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Marigolds in the Butterfly Garden

Marigolds have several useful qualities in a butterfly garden beyond their attractiveness and nectar-rich flowers.

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) nectaring on Marigolds.

Here are some additional benefits of incorporating marigolds:

Pest Repellent

Marigolds emit a distinct scent that repels many common garden pests, including aphids, nematodes, whiteflies, and mosquitoes. By planting marigolds in and around your butterfly garden, you can help deter these unwanted insects and protect your plants.

Marigolds help repel mosquitoes.

Companion Planting

Marigolds are often used as companion plants to deter pests and attract beneficial insects. Their strong fragrance can help repel pests from neighboring plants, making them an effective companion for vegetables, herbs, and other garden plants.

Marigolds grow to medium or medium-low height.

Deer Deterrent

Marigolds have a strong scent that deer find unappealing. Planting marigolds around the perimeter of your butterfly garden can help deter deer from entering and potentially damaging your plants. Marigolds are not, however, a rabbit deterrent.

Unlike deer, rabbits love marigold.

Easy to grow

Marigolds are relatively easy to grow and care for. They tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, require minimal maintenance, and are generally pest and disease resistant. This makes them a great choice for gardeners of all skill levels.

Long-lasting blooms

Marigolds produce an abundance of colorful flowers that last throughout the growing season. Their vibrant blooms not only attract butterflies but also add visual appeal to your garden.

Marigold are prolific nectar generators.

Seed production

Marigolds produce numerous seeds, making them an excellent source for saving seeds and propagating new plants in subsequent seasons. You can collect the dried flower heads and save the seeds for future use or to share with other gardeners.

Marigold “dead heads” are packed with seeds.

It’s worth noting that while marigolds are generally beneficial in a butterfly garden, some butterfly species may not be attracted to their specific nectar. It’s always a good idea to provide a diverse range of flowering plants to accommodate the preferences of different butterfly species and ensure a more comprehensive food source.

The more we learn, the more help we are to butterflies. Together, we can increase butterfly populations in North America and in our yards… one day at a time!

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