Marigolds are a popular choice for gardeners. They are beautiful and relatively easy to grow and maintain. But do these flowers also eliminate the pesky aphids that lurk in your garden?
Yes, marigolds do deter aphids from the area where marigolds are planted but there is a risk that the aphids will simply move to a different part of your garden instead. Better plants for deterring aphids are catnip and garlic.
Do Aphids Like Marigolds?
Aphids do not like marigolds and will avoid them.
This is a benefit not only to the marigolds but to your whole garden as they will often leave the flowers surrounding the marigolds alone.
That being said, whilst gardeners have spoken about the great benefits of having marigolds to deter aphids, it has been suggested that there is no scientific proof that aphids dislike marigolds. But the results in the gardens speak for themselves.
Yes, the strong smell from marigolds can work to deter a range of pests, including carrot fly, thrips, weevils and midges. This is why marigolds are often interplanted with carrots to protect them.
Why Do Marigolds Deter Aphids?
So, if it is true that aphids dislike marigolds and are driven away by them, then there has to be some reason for that.
The reason is plain and simple, the smell. Marigolds have a particularly strong and distinct smell, especially to insects, that aphids dislike.
However, there are some aspects of marigolds that can be appealing to aphids which include their colour. Yellow is an aphid’s favourite colour so, despite the smell, they may still visit the plant. Try to avoid growing bright yellow marigold varieties if you can.
Also, ensure that you are growing scented marigolds as some strains of marigold have been bred to lack their odour.
Although marigolds generally deter aphids, this is only if the marigolds are strongly scented. Some hybrid marigolds will lack a strong scent and, therefore, will not deter aphids and may attract them instead.
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What Other Plants Deter Aphids?
If marigolds can deter aphids, then surely, they aren’t the only plants that can do that. You would be correct in that line of thinking.
Over the years, gardeners have found new plants and herbs that have reduced the aphid population in their garden to a manageable level.
Here are some plants that work better than marigolds for deterring aphids from your garden:
Like marigolds, this plant keeps aphids away because of its strong smell. It will also deter other pests such as ant and weevils. But if you have a cat, make sure that they don’t eat all of it at once.
Once again, the strong smell of this plant keeps aphids at bay. Planting it close to a rose bush will keep the aphids off your roses, which is one of their favourite plants.
Other insects kept away by the smell of garlic are spider mites and snails. However, we cannot guarantee any effectiveness against vampires.
Petunias are some really beautiful plants, and as a bonus, they keep those pesky aphids away from your garden. They also keep away tomato worms and certain species of beetles.
You can use other plants to fight the presence of aphids. But these strong-smelling ones seem to be the most effective at protecting your garden from pests.
Are Marigolds Aphid Trap Plants?
A trap plant is a plant that attracts aphids to it and away from your other crops. A good example of a trap plant is the sunflower. The aphids are attracted to its bright yellow petals.
The colony will move over to the sunflower and leave the rest of your garden alone.
A sunflower is sturdy enough to withstand a group of aphids, keeping your other plants safe.
Marigolds can act as a trap plants. If they are unscented and yellow, then the aphids will be attracted to them.
This may be worth doing as it is much easier to keep your other plants alive, and you can control and remove them more efficiently if they are all in the area of one plant.
In conclusion, the smell of marigolds deters aphids. Unscented, yellow marigolds can be used as trap plants to keep aphids away from your other plants. Catnip, garlic and petunias are good plants to grow to keep your garden pest-free.
Ryan is a keen gardener from the UK who’s spent years dealing with countless, common pests over the years so knows the ins and outs of how to deal with pests in the garden