Well, it turns out that there is something to this sun-colored flower. Marigolds are not just pretty to look at. They can actually help you solve your problems with disease carrying mosquitoes.
What do marigolds look like?
Tagetes or Marigolds belong to a genus of plants that are closely related to sunflowers. They have small to medium sized pointy leaves and flowers that showcase rectangular petals. They're also famous for having flowers with different shades and combinations of yellow, red and orange. These flowers have single to multiple layers of petals which result into a variety of shapes. They can be round and globe-like to flat and traditional with only 6 petals on them.
One of the most defining characteristics of the marigolds is their bitter and musty odor. They have pyrethrum, saponins, scopoletin, cadinol and other chemicals that work together to produce that distinctive pungent smell.
How do marigolds repel mosquitoes?
The pyrethrum in marigolds is a substance that's used in many repellents. That's because it can protect the skin from mosquito bites for a fair number of hours. In fact, a recent study from the Iranian Society of Medical Entomology and Tehran University of Medical Sciences found that the essential oil from Calendula officinalis (a kind of marigold) works a lot like DEET when it comes to deterring mosquitoes. However, it only does this for about 2 hours.
How do you use marigolds against mosquitoes?
Marigolds are mostly planted to ward off mosquitoes. Simply put, you need to raise the plant in order for it to protect you. And to do it right, here are some tips that will show you how.
- Grow your marigold indoors before placing them outside. According to Gardening Know How, you should ready your marigolds inside. You need to grow its seeds indoors the house for 50 to 60 days. That's before the last frost date if you want to ready them in spring.
- Marigold grows in just about any kind of soil. However, damp soilless potting mix is used to grow the seeds.
- Position your marigolds near ponds or other water features. Marigolds can still grow on moist soil. So to stop mosquitoes from laying eggs near your yard’s water features, build a marigold barrier around it.
- Place the flowers near the entrances of your home. Insects usually get inside houses using the same entryways as humans do. So it’s best to build a protective but beautiful barrier beside them – that is, if you don’t mind the smell.
- Essential oils are more powerful than the living plant. Don’t forget that living plants don’t release all their chemicals into the environment, but an essential oil concentrates all of it into one oily form. The downside? This oil is guaranteed not to last as longer than the fully functioning plant it’s been taken from.
Overall, do marigolds repel mosquitoes? Yes, they do. But remember that it’s not as potent as other mosquito remedies. It’s not the one-shot solution that you’re looking for, but it will help you out with your bug problems.