After happily planting merigold plants in a pot which is stationed on the steps to my front veranda, I was very disappointed to see destruction to these supposedly "safe from insect preditors" plants - whot hoppened? It's not funny ! Please advise. Thanks!!!
seekineden wrote:After happily planting merigold plants in a pot which is stationed on the steps to my front veranda, I was very disappointed to see destruction to these supposedly "safe from insect preditors" plants - whot hoppened? It's not funny ! Please advise. Thanks!!!
---Marigolds are not at all safe from predators. A lot of people like to believe just because marigolds have strong odor, they will repel the insects. That's absolute nonsense. If you are actually seeing destruction, like a sprig or two missing, then you should also see presence of some droppings in a shape of black or green balls - if that's the case, you should look for a canker worm or an inch worm, these are small size caterpillars. Since you are talking about a container, then it is very economical for you to just manually find them and remove them. Similar damage can be also done by snails and slugs. Snails & slugs can be checked and manually removed from your pot. Just remove them from the plant and squish them. Other pests of marigolds are spider mites, leaf miners, fungi, and others I don't even know the names of. The good news is, marigolds are quite tough so even if they are attacked by these pest, they will look awful for a while and then they will look better again. I have half chunks of marigolds that were left over from the caterpillar season which just ended (the little worms pupated and became those ugly tiny bug-like moths) now looking good with full blooms but still have leaf-miners, spider mites, and blights bothering them. So yeah, marigolds are not at all pest free! I am sorry you were misled and misinformed. Just remove the canker worms and snails/slug (if any) and they should be OK, plus full sun of course (6+ hours).
Thanks for your speedy response - I was misguided by old garden wisdom and appreciate the helpful information you provided. In my case - too soon old -- too late smart - especially when dealing with Mom Nature and all her critters. I ill follow your instructions and will persevere because gardening is my way to escape from the realities of our real world. I was very fortunate to have had a mother who grew a garden of Eden in our backyard every summer and took it for granted that I would be able to do the same, not realizing how much hard work and knowledge was required. All I have to do is close my eyes and I can still envision the beauty of her garden. Thanks again - much appreciated!