Marigolds

Okay, gardeners, I was reading this post by Chris Clarke and it reminded me of my problems with marigolds.  As you may recall, I was stunned to learn that the mysterious and powerful calendula was, when I found it at Home Depot, just regular old marigolds.  But I went to Wikipedia and learned that regular old marigolds, in spite of what the package says, aren’t calendula, they are tagetes.  Seemingly, the only for sure calendula I have are the fancy marigolds I got to intersperce in my garden.

But I have a shit ton of tagetes that I have been planting everywhere thinking that a marigold was a marigold and that it works to keep away pests.

But now, I don’t know.  Is it only calendula which keeps away pests or is it tagetes too or ony tagetes or what?

11 thoughts on “Marigolds

  1. You have stumped Casa de la Hansman – husband says the old (plain) varieties have the biggest ‘stink factor,’ but I’m not sure if that’s what you’re looking for.
    At least they’re pretty.

  2. I don’t know for certain, but my parents always used regular French marigold / tagetes in their huge vegetable garden. They said it worked, and we had huge yields.

  3. I’ve planted both, and whatever I do 1) I can’t grow most squash (exception: butternut, with its solid stem) due to *#$&% squash vine borers, and 2) the number one enemy of my tomatoes is fungal disease anyway. So I’m not sure if the marigolds have made any difference, but they sure do look cheerful, so it can’t hurt.

  4. We always just used plain ol’ marigolds (it was four or five years before I talked my mom into the big, purty ones), and they kept the deer from eating the tops off the carrots and beets, most of the time. We planted it around the lettuce and cabbage, and the deer even left THAT alone, so it’s gotta be good for something :)

    On a side note, however, one year we got mutant caterpillars that ate everything they climbed on, up to and including the marigolds and my only attempt at cultivating a “real” flower garden. Five or six of them managed to devour half a watermelon! Freaks… Eventually, they all turned into winged things and left, thank goodness. But that was the only thing I’ve EVER seen that munched on marigold…

  5. Tagetes are good for as a companion plant around vegetables to deter pests. Calendula is good as a medicinal herb. Both have a common name of marigold, which I find confusing.

    I harvest the calendula petals to have on hand to make eyewash for my dog (vet’s recommendation).

Comments are closed.