Marigolds make the garden magnificent

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

Fresh off of a trip home to Cleveland, I find myself missing the comforts of my hometown but also content with how far I have come since moving 12 years ago. My family has grown, and I have too. I hate to admit it, but prior to living in Hawaii, I did not have a real awareness of our environment or a preference when it came to the use of chemicals or pesticides.

Now, I find myself reading labels and choosing natural, eco-friendly alternatives when possible. I clean with vinegar and baking soda all over the home and try to carry over the mindset to the outdoors as well. While searching for the perfect flowers, marigolds have repeatedly popped up as choices that are easy to maintain, colorful and even helpful.

Like a prized furniture piece, marigolds can add both form and function to your space.

Consider some of these reasons why they just might make the perfect addition to your garden.

They can take the heat

As temperatures soar this summer, rest assured that marigolds can withstand the heat. Actually, they thrive in full sun and are drought-tolerant, making them relatively low-maintenance as well.

They’re fighters

Marigolds are known for helping to ward off garden pests like nematode worms, according to the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Nematodes are microscopic worms that can cause extensive damage to crops, often by attacking their roots. Bonus: The scent of certain varieties of marigolds has also been known to repel other pests like fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.

You can cut them

Although they are typically grown as bedding plants, the blooms make for beautiful arrangements as either accents or centerpieces. Mix them with a variety of marigolds or other flowers and plants in vases, jars or even wreaths. You can also choose to go with a classic look and bunch several in one vessel. Cut long stems for the middle and go shorter as you go outward to create a circular, ball shape.

They won’t break the bank

Marigolds are relatively affordable whether you purchase seeds or flowers. Plus, their low maintenance means they require little more than full sun, rich soil and occasional watering.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefi xisinhawaii@gmail.com.