How To Use Marigolds For Pest Control And Keep Bugs Away


Marigolds are well-known as pretty garden additions that repel and kill garden pests.

Above ground, insects such as mosquitoes, thrips, squash bugs, white flies, aphids, tomato hornworms, and cabbage worms are repelled by their strong scent.

Marigold Pest ControlPin

Underground, their roots’ scent and chemical makeup repel and kill root-knot nematodes.

This article provides smart tips to help you use easy-to-grow Marigolds for pest control and to keep bugs away. Read on to learn more.

What Is It About Marigolds That Repels And Kills Pests? 

The scent of Marigolds repels above-ground insect pests.

The scent and the taste are unattractive to mammals, such as:

  • Rabbits
  • Chipmunks
  • Squirrels
  • Deer

Below ground, the plant’s roots produce chemicals that are deadly to nematodes of all sorts, including root-knot nematodes. 

Although all Marigolds are repellent to these undesirable garden residents to some extent, the most pungent and effective seems to be French Marigolds.

These small, bushy plants come in various colors and bloom configurations and are easy to include in your veggie garden, flower garden, landscaping, or planter boxes. 

How Many Marigolds Should You Plant For Pest Protection?

Marigolds are cheap and easy to grow from seed or seedlings, so don’t skimp! Instead, make a solid border around each grouping of plants in your veggie or flower garden.

Surround the base of shrubs—plant individual marigold plants between tomato, potato, and eggplant. Make rows of Marigolds between rows of veggies. 

The more Marigolds you plant, the more protection your other plants will have from insect pests and nematodes.

The one caveat is that you should not crowd your Marigold plants. They do need room to grow and spread, and if they are too close together, they tend to develop fungal infections on the leaves and stems. 

Get Just The Right Marigolds For Your Garden

Choose the size and type of Marigold that will look best and fit best with the plants you wish to protect.

Provide space between plants equal to the predicted ultimate height of the Marigold plants. 

Because of the space requirements, you will probably want to stick with small, compact French Marigolds for your veggie garden.

Still, you can do many creative things with Marigolds in the rest of your garden and landscape for a pest-free garden with a beautiful appearance. 

What Kinds Of Plants Can Be Protected By Marigolds?

Using Marigolds as companion plants for members of the nightshade family, such as eggplant, tomato, and potato plants is an excellent idea because these plants tend to attract the tiny, soil-dwelling worms known as root-knot nematodes.

These creatures can wreak a great deal of havoc on your nightshades. 

When you surround these veggie garden plants with Marigolds, they will be protected against these destructive pests throughout the growing season.

Till the Marigolds into the soil in the autumn to increase and extend their nematode repellent properties. 

You can also use Marigolds as companion plants for any other veggie or flower garden plants, bushes, and shrubs.

Their repellent qualities will protect the soil in any garden or landscape planting while keeping insect pests off everything from strawberries to rose bushes. 

Plant Marigolds on their own or in combination with other plants in containers around your patio or porch to help keep mosquitoes away in the evening.

Other good mosquito-repelling plants include herbs, such as basil, rosemary, and lavender.

Remember that Marigolds are also edible, so you can create patio or porch container plantings that are both attractive and useful. 

Marigolds bring protection and visual appeal to any garden setting, and they look pretty while they’re doing it.

With more than 50 species of Marigolds to choose from, you can surely find a variety that looks just right and fits beautifully in your garden setting. 




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