From the employee-owners of Gardener's Supply

Marigold Makeover

When it comes to annuals, gardeners can get a little, well, snooty. Some disdain any plant that’s not a perennial. But the fact is, annuals provide some of the best non-stop color in a garden. Sure, they only last one season, but they bloom more than any perennial ever could.

This is what my friend Kathy came up with when I challenged her last year. Sweet. I tried something with a purple planter, thinking the color-play would be really cool. Honestly, it wasn’t even good enough for a photo.

When it comes to annuals, gardeners can get a little snooty. Some disdain any plant that’s not a perennial. But, the fact is that annuals provide some of the best nonstop color in a garden. Sure, they only last one season, but they bloom more than any perennial ever could.

Perhaps the annual that receives the most disrespect is the marigold. I know it’s common and the foliage is a little stinky. But marigolds sure do bloom reliably and they’re rarely bothered by pests. And some of us like that smell.

How about a challenge? A few folks here at Gardener’s Supply are going to design some awesome planters with marigolds. We’ll post photos of what we plant. What would you do? Tell us your ideas for marigolds: in pots, planters, windowboxes, flower beds — wherever. Let’s get creative and see what happens. Share your ideas in the Comments, then show us the results on Facebook!

You have been challenged!

David Grist
Gardener’s Supply


  1. May 26, 2011    

    I think I would get a lil creative with it, putting together a marigold/daisy arrangement together with some baby’s breath and lemons some cut in half and some whole, and places in a clear or green glass vase

  2. Anonymous
    May 31, 2011    

    I use marigolds for color in my vegetable garden and to help keep rabbits and moles away. They are a quick and easy fix to a pest problem. The “odor” they give off is really a blessing.

  3. MissKitty
    May 31, 2011    

    I just planted three porch railing boxes with an assortment of flowers and I used orange colored marigolds with other purple, light green, and red flowers to create a very pretty display.

  4. Anonymous
    June 1, 2011    

    I also plant lots of marygolds in my vegetable garden. Different varieties depending on where they go, to complement surrounding heights and colors.

  5. June 1, 2011    

    The combination pictured planted in a blue ceramic planter or pot would look nice too.

  6. Gracie
    June 1, 2011    

    I think you can’t have enough Marigolds or Zinnias. The marigolds help keep insect pests from my beans and eggplants, plus they’re just so perky and reliable. The wonderful variety of height and color for both these cheap, easy to plant flowers helps offset the ‘boring’ rows of onions, too. Not to mention, they make great cut flowers either all by themselves or in a mixed bouquet. What’s not to like?

  7. June 1, 2011    

    I, too, plant marigolds as a protective and cheerful companion to my vegetables. I have raised beds in my front yard, and I have had beautiful results from planting the front row of each bed with marigolds, nasturtium, and black opal basil (which I allow to flower). The hot tones of nasturtium and marigold really pop against the dark purple leaves of the basil.

    These flowers also look stunning in bouquets together. They are drought tolerant (a must for placement right up against the wooden boards of my raised beds), and never stop blooming all summer long.

  8. June 1, 2011    

    LOVE the smell of Marigolds, and they are SO reliable! Try any color Marigold in a planter with Purple Heart and white Sweet Alyssum hanging over the edge of the pot.

  9. June 1, 2011    

    I love marigolds! I plant them all over and always have more than enough that come up on their own in the spring to use all over the property. Before I used to line the outside of my 40×80 veggie garden with them. This year I’m placing newspaper and old bedding from my goat stall for pathways – I’m going to line every path with marigolds. Will help with pest and I think it is gonna look so cute!

  10. Anonymous
    June 1, 2011    

    I am glad to see the marigold get some respect. It is one of the few flowers I can identify. My wife and I are not marigold snobs. We have a double row of them in front of the house.

  11. Anonymous
    June 1, 2011    

    Aphids away! I plant marigolds around my garden and next to any plant that aphids seem to eat. it does a good job keeping these aphids from eating the leaves. I think they do not like the smell. They do not seem to work here in Michigan for rabbits. The rabbits here even eat the marigold flowers if your lettuce is all gone.

  12. Anonymous
    June 1, 2011    

    We live in SW Minnesota where winds blow hard. If it wasn’t for faithful marigolds, zinneas and geraniums nothing could survive these winds! I, also, space them in vegetable garden for color and keep away unwanted bugs and critters. In the fall I pick the dried flower heads and save to plant the next spring. I love marigolds and appreciate their many colors and heights.

  13. Anonymous
    June 1, 2011    

    My Virginia garden is mostly shade so I planted a row of various-sized, red clay pots of veggies and herbs down the side of the driveway that gets the most sun. I planted marigolds around the base of the pots. So, while not exactly IN pots, they look fabulous. Their bright color is a nice foil to the clay pots and the green plants…And I love their scent!

  14. Anonymous
    June 1, 2011    

    I always plant marigolds in my vegetable garden! Repels several pests & makes it look much pretty. Some years my marigolds to better than my vegetables…

  15. Anonymous
    June 1, 2011    

    WOW. I am heading out to get some marigolds for my raised veggie beds. I love the combo of flowers and veggies but a flower that organically controls pests? What could e better?

  16. June 1, 2011    

    I have a pot of purple basil on my deck with marigolds interplanted in a couplemof places. They provide a great contrast to the purple foliage of the basil and might keep some pests away ( I had a woodchuck on the deck just a fee days ago and also have rabbits and a racoon in the yard).

  17. Anonymous
    June 2, 2011    

    the only thing that keeps a woodchuck out of your vegetagle garden is lead around his ears.

  18. Anonymous
    June 2, 2011    

    My Dad loved marigolds, so I plant some every year for him. I have a green box planter with yellow marigolds, purple Johnny-Jump-Ups (viola), and a variety of colors of double moss rose.

    Aunt Becky

  19. Anonymous
    June 2, 2011    

    For years, my Mom planted marigolds among geraniums in window boxes. She’d dead-head as needed, dropping the spent blooms on the ground below. People always remarked about her boxes, & the following year, she had marigolds to replant in her boxes: the deadheaded/spent blooms of the earlier year. (Yes, she might have to purchase a few marigolds each succeeding year, but not all….but the window boxes were bright & warm, appealling.)
    My one granddad mixed them with snapdragons & several other annuals in a rectangular planter at his apartment.
    Marigolds are cheerful flowers!

  20. Anonymous
    June 2, 2011    

    Marigold flowers are a colourful, healthy and tasty addition to salads too!

  21. Anonymous
    September 2, 2011    

    within a day or two the slugs ate my marigolds to a nub.

  22. September 15, 2011    

    I am glad to see the marigold get some respect… LOVE the smell of Marigolds, and they are SO reliable! I really enjoyed reading it. I will come back again in the future to check out some of the other articles.

  23. September 22, 2011    

    Your blog is very much good. I am very much impressed by your blog content; I also come across number of sites, you can also check these are also very much useful for everyone.

  24. May 19, 2012    

    I plant mine close to the waterfall where the sprays of water constantly hit the earth surrounding the plant.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Garden-tested tools, innovations and know-how for every gardener