Does Marigolds Keep Bugs Away : Do They Keep Bugs Away?

Gardeners often talk about using does marigolds keep bugs away. They believe marigolds can keep away not only bugs, but also animals like rabbits and deer. It’s said that marigolds can do this like magic, which is great news for those dealing with pesky pests. This belief is common when people are planning their gardens for the next year. But even though marigolds are beautiful, some wonder if they really work against pests or if it’s just a garden story.

Key Takeaways

  • Does marigolds keep bugs away are known for their ability to repel a wide range of garden pests.
  • Their strong aroma is responsible for deterring insects and bugs.
  • French marigolds and African marigolds are effective in repelling pests like aphids, whiteflies, and mosquitoes.
  • Planting marigolds densely around garden perimeters or between crops maximizes their pest-repellent effect.
  • Marigolds can be used as companion plants with various vegetables and fruit trees.

The History and Varieties of Marigolds

Marigolds are part of the Asteraceae family and the Tagetes genus. They spread from the United States to Argentina. But, they thrive most in south-central Mexico. Marigolds have been loved and grown in Mexico for over 2,000 years. Their history is as bright as their different types.

The Origin of Marigolds

The story of marigolds goes back to ancient Mexico. There, people grew these plants a lot. They loved them for their bright colors and meaning in culture and religion. Marigolds spread from the United States to Argentina over time. They have made gardens and ceremonies more beautiful.

Different Types of Marigolds

There are about 50 kinds of marigolds. But, three types are the most well-known. These are African marigolds, French marigolds, and Signet marigolds.

  1. African Marigolds: Tagetes erecta are African marigolds. They are known for their height, which can be 1-4 feet. Their big flowerheads are 2-4 inches wide. You can find them in golden yellow, bright orange, and white.
  2. French Marigolds: Tagetes patula are French marigolds. They are smaller, reaching 6-12 inches tall. Their flowers can be single, semi-double, double, or crested. They come in various colors like yellow, orange, red, and bicolored.
  3. Signet Marigolds: Tagetes tenuifolia are Signet marigolds. They are small plants with tiny flowers and fine leaves. These flowers are in hues of yellow, orange, golden, and two-toned.

The numerous varieties of marigolds bring beauty and benefits to gardens. They are a valuable part of gardens around the world.

For more on the “magic” of marigolds, check out the article about their unique powers.

How Does Marigolds Keep Bugs Away By Deter Pests Naturally

deter pests naturally

Marigolds are a great way to keep pests away without chemicals. Their smell and compounds do the job. This makes many gardeners choose marigolds for a safe and green garden.

The Role of Marigold’s Scent

The scent of marigolds, especially French ones, protect your garden. This smell works well against aphids, whiteflies, mosquitoes, and nematodes. It confuses and drives these bugs away, acting as a natural repellent. Learn more about it here.

Marigold Chemical Compounds

Marigold’s smell is not their only brush with pest control. Chemicals inside, like thiophene, keep bugs away. They stop pests from laying eggs too. Some marigolds can even release poisons from their roots to fight off nematodes further.

Pest TypesMarigold Impact
AphidsRepelled by marigold scent
WhitefliesRepelled by marigold scent
MosquitoesRepelled by marigold scent
Root-Knot NematodesCombated by toxic chemicals from marigold roots
ThripsAttracted as trap plants by marigolds
SlugsMarigolds act as trap plants

Does Marigolds Keep Bugs Away?

People love talking about how marigolds keep bugs away in gardens. These pretty flowers are top choices for keeping pests out. They smell strong because of a chemical called thiophene. This smell is what pushes bugs away.

Out of all marigolds, French ones have the strongest scent and work best. They keep away bugs like aphids, mosquitoes, and nematodes. This means they are great for anyone wanting to protect their plants.

Marigolds even release chemicals from their roots that fight a certain pest underground. This helps plants next to them grow better. With vegetables like beans and tomatoes, marigolds are great friends.

For the best bug control, plant marigolds thickly around your garden or in between other plants. This uses their natural power to make a bug-blocking wall. They also attract some pests, keeping them off important crops.

But, marigolds won’t keep all bugs away. Slugs actually like marigolds, so they’re not good for keeping slugs off. Still, marigolds do a good job at reducing many insects. This helps your garden stay healthy.

Scientific Research on Marigolds as Pest Deterrents Does Marigolds keep Bugs Away

marigolds' effectiveness in gardens

Many studies look into how effective marigolds are in gardens. The USDA has found that 15 pests often bother marigolds. Among these are aphids, Japanese beetles, and spider mites. While marigolds can face many threats, they also seem to keep some pests away.

