Marigolds are gorgeous and attractive flowers, and they can brighten up your home. So if you are thinking of propagating some flowers in your garden, then a marigold is the best option for you. There is a common perception among people that these flowers repel bees.
Although bees can prevent you from accessing your garden, they are various ways to keep them away, such as hornets. But marigolds are not among the options. Some other plants and flowers attract different pollinators, which are significant for reproducing fruits.
Therefore, if you have a swarm of bees buzzing around your garden, then marigold is not the best solution to chase them away. So, do marigolds attract bees? This article gives detailed information about it later. But, do you have a proper understanding of marigolds?
Table of Contents
- What is Marigold?
- Origin and Varieties of Marigold Species
- Importance of Marigolds
- Do Marigolds Attract Bees?
- What is the Role of Marigolds for Bees?
- When to Propagate Marigolds
- Do Bees Like Marigolds?
- Other Flowers that Entice Honeybees
- How to Care for Marigolds
- Recap: Do Marigolds Attract Bees?
What is Marigold?
It is also known as Tagetes erecta, is a long and hardy flowering plant. They are among the most popular flowering plants that you can propagate effortlessly from their seeds. If you give it necessary growth conditions, it gives you lively blossoms, thus brightening your garden with delightful colors.
The genus name of a sunflower family is Tagetes, originating from both South and North America. Marigold vary in size from 6-inches high to 3.5 feet tall. The range of blossoms also varies in colors such as white, orange, and golden yellow.
Don’t forget that some of them are perennial, but most of them are grown annually and can survive under warm climatic conditions.
Origin and Varieties of Marigold Species
Marigold is an English name extracted from “Mary’s Gold.” However, its Latin name is derived from Tages, a Roman mythology. He founded the Etruscan religion. Anyway, during pre-Hispanic Mexico, this plant was known to be the flower for the dead.
That being said, they were known as a hundred-leafed flower. They were highly regarded due to their blossoming head that had a lot of pretty petals. Today, these flowers are used in various events such as decorating weddings, religious festivals, and other important events.
There are over 60 species, but only three dominate the flowering market:
- African marigolds: They are the tallest and the most common species. They tend to grow wide and broad. In addition, they grow in yellow, creamy white, and orange shades.
- French marigolds: They are used primarily on containers because they are a compact variety.
- Signet marigolds: They are good edging plants and ideal for rock gardens because of their unique single blooms valued for enhancing dishes.
Importance of Marigolds
These plants not only attract honeybees for nectar but also provide a wide range of benefits. So, what are the other importance of marigolds:
- Natural sterile: Their most popular benefit is to heal skin rashes, bites, burns, wounds, and swelling on the body from the ancient period to the modern-day. They are known to enhance the growth of tissues, garnishing constant flow of blood boosts the production of collagen. They are also good at hydrating your skin.
- Natural bug repellent: They have impulsive oil and oxidizing content that repel mosquitoes, harmful insects, and pests. In addition, they have a pungent smell, that’s why they are propagated in vegetable gardens.
- Enhancing the health of the soil: They are designed to enhance the health condition of your soil. Moreover, they enable the root systems to eradicate nematodes that might cause harmful diseases to your plants, especially tomatoes.
- It attracts several essential insects: Besides honey bees, other significant insects such as hoverflies, ladybugs, and wasps are attracted by these flowering plants. These insects also provide necessary protection against other harmful insects such as mealybugs and aphids.
- Used for making digestive tea: You can use their flowers to make a calming tea. Thus it minimizes the signs and symptoms of inflammatory bowel.
- Minimizes swelling of the eye and conjunctivitis: Extracts from marigolds treat various chronic ocular infections and conjunctivitis. Moreover, they can protect your eyes against ultra-violet light, thus protecting them against swelling.
Do Marigolds Attract Bees?
The answer to this question is subjective. Therefore, yes, marigolds always attract them. The main reason is that they contain nectar and pollen, which are the primary food source. Did you know that bees also care about their balanced diet? Don’t get surprised, because they do, just like human beings also care about their healthy diet. And they get it from marigolds, which their pollen is a good source of protein.
In addition, nectar is the most excellent source of sugar and carbohydrates. Therefore, it provides them with the energy and food needed to move from one place, especially their home, to another. They also use pollen to feed their baby bees or larva.
Marigolds flowers attract bees due to the pigmentation. Bees are known to have the best vision for colors; thus, the yellow color from these plants highly attracts them. Their vision also enables them to get the best flowering plants, such as marigolds.
Therefore, they can acquire pollen and nectar that these flowers always provide and have. Despite them having a pungent smell that repels other dangerous insects such as mealybugs, wasps, these smells attract bees. This is quite hard to understand.
They are constantly visited by honey bees regardless of their foul odor. Apart from repelling unwanted insects such as cabbage worms, and whiteflies, they also offer protection against dangerous nematodes that consider soiling their resident.
If you place them in a strategic position inside your house, particularly in the porches or sitting rooms, you can prevent mosquito attacks. They are also good medicinal plants for bees, thus keeping them healthy and strong.
Being that they adaptable flowers and thrive under full sun, they grow perfectly under both moist and dry soil, with just minimal care. Therefore, they are the best companion flowering plants for honey bees. Now that marigolds attract bees, you can go ahead and plant many of them on your farm.
