marigold companion plants

Marigold Companion Plants: 14 Best Herbs, Vegetables and Flowers to Grow With

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Marigolds (Tagetes) are best known for their colorful blooms that can be seen from early summer until late fall. But did you know these are some of the best plants for companion planting?

Growing marigolds will attract beneficial insects that can help pollinate your garden plants or fend off pests that might damage herb or vegetable plants. They are also beloved companion plants because they are easy to grow and compatible with many different plants.

In this guide, we are going to discuss some of the very best marigold companion plants if you want to enjoy all of the benefits that these wonderful flower plants have to offer.

What to Plant With Marigolds

When you are selecting the best companion plants for marigolds then you should take care to choose plants that have similar growing conditions as these floral plants. 

Marigolds love full sun and they need to be planted in well-drained soil. They can be grown in any soil type but need to be watered 1 – 2 times per week. Let’s take a closer look at some other plants to pair with french marigolds.

Best Vegetable Crops to Grow With Marigolds

It’s true that you can plant marigolds with vegetables. In fact, you should.

Marigolds are superb for growing an organic vegetable garden because they do a great job of protecting vegetable farms. 

These floral plants will attract pollinators like bees and butterflies which will increase your yields. 

They will also protect vegetable gardens from harmful insects because marigolds repel destructive insects like harmful beetles, aphids, squash bugs, flea beetles, and many others.

marigold vegetable garden
Marigold on a vegetable garden photo audaxl/depositphotos

Here is a quick look at some of the best marigold companions for vegetable gardens.


Tomatoes (Solanum Lycopersicum) are often plagued by insects like the tomato worm, spider mites, aphids, and other common pests. 

The bright flowers of marigolds will also attract pollinators that can increase your tomato yields.

When pairing Mexican marigolds with tomatoes, it is usually best to grow them in rows alongside your tomato crops. This is because marigolds can be a good sacrificial plant since they attract slugs, snails, and aphids. 

With marigolds next to tomatoes, you will repel pests like the tomato worm and lure other pests to the marigolds.

Marigolds will take well to the same soil as tomatoes because, as with tomatoes, they require lots of direct sun and draining soil. 

You might want to water tomatoes a little bit more often than your marigolds because marigolds are more drought-tolerant and don’t require quite as much water as tomatoes.


Since tomatoes and lettuce are such great companion plants for salads, we are also going to include them on our list. Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is vulnerable to pests like slugs, snails, and downy mildew and they can suffer from various fungal diseases. 

Growing marigolds next to lettuce can be helpful for protecting your lettuce crops.

The marigolds will act as a trap crop and will lure pests like slugs and snails or even powdery mildew away from your lettuce. Marigolds will also repel harmful nematodes and harmful beetles that might affect the root system of your leafy vegetables.

It is usually best to grow marigolds in rows parallel to each other. The taller marigolds will protect your delicate lettuce from the harsh sun on hot summer days. Lettuce and marigolds grow well in the same soil types and don’t need much fertilizer or water.


What is a tossed salad without some cucumbers? If you are growing tomatoes and lettuce then you also want to include some cucumbers in your vegetable garden. 

Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) are often ruined by pests like aphids, cucumber beetles, whiteflies, thrips, and other pests.

Marigolds are an excellent companion plant for cucumbers because they will deter beetles and lure other pests away from susceptible crops. The pollinators that marigolds attract to your garden will also increase your cucumber yields. 

The cucumber vines will also act as a ground cover to keep weeds from sprouting alongside marigolds.

It is pretty easy to grow cucumbers and the french marigold together because cucumbers take well to most soil types and prefer loose soils that drain well. The best way to grow these plants together is in rows alongside one another. 

It is also good if you can add a trellis behind cucumbers so you can tie the vigorously growing cucumber vines up and keep them from taking up too much space.


Squash vegetable varieties (Cucurbita) like butternut, marrow, acorn squash, sugar pumpkin, and many others benefit a great deal from marigold flowers. This is because the marigold blossoms will attract pollinators like bees and butterflies which can increase your yields. 

Marigolds repel pesky insects like armyworms that might attack and feed on your pumpkins and they will lessen nematodes that can cause issues around root systems.

When you are sowing marigold seeds, amongst squash seeds, it is usually best to leave plenty of room for all of these varieties to grow. Squash growths can take up a lot of space, especially if you have vine varieties growing in your garden. 

It is ideal to grow marigold flowers amongst the squash plants but you should be careful to leave plenty of room so both marigolds and squash will have plenty of room to grow.

