After the spells of cold freezes we have experienced in the Houston area over the past month, the bright blooms of marigolds provide a cheerful promise of spring.
However, marigolds are more than just a bright spot of color in spring gardens, they also provide a number of benefits, both in your home and garden.
Marigolds as Pest Control
Conventional wisdom says that marigolds are an insect repellent when planted among vegetables. There is debate about whether this conventional wisdom actually holds true. (( Robyn Howe, Mary Beth Musgrove. Dispelling Marigold Myths. Alabama Cooperative Exension System. Alabama A & M. Accessed 11-3-2015. http://www.aces.edu/dept/extcomm/specialty/marigolds.html )) However, what has been proven to be true is that marigolds planted in garden beds, particularly as cover crops, will prevent certain types of nematodes that attack vegetables, particularly those that tomato plants are susceptible to. (( Dan Gill. The Truth About Marigolds. The Times-Picayune. 3-5-2008. Accessed 11-3-2015. http://blog.nola.com/dangill/2008/05/the_truth_about_marigolds.html ))
Various gardeners have found from personal experience that marigolds serve as other types of pest control such as aphids (( Deborah Miuccio. Marigolds Keep Aphids Away. Gardeners.com. 24-4-2012. 11-3-2015. http://blog.gardeners.com/2012/04/marigolds-keep-aphids-away/ )) and mosquitoes. (( Dr. Mercola. What Attracts Mosquitoes and How to Repel Them. Mercola.com. 23-8-2014. Accessed 11-3-2015. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/08/23/mosquito-repellent.aspx )) (( Anja Sonnenberg. Six Plants That Repel Mosquitoes. CanadianGardening.com. 11-3-2015. http://www.canadiangardening.com/how-to/pests-and-diseases/six-plants-that-repel-mosquitoes/a/42758 ))
Homeopathic Uses for Marigolds
Pot marigolds, also known as calendula have been used for centuries in homeopathic remedies such as to treat conjunctivitis and other eye inflammations. It has been used as an antiseptic as an aid to heal wounds and treat ulcers. Topical use in a cream have been used for acne, rashes, and infusions for digestion. (( Marigold/Calendula (Calendula Officinalis. HerbWisdom.com. Accessed 11-3-2015. http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-marigold.html ))
Marigolds in Cooking
Signet marigolds, also known as Tagetes signata are edible with a spicy flavor. They are often found as part of a herbal salad or as an edible garnish. The marigold known as Tagetes lucida has been used as a substitute for French tarragon. (( Gloria Cole. Marigold: Flower of the Aztecs. DavesGarden.com. 1-6-2013. Accessed 11-3-2015. http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1015/#b ))
Stop by the Kingwood Garden Center to pick up several of these beautiful and versatile flowers for your yard.