The Gardeners Kitchen: Much Ado About Marigolds

Marigolds Stole My Heart

I have a secret, one that I must now share. Really, it is nothing to be ashamed of, just a bit embarrassing., I have a serious thing for marigolds, not so serious that my wife has to worry but serious enough that I think every garden needs them.


The Portuguese first discovered marigolds during the 16th century in Central America. They are responsible for introducing them into both Europe and India where they are widely cultivated.


Delhi, India is one of India’s major flower trade centers and marigolds arrive there from all over India.


The Marigold, or as it is formally known (Tagetes spp.), is a very well known bedding plant. When you go to a local nursery at the beginning of the season, you can see their maroon and orange blossoms sitting seductively in their pots, waiting for you to take them home..


If you are looking for an attractive cover crop look no further than the marigold which produces a substance called alpha-terthienyl. Alpha-terthienyl will help with the reduction of root-knot nematodes and other disease promoting organisms, such as fungi, bacteria, insects, and some viruses.


This help is not likely to arrive in year one so eb prepared to add them to your garden each year, they are an annual and use lots they are inexpensive and gave back more than you pay out.


African (T. erecta ) and French marigolds (T. patula ) are the most commonly used marigold. species.


In general, insects do not seem to appreciate marigolds, possibly because the marigold has a very distinctive odour which only highly refined sense can appreciate. This fragrance is another good reason to include the marigold in your garden; it makes a great companion plant.



Now slugs simply adore marigolds and they like nothing better than to snack on the leaves which can work to your favour if you maintain a regular slug patrol you can pick them off, wear gloves and squash them underfoot, do not wear your best shoes.


Insects largely avoid Marigolds. Insects do not like its pungent odor. This is why Marigolds make good companion plants


Early morning after a damp night is the best time you go out into your garden on slug patrol.


Another good reason for growing marigolds is that they are edible well the varieties such as 'Lemon Gem' and 'Tangerine Gem' are tasty, other varieties not so much, they won’t kill you but you won’t enjoy the snack.

Remember it is only the petals (ray flowers) that are edible, not the center or disc flowers which can be used as a garnish.

The gems have a lemony scent and a citrus flavour with a hint of tarragon.

When you make your next trip to the plant centre pick up a flat of marigolds, take them home and give them a chance to win your heart.

Growing Marigolds

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Comments 15 comments

Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 7 years ago from West Virginia

You have given me a new appreciation of Marigolds. I am not too fond of them but my husband is and I have to include them with the other garden plants I have druing the summer. Here I only thought they fended off insects, but they are much more. Thanks for the article!


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

You are welcome, the marigold does not brag but offers much.


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 7 years ago from USA

Long live the Harlequinn French marigold!! the ad pic of one on your hub is gorgeous. We've grown many here at our storage site...a very low cost and pretty flower.

good information, I enjoyed this!


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Thanks, I had fun writing it.


RKHenry profile image

RKHenry 7 years ago from Your neighborhood museum

Do they attract butterflies or dragonflies?


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

not really, to attract those use plants tha are native to where you live.


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 7 years ago from MA, USA

A good tip - they give back more than you pay out . But slug patrol? I promise not to wear my best shoes!


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

unless you are looking for an excuse to buy a new pair, :-) thanks for dropping by.


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 7 years ago from MA, USA

Ahhhhh, Easter is in 4 days. Thanks Bob, I'm going to buy a new pair!


RKHenry profile image

RKHenry 7 years ago from Your neighborhood museum

Thanks Bob.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Glad I could help.


abinavis profile image

abinavis 7 years ago from Bat Island

Really appreciate for revealing your secret. Thanks Bob.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

You are welcome, thanks for dropping by.


Jerilee Wei profile image

Jerilee Wei 7 years ago from United States

Great overview of the marigold, one of my favorites too!


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Thanks for dropping by.

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