Marigold ‘French Flame’

Given that every month since May has had either record warmth, or almost record warmth, aphids, which are normally mostly killed off in winter, thrived continuously this year and with spring now in full step, their numbers are huge.

In addition to hosing them off with a jet of water to let the lizards and other insects eat them while they are defenceless on the ground, I’ve been trying to counter the invasion by planting things that are attractive to ladybeetles. And what better plant than the traditional Marigold to do the job.

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This one is Marigold ‘French Flame’ and is in the food garden.

But my gosh what colours!

They look like they’ve been applied as artists brush-strokes….just amazing!

Happy Gardening 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Marigold ‘French Flame’

  1. I’ve made a note to plant more of this kind, the smaller, colorful marigolds. This year I got some of the ones with big, solid yellow flowers and the plants just got too huge and crowded out some vegetables. I plant them at the ends of each bed.

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    • This is the first time I’ve tried this variety, and I’m quite impressed: the snails finished off about half of the seedlings, so the ones that made it through have a lot riding on their shoulders.
      I like the idea of planting at the edge of the bed, I mostly just dotted these through the cropping areas, but yours makes far more sense 🙂

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  2. The tropical milkweed (butterfly weed) that I grow is a aphid magnet. According to old gardening lore, the milkweed are planted to attract aphids to keep them off other plants. Believe it or not, it seems to work. Our poor milkweed is planted for aphids to live on, butterflies to feed and caterpillars to eat!

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    • Sadly, tropical milkweed doesn’t grow in my part of Australia, but I have seen it used as a great plant for attracting aphids. Where it is naturalised (in Australia, it’s mostly the sub-tropics), it does provide some protection for roses and other aphid-susceptible food crops. I’ve been looking around for something that can be grown to be a sacrifice to pests, but most of the suitable plants are banned weeds, so I’ll have to keep researching 🙂

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  3. I plant marigolds especially with tomatoes. But also mix in with garlic, nasturtiums, onions . I try planting as many different plants together rather than in separate dedicated beds. But marigolds certainly brighten up the patch.

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    • Definitely! My ‘food bed’ is an eclectic mix of tomatoes, chives, parsley, basil, blueberries, apples, lemons, leeks, mint, thyme, oregano, strawberries, raspberries, lettuce (some flowers in a hope to distract the snails from the food), and now marigolds. So a bit of everything!
      It’s all thrown in together with the only consideration being the shady end of the bed gets the mint and the lemon is under an overhanging polycarbonate roof to protect against the ice and snow

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