Butterflies love marigolds for the bright pop of color they provide all season long. They are attracted to the flowers for their color and for their nectar supply. Marigolds are also great sources for pollinating butterflies, especially when most other plants have stopped flowering in late fall.
Marigolds are colorful annuals that flower all summer long. In fact, they can bloom so profusely that they self-sow and will grow again next season.
Marigolds (Tagetes spp.) are tender perennials grown as annuals in all climates except U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11.
Depending on the species or cultivar, they grow from 6 inches tall up to more than 4 feet high. Marigolds are native to North and South America, Mexico, and southern Africa and have been cultivated throughout the world since colonial times when Europeans brought them back from their travels.
Do marigold flowers attract butterflies?
Butterflies pollinate plants as they flit from flower to flower, and marigolds are among the best flowers for attracting butterflies. Butterflies are attracted to any brightly colored flower with a sweet fragrance, but marigolds are particularly attractive because they bloom all summer prolifically long, according to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln Extension Service.
Butterflies use their sensitive sense of smell to locate food sources. They are attracted to nectar-producing flowers that emit a sweet scent, just as bees are.
Marigold flowers attract butterflies because of their bright colors and sweet scents. While butterflies can see only red, yellow, and orange, they can distinguish the difference between floral hues in the red-yellow-orange spectrum, notes the Animal Diversity Web website (see Resources).
Which marigolds are best for pollinators?
In general, single-flowered marigolds are a better choice for pollinators. The pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) is excellent for pollinators, as is corn marigold (Chrysanthemum segetum).
The vibrant orange and yellow flowers of Calendula officinalis will brighten up the front of your borders and pathway edges. These large flowers are perfect for bees and other pollinators, with rich pollen to feed on, and they’re easy to grow from seed.
This cheery annual flower is great for attracting wildlife into the garden. Sow it in spring and cut back regularly to encourage a second flush of flowers during the summer months.
Do butterflies like french marigolds?
The French Marigold is a class of marigolds that is the most popular for home gardens. Butterflies like the nectar of flowers. French marigolds have nectar. Therefore, butterflies are like french marigolds.
So, Marigolds attract a wide variety of butterflies. They are so bright and colorful. They fit perfectly in borders, rock gardens, or slightly sunken into the ground to create a beautiful ground cover. As with any flower, they need water and full sun to thrive.