Written by Isabel Realyvasquez, Grant Writing & Development Intern
With layers of fiery-red petals delicately adorned in gold-trimming, the marigold certainly dazzles us as the Plant of the Season! But their good looks aren’t the only reason you’ll want these radiant annuals in your garden.
One of the reasons we at EGC love marigolds so much is due to the fact that they act as a natural pesticide, detracting harmful insects from munching on the vegetables in our gardens. The roots of the French marigolds are known to release a natural compound that repels harmful nematodes that eat at the roots of garden vegetables (Marigolds). This defense mechanism is also why they are such great companion plants for tomatoes, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, radishes, squash, cucumbers, and eggplants. Marigolds help us grow organically and encourage us to find solutions within nature to treat natural problems
While insect-repelling, marigolds can also attract good insects to your garden like ladybugs, parasitic wasps, and hover flies, which keep harmful pests away (Dyer 2021). Pollinators also find marigolds irresistible! Birds, beetles, butterflies, and bees, especially, will thank you for these pollen-rich blooms in your garden (Porterfield 2022).
Marigolds truly take the cake as the Plants of the Season for another delightful reason: they’re edible! Enliven your favorite spring and summer recipes using marigold petals as a garnish or floral accent for foods. Try adding marigold to iced tea, summer rolls or tortellini, or make it the center of attention with marigold bread!
As you’re planting your garden this spring and summer, make sure to sow a couple marigold seeds. Find a sunny place in your garden for these beauties to bathe in a little more of the limelight!
Dyer, M. H. (2021, December 21). Marigold Uses and Benefits – Different Ways to Use Marigold Plants. Gardening Know How. Retrieved May 11, 2022, from https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/marigold/marigold-flower-uses.htm
Marigolds. Almanac. (n.d.). Retrieved May 11, 2022, from https://www.almanac.com/plant/marigolds
Porterfield, A. ( 2022, May 5). A New, Colorful Way to Attract Pollinators to Crops. Entomology Today. Retrieved May 12, 2022, from https://entomologytoday.org/2022/05/05/specialty-cut-flowers-attract-pollinators-crops/