Squash is pretty easy to grow as long as they are planted in direct sun and in well-draining soil. They need the same amount of water as pot marigolds and those bright flowers are sure to look wonderful amongst the huge squash plant leaves.

Cabbage Family

You can pair most of the varieties from the cabbage family (Brassica) with marigolds if you want to protect these vulnerable plants and other crops from pests. You can grow Mexican marigold flowers alongside cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, turnips, and many others. The marigolds will help by deterring pests like cabbage worms, and root-knot nematodes while luring pests like turnip aphids away from your brassicas.

For optimal results, it is best to grow marigolds relatively close to your cabbage plantation. Cabbage produces a strong odor that is bound to lure pests from far away. With the marigolds close by, the pests won’t have as much impact on your crops. 

Just remember to leave a little bit of space between cabbages and marigolds because some varieties like cabbages do need a lot of space to grow.

Cabbages enjoy lots of sunlight and have the same basic water requirement as marigolds. The yellow flowers will also look fantastic as they start to peek out from around your large crop of vegetables.

Best Herbs To Grow With Marigolds

A herb garden is a must for anyone who loves fresh organic foods. Picking your own fresh herbs for cooking is an incredibly rewarding experience.

Herbs are also very easy to grow and growing marigolds next to herbs can boost and protect your herb garden. Let’s take a look at some of the best herbs to grow alongside marigolds.


basil flower
Basil plant photo by fokkebok/depositphotos

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a favorite companion plant for vegetables like tomatoes and can be used to make all sorts of tasty salads or as a flavoring for foods like pasta and pizza. 

This fragrant herb is also easy to grow but it can be vulnerable to slugs, snails, Japanese beetles, aphids, and a couple of other pests.

The strong scent of marigolds does a great job of repelling pests like beetles and other microscopic pests. Marigolds will also act as a trap crop and will attract slugs and other pests like aphids away from your basil bushes so these herbs can grow undisturbed. It is also believed that marigolds can improve the taste of basil.

When you are pairing marigolds and basil, it is usually best to choose smaller marigold varieties like Signet marigolds so they won’t overpower your basil bushes. 

Interplanting marigolds in the same garden bed can easily be done if you want to produce the tastiest and healthiest basil.


Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), also known as creeping thyme, along with marigolds can create a very powerful barrier that will do an excellent job protecting vegetable beds. This is because thyme is very fragrant and also repels harmful pests.

Thyme requires lots of sunlight and grows best in soil that drains well. The plant can be a bit delicate and might need watering a little bit more often than marigolds.

To grow thyme along marigolds, it is usually best to plant the herb as a border around marigolds or on the edges of your marigold lane. 

Marigolds are quite a bit taller than thyme and might deprive your thyme of sunlight. It is usually best to grow them on the east side of marigolds or to allow lots of space between the flowering marigolds and thyme.


Sage (Salvia officinalis) is a terrific herb to consider if you want something to plant amongst marigolds so you can fill out this garden bed or create an attractive garden center. This is because your marigolds will offer a little bit of dappled shade that can protect sage from harsh sun rays.

The pale green velvety leaves of sage will also create a beautiful backdrop behind the vivid yellow and orange flowers of your marigolds. The purple blooms of sage can be seen from spring to autumn and will also complement the fresh new yellow blooms of your marigolds.

Sage is often posted by aphids, spider mites, snails, and marigolds and will do a fine job protecting these aromatic plants from pests. When you plant marigolds amongst sage, most of the common pests will withdraw from sage and attack this companion plant instead.

You can plant sage amongst marigolds or beside these vibrant floral plants. The aromatic scent of sage will also help repel other pests like cabbage moths, flea beetles, carrot flies, and other pests that marigolds might not repel and will enhance the efficiency of your repelling plant beds.


Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) is ideal for marigold companion planting if you want to add more texture to your garden. 

These delicate plants are also powerful pest control companions because they attract predatory insects like ladybugs that could help protect your marigolds from aphid infestations.

These marigold companions produce delicate rounded flowers that can create lots of texture and contrast when placed alongside marigolds. It is very easy to establish cilantro from seeds and these plants grow well in the same soil type as marigolds.

Cilantro is also an edible herb that can be used in cooking or as a spice. Many also believe that cilantro has medicinal benefits. All of these benefits make it an ideal plant for french marigolds.

Best Flower Plants to Grow With Marigolds

You can use marigolds for companion planting in a flower bed because this plant is compatible with a huge variety of other plants. It is usually best to pair yellow and orange marigolds with floral plants with contrasting colors so you can create a more striking effect.

