Marigold Bug Spray


Marigold bug spray, and organic bug spray made with French marigold flowers(Tagetes patula) discourages asparagus beetles, whitefly, tomato hornworms, mosquitoes, and lots of other crawling and flying bugs.

It's a nice alternative to stinkier sprays like garlic or catnip; both are effective but can put a damper on a patio party if you happen to be down wind.

Marigold can attract spider mites, which is why I add cilantro to the spray. Cilantro is a turnoff to spider mites, making this a good all-purpose spray that you can harvest right from the garden and use all summer.

Marigolds are easy to grow and can be a good companion plant. I usually plant marigold, catnip, chives, lavender and garlic around my vegetable and flower beds to keep insect activity under control.  There are two types of marigold commonly available, French marigold (Tagetes patula) and pot marigold (calendual officinalis).  These are two distinctly different plants.  Many French marigold varieties are toxic (to humans as well as  bugs), while pot marigold can be used fresh in salads, as a coloring agent in rice or dried and ground in stews. They can look very similar. If you purchased your marigold at a local nursery, it's likely a French marigold variety.

Homemade French Marigold Bug Spray Recipe

1 cup French marigold flowers, leaves and stems (fragrant marigold varieties are best)
1/4 cup cilantro leaves and stems
8 cups water (2 quarts), prefer distilled water
1 teaspoon dish washing liquid

Crush the marigold and cilantro. You can even stick them in your food processor and pulse them for a few seconds.

Add two cups of distilled water to the mixture and place it in your fridge for a day or so.

Strain through cheesecloth and add the remaining water.

Add soap and shake vigorously.

You can use the liquid in a sprayer on you flowers, veggies and around your deck or patio. It will keep in your fridge for a week or more. Shake before using, and respray after every rain. There may be dye transfer onto light colored fabrics, so be careful of your clothes and patio furniture.


  1. Gonna try this.. Thanks, Sara.. Your blog ROCKS!

  2. Yakattack,

    I appreciate your taking the time to visit.


  3. Always knew that Marigolds were good companion plants, but WOW-the idea of a "Marigold flower tea" for garden insect control blows my mind. Gotta get started! Richard

  4. This is great to know. I didn't realize that the marigolds I had were French and toxic. I have some dried pot marigolds that I'll have to try.


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