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Why To Plant Marigolds With Tomato Plants – How To Keep Tomato Plants Safe & Healthy!

When it comes to growing tomatoes, one of the best ways to use the power of companion planting to help grow a bigger and better harvest is to plant marigolds right along with or near your tomato plants.

Not only can blooming marigolds add a big splash of color to a vegetable garden, their fragrant foliage and big, colorful blooms can also help protect tomato plants from some pretty serious pests. All while attracting others that are quite beneficial!

Marigolds have long been known for their ability to be a powerful weapon in flowerbeds and vegetable gardens. Many old-time gardeners used to ring their entire garden with them to help protect their crops. It is a practice that many all-natural modern backyard gardeners are beginning to use once again.

plant tomatoes with marigolds
Marigolds can bring a long list of benefits to tomato plants when they grow in close proximity.

What really makes marigolds special is that not only are they incredibly beneficial to tomatoes, that also happen to be easy and economical to plant. Marigolds germinate and grow fast. Because of that, they can be planted from seed at a huge cost savings to gardeners. Even better, you can save their seeds quite easily from year to year.

So with protecting and powering your tomato plants in mind – here is a look at all of the ways marigolds can help you grow bigger, better and healthier tomato plants this year!

Why To Plant Marigolds With Tomato Plants!

Marigolds Help To Repel Pests That Love Tomato Plants

As you will see in a moment, although the blooms that marigolds produce attract a lot of beneficial insects to a garden space, the strong scent of their foliage also happens to keep a fair number of insects that like to dine on tomato plants far away.

Two of the biggest insects on that list are aphids and whiteflies. Both are more than happy to take up residence on the undersides of tomato plants. And both can cause serious damage to plants when they do.

Aphids not only carry disease to your plants, they can also bring destruction to the plant itself. Large numbers of aphids can cause the plant foliage to brown and curl. And once an aphid colony begins to grow, it can multiply and spread with lightening speed.

companion planting in raised beds
Planting marigolds around the edges of a raised bed can bring in pollinators, and keep away pests. All at the same time!

Whiteflies on the other hand bring serious and deadly damage to tomato plants as well. Whiteflies leave behind a sticky honeydew gel on tomato plants that can cause black mold. They, like aphids also bring other diseases along with them. Worst of all, they can stunt your tomato plants growth and severely impact yields.

But guess what? Aphids and whiteflies simply can’t stand the scent of marigolds. And by planting them with or near your tomatoes – you can help keep them far away!

If that wasn’t enough, marigolds have also been known to repel tomato hornworms. And if you have ever grown tomatoes when these large tomato plant eating machines show up – you know how much damage they can do!

Perhaps best of all, even mosquitoes stay away from marigolds – allowing you to work your garden space in peace.

Beneficial Insects That Love Marigolds – Why To Plant Marigolds With Tomato Plants!

As mentioned earlier, there are a few beneficial insects that actually happen to love marigolds. Or, more to the point, are easily attracted to their colorful and fragrant flowers.

ladybugs - beneficial insects
Ladybugs are one of the most beneficial insects of all to have visit your tomato plants. They can devour aphids and whiteflies in great numbers.

At the head of the list are ladybugs, who are highly attracted to marigold plants. And can ladybugs ever help in the fight against aphids and whiteflies and a long list of other pests that like to attack tomato and other vegetable plants!

But the sweet nectar and bright colors of the marigold blooms also bring in paper wasps. Not only can paper wasps help pollinate tomato plants with the fast buzzing of their wings, they also aid in the fight against tomato hornworms as well.

Wasps actually use the living bodies of hornworms to lay their larva. And when that larva hatches, it feeds off of the hornworm, killing it in the process. Talk about a win-win for tomato plants!

Planting French Marigolds – Why To Plant Marigolds With Tomato Plants

Although all marigold varieties offer many benefits to tomato plants, there is one variety, the French marigold, that seems to really work wonders for both keeping pests away – and attracting ladybugs, wasps and other beneficial insects.

There are several varieties of French marigolds to choose from, and they all tend to be more compact and bushy. This is actually great for growing near tomato plants – especially ones growing in smaller containers or raised bed spaces. Affiliate Seed Link: Durango Flame French Marigold Garden Flower Seeds

French marigolds - plant marigolds with tomato plants
The French marigold is at the top of the list for companion planting. It’s colorful blooms bring in beneficial insects in droves!

No matter what type of marigold you choose, there are several planting strategies you can use when growing marigolds. Again, it’s always far easier and less expensive to plant seeds than transplants. Planting your seeds right as you plant tomato plant transplants outside works bests.

Marigolds sprout quickly, and can be up and growing in as little as a week to ten days. In large garden settings, you can plant a few seeds around each plant. This helps provide up close protection for each tomato.

You can, of course, also ring your garden space or raised bed space in marigolds as another option. When it comes to growing in pots and containers, planting a single marigold is best. This keeps the soil from using too many nutrients for the flowers versus the tomato plant.

Another strategy that works well when space can be an issue is to simply plant pots of marigolds all by themselves, and then sit them right by your tomato plants. This allows you to move the pots around as needed. See our article: How To Plant Tomatoes For Big Success! 5 Simple Secrets To Planting Tomatoes

Saving Seeds From Marigolds

At the end of the growing season, saving the seeds from your marigolds couldn’t be easier. Just cut off a few of the dying blooms, let them dry – and then break apart the seed head.

Each single flower holds hundreds of seeds that can be saved with ease. Simply allow them to dry on a paper towel for a few days, and then store them in a sealed bag in a cool place in your home. Next year – you will be ready to grow for free!

One thing is for sure – planting marigolds with your tomato plants can be both beautiful – and helpful.

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