You can also focus on shorter floral varieties to grow in the front of your flower bed and taller flower varieties for behind so you can get an explosion of color in your garden.

Let’s take a look at some of the best flower plants for companion planting.


full sun lavender

Lavender (Lavandula) is a superb flowering plant to include in your herb garden because this fragrant herb also repels insects and attracts pollinators

Lavender can also create a striking appearance when you grow them amongst marigolds. The vivid purple flowers of lavender alongside bright yellow blooms of marigolds will create lots of contrast.

When you are doing marigold companion planting with lavender, it is usually best to establish them in direct sun in well-draining oil. These two plants can be grown in garden pots but fare best when grown directly in the soil.

It is entirely possible to plant marigolds alongside lavender as long as you leave plenty of room between them. They have the same basic height and won’t overpower one another too much.

See more: What pairs with lavender


Geraniums (Pelargonium) are ideal floral plants to consider if you prefer drought-tolerant plants that are easy to grow and maintain. There are 280 different species of geraniums and you can find them in just about any color you can dream of.

Geraniums and marigolds are a good pair because the marigolds will lure some slugs away that might want to make a feast of your geraniums. If you frequently deadhead geraniums, they will also produce vibrant blooms that can create a striking appearance alongside marigolds.

When you are selecting Geranium varieties for your flower gardens, it is usually best to first consider where you will be planting this foliage. 

It is best to consider taller shrub perennial flowers (such as Zonal Geranium) if you want to create a backdrop for marigolds or to focus on lower succulent geraniums if you want to add a bit of color in front of your marigolds.


Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum) are good companion plants for marigolds if you are looking for something that can also help repel pests or if you are looking for a flowering plant that is going to create vivid blooms through summer until almost wintertime.

Nasturtium plants are edible plants that produce vivid red, yellow, and orange blooms that are sure to create an explosion of color when planted alongside marigolds. Some varieties of nasturtiums will produce clumps while others will create long vines.

These edible plants can repel harmful insects and will do a great job of attracting pollinating insects and other beneficial insects to your garden. They also act as a trap crop because they lure pests like aphids towards them and away from some of the delicate flowers in your garden.

You can pair nasturtiums and marigolds in the same garden bed because these are both hardy plants that love lots of direct sunlight.

See more: What not to plant with nasturtiums


Bachelor’s Buttons (Centaurea cyanus), also known as Benjamin’s button, are good companion plants for marigolds if you want to create more contrast in your garden. 

This annual flower comes in different shades which include pink, purple, and white. The most common of the lot is the variety of blue flowers.

Cornflowers will bloom throughout summer and they can tolerate most soil types. These flower plants will lure insects like bees and butterflies to your garden. This type of foliage usually only grows up to 48 inches tall and they are known to self-sow. To help them flourish, it is usually best to grow them about 12 inches away from marigolds.

These self-sowing annuals will die in winter but will return again during late spring. When they return, they can provide lots of joy to your garden again the following year.


Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) is also good marigold companion plants because they create complementary colors that suit the sunny hues of marigolds. The delicate foliage of snapdragons will also add more texture to your flower bed.

Snapdragon flowers usually bloom throughout summer and well into autumn. This means that you will get lots of vibrant colors from your mixed marigold garden throughout these warmer months. 

There are many different varieties of snapdragons and they come in a huge variety of colors. Most of these colors are very attractive alongside the vivid yellows and oranges of marigolds.

You can grow these beautiful plants in direct sunlight and place them amongst your marigolds as long as you remember to allow plenty of space amongst them so they can easily expand. Snapdragons can also be harvested for vases or arrangements when they start to bloom.


What should you not plant next to marigolds?

Marigolds are known to produce allelopathic compounds that can inhibit the growth of certain plants, so it’s generally advised not to plant them next to beans or cabbage family crops.

Where do you put marigolds in a vegetable garden?

Marigolds are commonly placed at the edges of vegetable gardens to help deter pests. They can also be interspersed among vegetables susceptible to nematodes, as marigolds are believed to have some nematode-repelling properties.

Can you plant marigolds close together?

Yes, you can plant marigolds close together, creating a dense and colorful display. However, ensure proper spacing to allow good air circulation, which can help prevent fungal diseases.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this guide was useful for finding some great neighboring plants to grow alongside your marigold plants. 

If you want to know more about companion plants for other types of garden plants or vegetables, then you should have a look at some of the other guides we have on our site. With our guides, you can create a healthier and more organic garden with ease or get much better yields from your vegetable garden.

See more: What do marigolds symbolize?

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