try to collect as many similarly colored blooms. Otherwise, your dye could turn out more orange or red than you’d like.

12: Marigolds have minimal water requirements.

Marigolds have minimal water requirements
Image: Petal Republic

If you forget to water your plants once, twice, or maybe even more each week, then the drought-resistant marigold is what you should be planting in your garden. 

The key to keeping them looking healthy and fresh despite having minimal watering requirements is to water deeply regularly, especially during the drier months. This way, moisture is retained deep into the soil that its roots can simply tap from. 

However, it’s notable to consider that marigolds in containers may not have as much accessible moisture compared to in-ground planted marigolds. 

13: Marigolds are easy to grow.

Marigolds are easy to grow
Image: Martha Stewart

Marigolds are a popular choice among beginner and seasoned gardeners because of how easy they are to grow. They’re capable of tolerating poor growing conditions such as drought and infertile soil.

Even with minimal care, you get lush greenery and long-blooming flowers that, whether they’re annual or perennial, last quite a while. 

Where to plant marigolds in the garden?

Where to plant marigolds in the garden
Image: Garden Design
  • Gardener’s hand (they’re wearing gardening gloves) handling marigold seedlings that they’re transplanting into the ground
  • Behind them is a bunch of other crops but this part’s slightly out of focus but still comprehensible

Since marigolds are easy to grow and are incredibly versatile plants, they can thrive virtually anywhere in your garden. But if you’re still stumped about where to put them, here are a couple ideas you can take inspiration from:

1. Plant marigolds along the borders and edges of garden beds.

Plant marigolds along the borders and edges of garden beds
Image: Fine Gardening 

In the right growing conditions, marigolds can become bushy and dense making them a fantastic idea to plant around the edges and borders of garden beds. 

Its dense foliage and bright-colored flowers add an aesthetic pop of color that’s perfect for framing your garden beds.

So if you’re looking for an easy way to raise the aesthetic appeal of your garden, you should definitely consider planting vibrant marigolds!

2. Grow marigolds beside companion plants.

Grow marigolds beside companion plants
Image: Kellogg Garden Products

Aside from the aesthetic appeal, marigolds are also great buddies to grow alongside watermelon and lettuce, among other crops, because they’re a natural deterrent for harmful insects.

On top of that, marigolds do a stellar job at aerating the soil thanks to their extensive root system. Thus, making it easier for nutrients, water, and oxygen to travel deeper into the soil all while reducing the chances of compaction and erosion.

Moreover, marigolds have allelopathic effects which simply means that they release compounds into the soil that prevent weeds from growing. Talk about hitting three benefits with one plant!

3. Grow marigolds in hanging baskets on patios or balconies.

Grow marigolds in hanging baskets on patios or balconies
Image: Balcony Garden Web

For gardeners with limited ground space or smaller gardens, growing marigolds in hanging baskets on patios or balconies is a genius space-saving solution.

Growing vertically gives a dramatic effect as you make use of overhead space that would have otherwise been empty (and boring!). 

Keep in mind that with hanging plants it’s a tad trickier to ensure proper drainage without having excess water splatter all over your patio or balcony floor. Nevertheless, a quick fix is simply positioning a large plant right underneath to catch the dripping water.

How to Plant Marigolds in the Garden

How to Plant Marigolds in the Garden
Image: MiracleGro
Things You Need• Marigold seedling
• Organic matter or compost
• Water
• High-quality soil

Now that we’ve convinced you to plant marigolds in your garden, we won’t leave you hanging without an easy-to-follow guide on how to do it! 

What To Do

1. Choose a location in your garden that receives a ton of sunlight.

2. Prepare the planting area by adding organic matter into your soil and tilling it until well-combined and aerated.

3. Create holes that are about 6 to 12 inches apart and 5 inches deep. Depending on the variety of marigold you’re growing, its spacing requirements may differ so be sure to read the seed packet.

4. After the last frost, plop your seedling into the hole and cover with high-quality soil.

5. Deeply water the soil and add a generous layer of mulch to keep the ground moist.

6. Once your marigolds begin to grow and flower, make sure to deadhead to encourage growth.

7. Fertilize your plant with a well-balanced fertilizer in moderation.

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