Companion Planting Marigolds with Dahlias: A Winning Combination
Companion planting is a gardening technique that involves planting different species of plants together to benefit each other in various ways. Marigolds and dahlias are two flowering plants that can be grown together as companions to enhance each other's beauty and health. In this article, we'll discuss the benefits of companion planting marigolds with dahlias, the best marigold varieties to use, and how to plant and care for them together.
Benefits of Companion Planting Marigolds with Dahlias
Pest Control: Marigolds are known for their pest-repelling properties, particularly against nematodes, aphids, whiteflies, and cabbage moths. By planting marigolds with dahlias, you can help to protect your dahlia plants from these pests.
Soil Health: Marigolds are also known for their ability to improve soil health by suppressing weeds and releasing natural chemicals that deter harmful soil-borne pathogens. This can benefit your dahlia plants, as they need well-draining soil that is free from pests and diseases.
Complementary Colors: Marigolds come in a range of colors, from yellow and orange to red and maroon. By planting marigolds with dahlias, you can create a vibrant and harmonious display of complementary colors in your garden.
Best Marigold Varieties for Companion Planting with Dahlias
French Marigolds: These are the most popular marigold varieties for companion planting with dahlias. They come in a range of colors and are known for their compact size and long blooming period.
African Marigolds: These marigold varieties are larger than French marigolds and come in a range of bright colors. They are also known for their strong pest-repelling properties.
Signet Marigolds: These marigold varieties have small, delicate leaves and produce clusters of yellow or orange flowers. They are great for adding a pop of color and texture to your garden bed.
Planting and Caring for Marigolds and Dahlias Together
Choose a sunny location: Both marigolds and dahlias need at least six hours of direct sunlight per day to thrive.
Prepare the soil: Before planting, amend the soil with compost or well-rotted manure to improve drainage and fertility.
Plant the marigolds: Plant the marigolds around the perimeter of the dahlia bed, spacing them 6-12 inches apart.
Plant the dahlias: Dig holes for the dahlia tubers that are 6-8 inches deep and 12-18 inches apart. Place the tubers in the holes with the eye facing up and cover with soil.
Water regularly: Water the plants deeply and regularly, especially during dry spells.
Deadhead regularly: To encourage more blooms, deadhead both the marigolds and dahlias regularly by removing spent flowers.
Fertilize lightly: Fertilize the plants with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer once a month during the growing season.
In conclusion, companion planting marigolds with dahlias is a great way to enhance the beauty and health of your garden. By choosing the right marigold varieties and following these simple planting and care tips, you can create a stunning display of complementary colors and protect your plants from pests and diseases. So why not give it a try and see the difference for yourself?