Studies Supporting Marigold’s Effectiveness

Scientific studies confirm marigolds’ role in fighting off pests. Marigold roots release a substance that stops nematodes from hatching their eggs. This is great news in the battle against these pests. The University of Vermont’s study also revealed that marigolds draw pests away from other plants. This helps protect those ornamentals.

It’s also been found that planting marigolds before vegetables can help. Especially effective against root-knot nematodes are some marigold types, like the “Single Gold” Tagetes patula. Plus, these flowers attract good bugs like hover flies and ladybugs. These insects help keep pest problems in check.

Contradictory Findings

But, not all evidence supports marigold’s pest-repelling abilities. Rutgers University, for one, found marigolds were not great at keeping pests off cabbage and other crops. So, while they do well against some pests, they might not work the same for all plants. The power of pest deterrents like marigolds varies depending on the situation.

Other studies have shown that while not all pests are deterred, some beneficial insects are attracted. This support natural pest control in gardens. This means there’s a mix of success and limitations when using marigolds against pests.

Research FindingsSupporting EvidenceContradictory Evidence
Marigolds control nematode populationsAlpha-terthienyl inhibits nematode eggsNot universal against all pests
Attract beneficial insectsHover flies, ladybugs help in pest controlVaries in effectiveness across pest types
Trap plants for certain pestsEffective for thripsIneffective for cabbage, carrot, onion pests

Using Marigolds in Companion Planting 

companion planting with marigolds

Gardeners love using marigolds for their gardens. These bright flowers help control pests and bring in good bugs. There are about 50 types of marigolds, but the best for gardens are African, French, and Signet Marigolds. They are great near beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other vegetables.

Marigolds do a lot in the garden. Their roots put out a chemical that stops bad bugs from hatching. They also attract good bugs like hoverflies and ladybugs. Plus, they help control nematodes, which are tiny worm-like pests that hurt plants. These good bugs and actions help plants grow strong.

To get the most benefit, plant marigolds two months before the vegetables. This helps their pest-fighting powers kick in. Not all bugs are scared off, but marigolds can catch some, like thrips. Some marigold types are better at this job than others. For example, the “Single Gold” French marigold type is very good at keeping nematodes away.

Using marigolds in the garden takes planning and work. In Queensland, some gardeners use French marigolds to keep grasshoppers away. But how well they work can change in different places. More and more people are interested in using natural ways to manage pests. This shows how valuable growing marigolds can be for the garden.

Benefits of Planting Marigolds in Your Garden

Planting marigolds in your garden is great for more than just keeping pests away. They attract good bugs and make your garden look better. So, they’re both useful and pretty.

Attracting Beneficial Insects

Marigolds are great at pulling in helpful insects. Important bugs like hoverflies, ladybugs, and parasitic wasps are drawn to them. These insects help with pollination and eat garden pests. Scientists have found that marigolds can even protect other plants by drawing pests away. They can also fight off nematodes, which are tiny worms, by stopping their eggs from hatching. This means less need for harmful bug sprays in your garden.

Enhancing Garden Aesthetics

Marigolds make your garden look colorful and lively. Their bright flowers bring beauty and a touch of nature to any space. You can plant them near plants that bugs like to eat. This way, you improve your garden’s looks and help keep pests away.

There are many kinds of marigolds, like African, French, and Signet marigolds. Each type has its own look and use, fitting different garden styles. Marigolds do more than beautify your garden; they also make it healthier and safer for other plants.

Marigold TypeKey BenefitsComment
African MarigoldLarge flowers, aesthetic appealGood for visual impact in garden aesthetics
French MarigoldStrong scent, nematode-repellingHighly effective for pest control
Signet MarigoldMilder scent, deters above-ground pestsEffective for a more subtle pest control

Choosing the Right Marigold Variety for Pest Control

When looking for a marigold type to control pests, understand the differences in French, African, and Signet marigolds is key. This part explains what makes each kind unique. It helps you pick the best one for your needs.

French Marigolds

French Marigolds (Tagetes patula) have a strong smell that pests hate. This smell comes from a special compound called thiophene. Because of this, French Marigolds keep away bugs like aphids, whiteflies, and even certain worms.

They’re especially good at stopping a worm called a root-knot nematode. These marigolds release something from their roots that stops these worms from hatching. For anyone wanting a powerful pest control option, French Marigolds are a top choice.

African Marigolds

African Marigolds (Tagetes erecta) have big, colorful flowers that catch your eye. They do have thiophene, like French Marigolds, but they’re not as strong against pests. Even so, they do make a garden look nice and help with some pest control.

