Marigolds: Planting Them In Vegetable Gardens

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Have you planted Marigolds (Tagetes) in your vegetable gardens? They not only have bright yellow, orange, and red colors, they attract beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, hoverflies, and parasitic mini-wasps.

Marigolds and tomatoes are good garden companions because they like similar growing conditions. French Marigolds repel whiteflies and kill bad nematodes. Those whiteflies drive me crazy in the summer, do you get them where you live?

Marigolds For Vegetable Gardens

Marigolds are perfect garden companions for basil, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, kale, potatoes, squash, and tomatoes. They enhance the growth of each one. My favorite ones are the short squatty ones because they do not get too tall and take over my garden.

Marigolds for Vegetable Gardens

This flower is native to Mexico and Central America. They are robust, free-branching, almost totally trouble-free plants, growing 6-inches to 6-feet tall. They have flowers from pale yellow to gold and also brownish maroon.

They are finely divided, ferny, almost spindly, and usually strong scented. Annuals will bloom from early summer to frost if you pick or clip off the old flowers. In the desert they bloom best from fall until frost.

They are easy to grow from seeds, although you can pick up some annuals from your local garden shops. The seeds will sprout in just a few days in warm soil, so be ready to watch for them. Don’t you love seeing the first seeds sprout? I sure do! You can also plant them indoors to transplant when the soil is warm enough. This is where I buy seeds: SeedsNow

Marigolds Seedlings

In general, most seeds planted after the last frost will begin to flower after about 45 days. Most varieties are self-seeding, meaning they will spread year after year. Have you noticed finding a few sprouts here and there? It’s because of self-seeding.

You can plant your Marigold seeds directly outdoors in the spring after the danger of frost has passed in your neighborhood. You can start your seeds indoors in potting soil about eight weeks before the last frost. The seeds will take about four to 15 days to germinate in the soil if the temperatures are between 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Moisten the soil you plan to put the seeds in whether it’s inside or outside. Sow the seeds about one inch apart and no deeper than one inch deep. After they sprout and are still small, thin the seedlings. Space them about 10-12 inches apart.

Marigolds require at least six hours each day of full sun once fully grown. Water by hand if the soil is dry around them. If you want to keep the flowers reproducing you need to deadhead them. This means exactly what it says, cut the dead head (dried up flowers) off.

Another awesome tip about these flowers is that they will attract bees. Yay! We need bees to pollinate our vegetable plants, and even our flowers.

Calendula Flowers

Some people think these are Marigolds, they are not. They are called Pot Marigolds and they are edible. But they are often confused with the genus of the Marigold. They are in the same family, but are not interchangeable. They are not botanically related. This flower is used to make medicine and salves for sore muscles and muscle spasms. It’s also used for fevers, pain, and treating poorly healing open wounds.

Your Planting Hardiness Zone

You can put your zip code in this website and see what time you should plant. USDA Hardiness Zone

Marigold Varieties:

American/African Marigold

Annual, all zones. Most have double flowers, they range from dwarf Guys and Dolls 12-14 inches tall, Galore, Lady, and Perfection 16-20 inches tall, Trinity Mix and Nugget 10-12 inches high, Sweet Cream has creamy white flowers on 16-inch stems. The climax will grow 2-1/2 to 3 feet tall.

Irish Lace

Annual, all zones. This one forms a mound of bright green, finely divided foliage to 6-inches high and wide. It’s great when used as a border or for edging foliage effect. You will see tiny white flowers which are very attractive.

Copper Canyon Daisy

Shrubbery perennial, Zones 8-10, 12-24. Height 3-6 feet tall and wide. The flowers are finely divided with leaves that are 2-4 inches long. They smell like a blend of marigolds, mint, and lemon. Tends to be short lived, moderate to regular water.

Mexican Marigold/Tarragon

Perennial in Zones 8-10, 12-24 often grown as an annual in all zones. They grow to 3 feet tall and wide. The green leaves have a scent of tarragon and licorice. The yellow flowers are unimpressive being only 1/2 inch wide. Moderate to regular water.

French Marigold

Annual, all zones. These grow from 6 inches to 1-1/2 feet tall. Blossoms may be fully double or single. Excellent for edging are these dwarf varities, like Janie (8 inches), Bonanza (10 inches), and Hero (10-12 inches). Most flowers are 2 inches wide.

Signet Marigold

Annual, all zones. This one is the least grown with 1-inch wide flowers, and single blooms. They typically grow about 10-12 inches tall.

Improve Garden Soil by Linda

Tiffany at Imperfectly Happy Gardening Tips

Final Word

I hope you will try planting Marigolds in your garden this year. Are you excited to get your hands on the earth as soon as it’s warm enough to work the soil? I just planted some seeds and I’m waiting for the first sprouts and then I will plant the seedlings when weather permits. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda

My Favorite Things:


Azomite Micronized Bag, 44 lb
FibreDust Coco Coir Block
Unco Industries Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Earthworm Castings Organic Fertilizer, 15-Pound
Miracle-Gro Nature’s Care Organic Bone Meal, 3 lb.
Espoma VM8 8-Quart Organic Vermiculite

Copyright Images: Depositphotos_8638857_m-2015 Marigolds Tagetes, Depositphotos_12648238_m-2015 Vegetable Garden, Depositphotos_211678182_m-2015Marigold Seedlings

4 thoughts on “Marigolds: Planting Them In Vegetable Gardens

  • January 25, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    Ok this explains why my great grandmother had them mixed in the garden. That tidbit didn’t get passed along.

    • January 25, 2019 at 3:51 pm

      Hi Matt, that’s funny! Your grandmother was probably teaching you other things that she thought you could use!! Gotta love our grandmothers! Linda

  • March 3, 2020 at 9:31 am

    Marigolds are so useful in gardens. They are especially wonderful in keeping the Tomato Hornworms out of your tomaoes. I have grown them for years after I lost my entire crop due to them. Also, grow basil and onions which also help deter bugs and all flavor.

    • March 3, 2020 at 9:45 am

      Hi Cheryl, I love hearing this!! Thanks for the tip on the basil and onions that deter the bugs!!! Linda


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