The Low-Maintenance Flower That Keeps Wasps Away Naturally

The Low-Maintenance Flower That Keeps Wasps Away Naturally

The Low-Maintenance Flower That Keeps Wasps Away Naturally

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You’ve planted a beautiful garden and want to enjoy it — but what if wasps are preventing this from happening? Although wasps have their place in the food chain, eating aphids and preventing them from damaging crops, you probably don’t want them hanging around your yard. Unfortunately, wasps love fruit trees and bright flowers, so your garden might be a wasp magnet. The solution is easier than you think, and all you have to do is plant some marigolds. 

You might think this is a counterproductive way of repelling wasps, but it actually works to prevent them. Additionally, you’ll benefit from all that marigolds have to offer. For starters, marigolds are a low-maintenance flower. This is ideal for the novice gardener or someone who simply wants to add pops of color to their yard without the fuss. You can also use marigolds to protect your tomato plants from pests such as slugs, as they also find marigolds to be off-putting. So if you’re ready to add beauty to your garden while working to keep wasps at bay, planting marigolds might be a colorful solution. 

Plant some marigolds

person planting marigolds

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You can plant marigolds anywhere in your yard or garden that’s overrun with wasps. Although you can strategically plant these brightly colored flowers to keep wasps away from your crops, you can also place them around your yard, enhancing your outdoor space. If you’d like to prevent wasps from bothering you when you’re enjoying some time on your deck or patio, place some potted marigolds in this location as well. 

The best thing about marigolds is the wide array of colors they come in. You can find them in shades of orange, red, yellow, gold, or white, making them the perfect addition to any color scheme. But what is the best time of year to plant marigolds for ultimate wasp protection? The spring is ideal. You want moist soil, but the time of year largely depends on the type of marigold you plant. Some do best when they’re planted in the spring to midsummer, so always consult your local garden center before planting. 

Why do marigolds work?

Marigolds in watermelon patch

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If you’re looking to protect your fruits and vegetables, all you need to do is plant some marigolds among them. But why do marigolds repel wasps? For starters, wasps find the smell of marigolds to be particularly unpleasant. They have a spicy aroma that wasps dislike, making marigolds a great way of protecting your yard. Even better, marigolds allow you to protect your garden without worrying about harmful chemicals that can leech into your waterways or harm people and pets. 

While it’s true that the colors yellow and white attract wasps, the scent alone of marigolds should repel them. However, you can add even more herbs to your garden if you’re looking to keep wasps away. In addition to marigolds, consider planting basil, lavender, and lemongrass. You’ll have an aromatic garden that’s beautiful, whimsical, and an excellent addition to any herb collection. You can even create an herb garden on your patio, adding marigolds for a luxurious outdoor space that works to prevent wasps. 

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.