Image source – Pixabay
Marigolds are much more than just a bunch of bright and pretty flowers. They have been recognized for their medicinal and other properties as far back as the 12th century. History tells us that the Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians knew the value of marigolds and used them extensively.
Marigold plants flower throughout the year and are now grown in several places around the world. The marigold is a hardy plant tolerant to heat and pests and very easy to grow in a home garden. It is what one would call a low maintenance plant.
The colorful and eye-catching yellow and orange marigold flowers are a visual treat in any garden. What is not well-known though is the wide range of health and other benefits offered by the humble marigold. Enough cannot be said about marigold plant benefits and why this plant is an important addition to your garden. Marigold plant benefits – visual appeal
Being so bright and colorful, marigolds can be used in a wide variety of ways to enhance our surroundings and food. Yellow is a very optimistic color and can uplift the mood and brighten any space. Naturally, yellow marigolds are very popular as a form of decoration.
A burst of color in the garden
The simplest benefit is obviously that these flowers add so much color and life to your garden. Available in bright yellow, orange, and shades of red, marigolds are a spot of sunshine in any garden. Since they bloom almost throughout the year, there will always be a dash of color in your garden.
Decoration for weddings and festivities
The marigolds are colorful and can stay fresh for well over a day after they are cut. Due to these qualities, they are used as decor for weddings and other such grand events. A common marigold plant benefit includes its use as decoration during festivals. Marigolds strung together to form flower garlands can be used to frame the entrance and create a festive air.
Colorful garnish for food
Marigold petals can be used in several dishes as a source of color. Add these colorful petals to salads or as a layer of decoration to cakes and desserts. You can also use the petals to add color to the icing.
Marigold tea is a healthy drink but also has amazing visual appeal due to its rich color. A transparent jug of marigold tea will add a touch of class to your dining table.
Add a couple of marigold petals to each of your ice cubes. This creative idea will add some zing to the ice cubes and transform colorless ice cubes into works of art.
Butterflies in the garden
Marigolds are butterfly magnets. Plant marigolds in your garden and see the butterfly visits go up. Butterflies help in pollination too, but their greater draw is in their obvious beauty. Your garden will look much prettier with the addition of multi-colored butterflies.
Replacement for saffron
Marigolds are often referred to as the poor man’s saffron. If you have marigolds in your garden, you can add a few petals to impart a rich yellowish-orange color to your soups, sweets, and stews. You can also dry the petals and store them for later use in your dishes.
As a dye
Another interesting use of marigold is as a color for dying clothes. Marigolds were used extensively in multiple cultures as a yellow dye. Soak marigold petals in warm water and cover for about 2 days. Mash the petals and boil the water. Strain it to get yellow-colored dye water that is ready to use.
Collect marigold flowers and sun-dry them thoroughly. The marigolds turn brownish. You can use them to create an interesting dried-flower decor in your home.
Marigolds also make great indoor plants. However, you will need to ensure that they get plenty of sunlight. In exchange, they will add much color and beauty to your living spaces.
Marigold plant benefits – medicine and health
In addition to being a very attractive flower, the marigold has several medicinal benefits. Having marigold plants handy in your garden means that you can enjoy the marigold plant benefits at any time of the year.
Marigold essential oil extracted from marigolds is a huge part of the beauty and pharma industries. Little wonder then that you can put your pot of gold to great use at home.
Keep away common garden pests
Marigolds are very pretty to look at, but they have a strong odor that most small garden pests do not like. Planting marigolds along the garden edges not only adds to the visual appeal but also helps keep small pests at bay. You will have less trouble with raccoons, groundhogs, squirrels, and so on because they do not like the smell of marigolds.
Catch Japanese Beetles
Japanese beetles are probably one of the pests in your garden. Marigolds will help you out here. These beetles are drawn to the bright marigolds and get embedded in the bushy petals. You can collect the beetles and drop them into a bucket of soap water. This is an easy way to save some other fragile plants in the garden from the vicious attack of beetles. You could also plant a circle of marigolds around some of your vegetables to provide a line of defense against beetle attacks.
Feed the chickens
If you have a chicken coop, you are in for some luck. You can toss some marigolds (with or without beetles in them) into the chicken coop. The chickens will enjoy the crunchy beetles, and feast on the marigolds too. When chickens eat these colorful and pigment-rich marigolds, it is known to enhance the color of the egg yolk.
Reduce nematode attacks
Nematodes are small thread-like organisms such as roundworms that can destroy your vegetables if left unattended.
Plants like beans, tomato, and pepper are prone to nematode attacks. Planting marigolds next to such plants will ensure that the nematode population is kept in check. Marigolds produce chemicals that act as nematicides. Since these nematicides kill the nematodes, even the plants in the vicinity of marigolds will face reduced nematode attacks.
Alternatively, you can plant marigolds in some spots in your garden for a couple of months and then remove them. Plant your nematode-prone vegetables in the same spots where you had previously planted the marigolds. Nematicides released by the marigold will help contain a possible nematode attack on the vegetables.
Help in pollination
Since marigolds are around and in bloom for most of the year, they attract bees and other pollinating insects. This helps in pollination and your garden will flourish. If you have a vegetable garden, the marigold plant benefits you by aiding better pollination for your vegetables too.
Attract predatory insects
On the one hand, marigolds help reduce the attack of nematodes in your garden. On the other hand, due to their bright color and smell, they attract predatory bugs such as mini-wasps and ladybugs. The advantage of bringing in such bugs is that these bugs in turn will eat pests such as aphids that might ruin your vegetables.
Antispasmodic for menstrual cramps
This is another important marigold plant benefit. Marigold flower tea has antispasmodic properties and helps soothe and relieve menstrual cramps. Having the plant handy at home helps in such situations.
Detox and nourish the skin
Steep edible marigold petals in hot water to make a brilliant-colored and healthy marigold tea. Marigold tea helps nourish the skin and acts as a mild detoxifying agent. It helps that it looks lovely too. You could add mint and honey to this concoction for added flavor.
Make your own cream at home
- Pluck the marigold petals, dry them, and chop them.
- Grind them to a fine paste and mix with a little coconut oil.
- Heat the past lightly, cool, and store in an airtight container.
- Your homemade marigold extract cream is ready for use.
Bring home the marigold
The marigold is easy to grow, easy to maintain, and adds brightness to your home and heart. As you watch the marigolds bloom and nurture it in your garden, you will realize how much more the marigold plant can benefit you.
Marigolds help treat cuts, rashes, burns, inflammation, and other skin ailments. Flavonoids in marigold help prevent certain types of cancer. They help in detoxification and improve the digestive system. Marigold flower tea helps relieve menstrual cramps. The marigold extract helps treat red-eye and other inflammatory conditions of the eye. Having a few marigold plants around the house will naturally repel some common pests such as mosquitoes and other bugs.
With so many benefits, and hardly any maintenance, the marigold is a much-needed addition to your garden.