Marigolds (Tagetes erecta) include both the small French and the big African marigolds. These common flowers originated with a wildflower from Mexico developed in the Mediterranean region just after the Conquest. Ever since, the marigold has been grown in food gardens as a natural insect repellent. That’s because marigolds repel pests for more efficient organic gardening!
This annual flower species bears a strong, pungent scent that will drive bugs away from other plants close by in the garden. Underground, marigold roots repel microscopic worms called nematodes which attack food plants. Plant your marigolds all around the organic kitchen garden to drive away undesirable pests without hurting important beneficial predators such as praying mantids and ladybugs.
Marigolds are annuals, and for all annual plantings we recommend organic fertilizer formulated for flowers. A seasonal application will keep them happy and blooming throughout the growing season!
About Maureen Gilmer
Maureen Gilmer is celebrating her 40th year in California horticulture and photojournalism as the most widely published professional in the state. She is the author of 21 books on gardening, design and the environment, is a widely published photographer, and syndicated with Tribune Content Agency. She is the weekly horticultural columnist for the Desert Sun newspaper in Palm Springs and contributes to Desert Magazine, specializing on arid zone plants and practices for a changing climate. She works and lives in the remote high desert for firsthand observations of native species. Her latest book is The Colorful Dry Garden published by Sasquatch Books. When not writing or photographing she is out exploring the desert on her Arabian horse. She lives in Morongo Valley with her husband Jim and two rescue pit bulls. When not writing or photographing she is usually out riding her quarter horse.
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