Marigolds are beautiful, strong smelling herbaceous flowers that are widely grown throughout the world. They are very easy to take care of and rarely have problems with pests. They have only a few natural enemies; of these, the most common are frost, slugs, and snails.
Fragrant Blooms All Season Long
Marigolds will stay in bloom all the way until autumn, right up to the first frost. They will bloom more profusely if you remove the dead flowers from the plant. You can grow big marigolds, small marigolds, marigolds of many colors, even edible marigolds. The varieties of marigolds are endless, and almost all of them have a strong and glorious fragrance (though they have even developed a cultivar without much of a smell).
A Wealth of Options
There are two types of marigolds that are well known and widely cultivated. These are French marigolds and African marigolds.
African marigolds are the larger of the two. African marigolds, Tagetes erecta, typically have large yellow to orange flowers that can measure as large as 5 inches across, with plant height varying an average of 10 to 36 inches tall. African marigolds are sometimes referred to as American marigolds. (There’s no shortage of names for these flowers).
French marigolds are bushier and display smaller blooms. Typically, French marigolds will grow up to 2 inches across and come in a wider variety of colors: yellow, reds, orange, or multi-colored such as the harlequin French marigold with its yellow and red striped flowers.
You could buy flowers from a store to transplant, but this is not the best way to go. Store bought flowers have neonicitoids applied to them at levels high enough to prove fatal to bees. You’re better off growing your own.
A One-Time Seed Purchase
Once you have decided on what variety of marigold you want to grow, you’ll only need to purchase seed once. Marigold seeds are easy to save. After you cut the dead blooms off of your flowers a few times, you’ll have all the seed you’ll ever need. (See video.)
Marigolds are easy to grow; so easy in fact, that anyone can do it. You don’t need great soil, just your run of the mill dirt, which is easy to come by. And you don’t need to feed them or fuss over them. All they need is soft ground, direct sunshine, and some water.
Marigolds Naturally Repel Mosquitoes
By growing these flowers in your yard, you can be assured that mosquitoes will leave you alone and you’ll be helping out your local bees, too. They need all the help they can get. Sadly, it’s not easy being a bee these days. Bees are relatively fragile when it comes to pesticide exposure. If you’re helping out bees, you should feel good about it. They play a crucial role in the ecosystem. They are so important that biologists often refer to them as a keystone species. So by helping them out, you can feel like you’re doing the planet a favor.
Other Mosquito Repelling Options
Marigolds are probably the easiest to grow, but if you want to cultivate a variety of plants that repel mosquitoes, consider some of the following:
- Bee balm
- Beauty Berry
- Cadaga tree
- Citronella Grass
- Geranium (repels ticks)
- Lavender (also repels ticks, moths, mice, black flies and fleas)
- Lemon Balm
- Lemon Grass (repels ticks)
- Lemon Thyme
- Lemon Verbena
- Nodding Onion
- Penny Royal
- Pineapple weed
- Pitcher Plant
- Pyrethrum daisies
- Stone root
- Sweet Fern
- Tea Tree
- Vanilla Leaf
- Vetiver Grass
- Wild Bergamot
Even if you struggle to grow plants and have had limited prior success, you can grow marigolds, no matter how many plants have perished under your care. Please let us know how your marigold cultivation turns out!
About the author:
Joel learned long ago that pharmaceuticals were not the answer to health and vitality. He gave up on pharmaceuticals many years ago, and he also gave up wheat and refined sugars. His hobbies include gluten free baking, gardening, and fitness. Joel is passionate about agriculture and environmental issues. Joel believes that progressive, cutting-edge, organic agriculture can feed the world.