Planting African Marigolds together with other types can be a good plan. They add beauty to your garden while offering some help in keeping pests away.

Signet Marigolds

Signet Marigolds (Tagetes tenuifolia) smell like citrus and keep pests off your plants. They’re not the best at stopping root pests like French Marigolds are. However, they’re great for stopping pests like aphids and whiteflies that are above the ground.

Adding Signet Marigolds to a garden doesn’t just help with pests. It also makes your garden smell good and look beautiful.

In the end, the best marigold for you depends on what pests you have in your garden. French Marigolds are very strong for pest control. African Marigolds are good looking and offer moderate pest protection. And Signet Marigolds help keep off above-ground pests. Think about what your garden needs most to choose the right marigold. This will help you manage pests well.

Best Practices for Growing Marigolds

Marigolds need special planting and care to grow well and keep pests away. Follow some key steps to make your marigolds happy and healthy.

Planting Tips

The way you plant your marigolds is key. Let’s look at some tips to start you off right:

  1. Pick a sunny spot since marigolds love lots of sun – at least six hours each day.
  2. Use soil that drains well to keep the roots healthy. Mixing in compost helps too.
  3. Wait until after the last frost to plant, so they don’t get hurt by the cold.
  4. Give them enough room: French marigolds like 6 to 9 inches apart, but Africans need more space, 12 to 18 inches.

Maintenance and Care

To keep your marigolds looking good and warding off pests, there are a few things to do:

  • Water deeply but not too often. Let the soil dry a bit between waterings to prevent overwatering.
  • Cut off the old flowers to make room for new ones. This keeps them blooming all season.
  • Look out for bugs like aphids and spider mites. Treat them with neem oil or a vinegar spray.
  • Keep the garden tidy by pulling weeds and adding mulch. This helps the soil and stops the weeds.

Studies by the University of Hawaii at Manoa show marigolds help tomatoes grow better. They stop harmful worms if you move them around your garden each year.

Plant marigolds close together around your garden or among your veggies. They’re great at keeping bugs away if you take care of them and plant them right.


Does Marigolds Keep Bugs Away! Marigolds are more than beautiful flowers in your garden. They aid in pest control too. They might not ward off all bugs, but they do help against nematodes. Marigolds pull in good bugs like hover flies and ladybugs, who eat the bad ones.

French marigolds are particularly great at keeping nematodes away. “Single Gold” from Tagetes patula stops root-knot nematodes well. Big African marigolds and the smaller Signet ones also look nice and help your garden.

Adding marigolds to your garden is smart for fighting off pests. They do this by repelling bad bugs and bringing in the good ones. While we need more studies to be sure, what we know shows that marigolds are a good addition. So, using marigolds is a win for both looks and keeping your garden healthy.


What types of pests does marigolds keep bugs away?

Does marigolds keep bugs away! marigolds smell strong and have chemicals that scare off insects. This includes creatures like aphids, whiteflies, and even mosquitoes. They’re thought to keep away bigger pests too, like snails, rabbits, and deer.

What are the main varieties of marigolds used for pest control?

The top three kinds for pest control are African, French, and Signet marigolds. Each type is unique in how it keeps pests away.

How do marigolds naturally repel pests?

Marigolds keep pests away with their powerful smell and special chemicals. One of these chemicals, alpha-terthienyl, stops nematodes from hatching and growing.

Are marigolds effective in keeping bugs away?

There’s some real-life stories saying marigolds work against bugs. But scientific studies give mixed answers. How well they work depends on the type of pest and the environment.

What does scientific research say about the effectiveness of marigolds as pest deterrents?

Scientific studies on marigolds’ pest-stopping powers have different findings. Some say they work great against nematodes and help good bugs. Others suggest they might not keep all pests away from all plants.

How can marigolds be used in companion planting?

Plant marigolds near beans, tomatoes, and others to fight pests and bring in good bugs. This fits into a bigger plan to manage pests without harmful chemicals.

What are the other benefits of planting marigolds in your garden?

Marigolds do more than chase bugs. They draw good bugs for pollination and more pest control. Plus, their bright flowers make your garden look better.

How do French marigolds compare to other varieties for pest control?

French marigolds really stand out for their smell and keeping nematodes off. They’re often seen as better for pest control than other types.

What are the best practices for growing marigolds?

For healthy marigolds, plant them where they get lots of sun and the soil drains well. Water them regularly and make sure they’re not too crowded. Removing dead flowers helps them grow better.
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