If you do that, you save bees from the toxic environment and are feeding them. Because they also need a balanced diet and sustainable environment to survive and produce honey for you. So, are marigolds good for bees? What’s your thought on that?
What is the Role of Marigolds for Bees?
In the modern global food chain, bees are the essential link because they are critical and habit of pollinating different plants. Therefore, there is a mutual benefit between honeybees and marigolds’ flowers.
Most people confuse hornets and yellow jackets to be honeybees. No, they are not the same, although they have swarming characteristics. These insects are very harmful and have agonizing stings that can irritate.
Most of them are resistant to chemicals and pesticides; the only solution is to use natural techniques to repel them, such as planting marigolds. Unfortunately, this is not a permanent solution because they will attract the bees. However, their pungent odor plays a significant role in repelling these harmful and irritating insects.
These plants also have a habit of blooming throughout the growing season. And, their golden flowering heads are a good cover for several other blossoming plants. There is no proven scientific experiment that confirms they repel honeybees.
The bees flock to them because they a good source of nectar and pollen. Therefore, if you plant a significant amount of marigolds on your farm, expect to attract many bees automatically. That’s why these plants play a significant role in the production of food and energy.
When to Propagate Marigolds
The best time to grow them varies depending on the variety. For instance, spring is the best time to grow African marigolds because they mature and produce flowers slowly. At the same time, you can propagate signet and young French species from the start of spring through summer.
In the spring, when the soil is moist and warm, sow the seeds in your garden. You can also opt to germinate the seeds indoors before repotting them outdoors. They sprout after 5 to 7 days under warm conditions and can produce blossoms after about 9 weeks. But, when is the best time for marigolds to bloom?
They are easy to grow and maintain and also stunning flowers. Moreover, they are found everywhere globally, such as in Africa, Europe, America, and some parts of America. They flourish under warm conditions; thus, they start to bloom if you subject them above 23 degrees Celsius.
Most of them always blossoms early in the morning, but their flowers stay fresh for over 7 days. Besides, winter and summer are also the best time for marigolds to blossom, such as the perennial ones. But during this period, they produce small-sized flowers.
Winter is also another season for them to blossom, especially if you live in Africa near equator regions, India, and some Asian counties. But if you live in areas affected by frost, then you won’t witness your marigolds blooming.
Do Bees Like Marigolds?
Bees are the main drivers of pollination for most plants. Therefore, they like marigold flowers because they are an excellent source of pollen and nectar. In addition, they use these nectars to make honey. Nectar is also a good source of sugar which gives them extra energy. After accumulating enough nectar from different flower types, especially marigolds, they share it with other bees while in the hive.
The bees produce an enzyme that is responsible for converting the nectar into honey. Marigold flowers have beautiful yellow flowers, which attract bees. Besides, their pungent scent pulls them closer to the nectar.
Marigolds are also the best companion plants for various food crops. Their nasty smell prevents several insects from attacking them but enticing the honeybees. In addition, they blossom throughout the season; that’s why bees love them.
Other Flowers that Entice Honeybees
Apart from marigolds, several other flowering plants attract bees. Although their others that repel, with a slight provocation. Some of the flowers that attract them include:
- Snapdragons: They are unique and extraordinary flowers in terms of shape and smell. They always release their sweet scent during the day when the honey goddess is highly active. They see its yellow color, thus enticing them constantly. It has a good shape that the bees can access the nectar easily.
- Bee Balm: Honeybees and beam balm are the best friends. It’s a perennial flowering plant that can grow up to 4.5-inches. Its tubular bloom is brilliantly colored and a good source of nectar for bees. It is also easy to propagate and can thrive well under hot climates such as drought.
How to Care for Marigolds
They are pretty much simple to grow and maintain because they can survive under drought and high temperatures. Moreover, they can defend themselves from harmful pests due to the pungent smell. You can also grow them outdoors, and they bloom effortlessly if propagated indoors. You can propagate it into the soil directly during the summer season.
They do not need regular watering because that is a sign that they are strong and healthy. However, when planting them, ensure that the soil is well-aerated and moist. Watering keeps it hydrated right from the start as it grows.
It also enhances the health of marigold. Therefore, whenever you realize that the soil is dry, water them. You can prevent sudden death of seedlings and damping off if you water these plants from beneath.
This process encourages them to produce other blossoms, thus prolonging the season of flowering. But this procedure is simple, first cut off the stem below the leaves. This allows the plants to reproduce more flowers.
3. Pests and Diseases
Marigolds are always infested by harmful pests such as aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites. To solve the issue, use a spray bottle to spray it at least twice or thrice a week. Apart from the pests, they are also attacked by fungal diseases.
For instance, during wet seasons, they are infested by powdery mildew. Therefore, to solve this problem, grow them in soil that is properly aerated and well-drained. In addition, you can avoid watering the leaves and ensure you kill the weeds.
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Recap: Do Marigolds Attract Bees?
It is evident that marigolds attract bees and are incredibly beneficial. They produce nectar that is an excellent source of sugar that gives the bees additional energy. In contrast, pollen is also a good source of proteins used to feed the larva.
They are easy to care for and maintain, so you don’t have to worry about that. Their beautiful flowers can beautify your house, and their pungent smell can put harmful insects away, especially mosquitoes. Get marigold flowers and beautify your home.