Marigolds are grown primarily for their protective powers. These gorgeous flowers help ward off a stunning number of fungal diseases and non-beneficial insects. As a result, there are dozens of beneficial plants that can be planted alongside marigolds. Broccoli, eggplant, and squash can make for an ideal vegetable garden. Herbs like garlic chives, rosemary, and thyme make for great edible crops to grow alongside marigolds. Fruits like cucumbers and tomatoes are worth considering as well. Even a flower bed of marigolds, cleome, snapdragons, and zinnia can make for a wonderful decorative garden.
25 Best Marigold Companion Plants
French marigolds go with just about everything. There are dozens of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and even beautiful flowers that make for great companion planting. Below, we’ll delve into some of the best marigold plant companions by type. Keep in mind that while all of these plants are compatible with marigolds, not all are compatible with each other.
Marigolds are great at warding off things like potato beetles, cabbage moths, and squash beetles. As a result, they make great companions in any veggie patch. Here are some of the many vegetables that grow great with marigolds and why:
- Broccoli – Broccoli doesn’t benefit from the protective powers of marigolds but they grow great in the same soil. Broccoli absorbs different soil nutrients than marigolds do, so the two plants can be grown close together.
- Cabbage – Marigolds deter cabbage worms and cabbage moths that devastate the cabbage family.
- Carrots – Marigolds ward off carrot rust fly and carrot psyllid.
- Eggplant – Common eggplant pests like Japanese beetles will be driven off by marigolds.
- Gourds – Marigolds are well known to be a great trap crop for all sorts of gourds.
- Kale – Marigolds attract hoverflies, which feed on the aphids that commonly attack kale patches.
- Onions – Marigolds scare off nematodes which devastate root vegetables.
- Potatoes – Potato beetles are repelled by marigolds.
- Squash – Marigolds repel squash bugs and beetles.
Try planting some lovely marigolds around your vegetable plants. You’ll be stunned at how well they keep away predatory insects.
Herbs and Aromatics
Another option is to pair marigolds with aromatic plants. Aromatic plants sometimes have their own beneficial properties to keep harmful pests at bay. Here are some herbs that have great beneficial relationships with marigolds.
- Basil – Mutually protective with marigolds. They both deter each other’s biggest predatory insects.
- Cilantro – Attracts beneficial insects like ladybugs to kill off aphids.
- Dill – Attracts parasitic wasps that help eliminate aphids.
- Garlic Chive – Provides a nice background for marigolds to pop off of visually.
- Rosemary – Helps reduce local aphid population when grown specifically alongside marigolds.
- Thyme – The creeping variety helps to keep weeds away from your marigolds.
As you can see, herbs are not only protected by marigolds but also often protect them in return. Whether it’s attracting beneficial parasitic wasps or providing bright colors, these herbs are great companion plants.
Marigolds can drive away cucumber beetles, tomato hornworms, and other pest insects. While they don’t protect fruits as well as they do vegetables, there are still a few that can benefit from nearby marigolds:
- Cucumbers – Marigolds keep cucumber garden pests at bay.
- Pumpkins – Nematodes that target pumpkin roots are driven away by marigolds.
- Tomatoes – Marigolds deter several tomato pests, from tomato worms to whiteflies.
A tomato crop especially really benefits from a nearby marigold garden. Tomato worms can be a real nuisance that can devastate your tomatoes otherwise.
While marigolds work great at protecting other plants, some plants also work to protect marigolds. Alternatively, you can go for flowers that simply look beautiful alongside marigolds. These plants can help keep your marigold growing strong or help them really pop off visually:
- Alyssum – Works as a living mulch to protect the soil moisture around your marigolds.
- Aster – Asters, like the New England Aster, have no direct beneficial qualities but provide complementary colors for your marigold garden.
- Bachelor’s Button – Like asters, these complement marigolds’ colors and have the same bloom time.
- Cleome – Attracts predatory insects that kill spider mites, a pest that often harms marigolds.
- Cosmos – Visually stunning complement to marigolds.
- Snapdragon – Provides a great shape contrast and requires different nutrients from the same soil as marigolds.
- Zinnia – Share the same growth habits and ecosystems as marigolds.
Hopefully, now you know that nearby plants can provide benefits of companion planting beyond mere protection. Pest control is valuable but having an attractive garden is nice too.
What to Not Plant with Marigolds
The main thing to avoid planting near marigolds is beans. Marigolds don’t provide protection to beans but are themselves highly susceptible to Mexican bean beetles.
- Avoid planting marigolds near beans.
- Beans attract beetles that prey on marigolds.
- Some experts recommend not planting marigolds with cabbage.
While marigolds can drive away certain cabbage predators, they can attract others. So use your best discretion when it comes to planting alongside cabbage. Be aware that it won’t be a purely positive relationship.
Can Marigolds be Planted in Pots with Other Flowers?
Some pot marigolds can accommodate space for additional plants. French marigolds, the most common type, are small enough that other flowers can grow in the same pot. However, the Mexican marigold (more commonly and incorrectly known as the African marigold) is far too large to share space.
- French marigolds can grow in pots with other flowers.
- Mexican marigolds (aka African marigolds) cannot.
- Try things like alyssum, creeping thyme, and snapdragon in your pot.
Alyssum, creeping thyme, and snapdragon make for great plants to share a pot with marigolds. Alyssum can work as a natural mulch for the base of the marigolds. Creeping thyme keeps weeds from growing in your pot. Snapdragon uses the same soil as marigolds without using the same nutrients.
What Plants Well with Marigolds?
The marigold plant goes with a wide range of other plants. They are highly prized for their ability to help protect a growing veggie garden from many pests. Here are just some beneficial companion plants for marigolds:
- Vegetables like carrots, eggplant, gourds, kale, and squash.
- Herbs like basil, cilantro, dill, and rosemary.
- Fruits like cucumbers, pumpkins, and tomatoes.
- Flowers like alyssum, cleome, and snapdragon.
- Avoid planting marigolds alongside beans.
- You can plant French marigolds in pots with other flowers but not Mexican marigolds.
As you can see, these flowers are staggeringly beneficial to your garden ecosystem. It’s well worth growing them as soon as possible to help protect whatever you’re growing. Just be sure to check that all the plants you want your marigolds to protect also grow great alongside each other.