Do Marigolds Keep Snakes Away?

Recently, people have been actively engaging in the practices to find snake repellent plants for growing in their own backyards. While there are ongoing speculations about whether or not marigold is a successful snake repellent, we are here to clear all your doubts surrounding it. 

We will be answering the question “do marigolds keep snakes away” while also keeping in light some other plants that have been useful throughout. 

Let us begin our quest by gaining insights about marigolds and how they help in keeping snakes away if that is what they actually do. 

What are marigolds?

Commonly available in the vibrant colors of yellow and orange, marigolds are scientifically known by the name Tagetes and are a genus of the sunflower plant. This plant is exotically native to the regions of North America and South America, varying in size dramatically. You can find marigolds being as short as 5 inches in height to as long as 3 feet in length. There are no specific reasons for these variations, but we will assume it to be completely normal. 

Marigolds are famous for their smooth nature, making them easy to grow and available throughout the annual season. 

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The most intriguing factor about marigold is its ability to be able to perfectly fit in either a closed container or an open garden. Marigolds are available in the markets as 50 different species, with three species dominating the profits. These are the African marigolds, French marigolds, and the Signet marigolds. 

Do marigolds keep snakes away?

Long answer short, yes. Marigolds play a foundational role in keeping snakes away. In fact, some botanists suggest people buy marigolds if they are searching for the perfect bait to repel snakes.

Before we step into the know-hows of how marigold keeps the snakes away, let us understand the damage that snakes can produce with their presence in your garden. Snakes- as we all know- are highly poisonous creatures; at least some of them are, therefore they are deep theta to you, your pets, or the thriving green thumbs in your garden. Factually saying, pests such as slugs, mice, voles, and beetles provide more damage to plants than snakes. 

They do not provide potential harm to your plants as such. 

Having said that, commercially bought snake repellents can never surpass the effect that organic tricks sustain. There is undoubtedly no better organic tip to keep snakes away than to grow marigolds. 

As snakes slither over marigolds, they display a sense of disorientation and discomfort, primarily due to the bitter taste and potent smell that marigolds produce. Snakes cannot tolerate strong odor and are therefore used to chase away serpents and snakes.  

It is important for you to know that no research claims support this evidence, but gardeners do swear by the efficiency of marigolds in rendering the garden serpent free. Marigolds are inexpensive and beautiful to look at. Their ability to drive away snakes adds to their never-ending benefits. 

It is advisable to sow marigold seeds as soon as the winter season passes by, preferably in spring. To keep snakes away, grow marigolds in the outbuilding and at the outer boundaries of your yard. Take care of their sunlight, water, and soil requirements, for they should be adequately taken care of. 

If marigolds don’t work out, try removing all the garden debris and covering pet food so that there are no baits left to attract snakes. In addition to this, chemical-free commercial serpent repellents can also be of use. 

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Other plants that keep snakes away

After much empirical research, it turns out that marigolds are not the only plants that you can grow to drive snakes away. Instead, there are a lot of easily accessible and cost-effective alternatives that can be used to do the same job. 

Some of the most common plants used by gardeners are Pink agapanthus, Variegated snake plant, Lemongrass, Sarpagandha, Garlic, Indian snakeroot, Mugwort, Lily of the Nile, Wormwood, Society Garlic, Kaffir-Lime, Cactus, Jimsonweed, and Creat or Green Chireta. 

While there are many non-venomous snakes that do not cause harm to living beings and can, in fact, prove advantageous by eating unwanted rodents and insects, venomous snakes are less likely to come in the absence of an attractive food source. 

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How to keep your marigolds intact?

Marigolds play an essential role in keeping away dangerous reptiles like snakes from entering your garden, and we have examined the how and why of the same.

However, what is essential is for us to establish supportive and nurturing conditions for our marigold plant so that it thrives, remains intact, and assists us in keeping bugs, insects, and snakes away from entering the house. 

Following are some valuable tips listed that would aid you in growing dream-like marigolds of supreme quality. The only trick is to follow them as stated: 

  • If your plants are becoming leggy and having a hard time blooming to their full potential, try pinching their tops off immediately after establishing their roots. It will encourage them to grow bushier. Further, observe the dying blossoms and remove them as soon as they turn brownish in color.
  • Summers induce scorching weather and extract all the water out of the soil quicker than ever. Therefore, water marigolds more often under high heat conditions. When watering, take care not to do so from overhead; instead, water at the plant base.
  • When the marigolds are undergoing periods of growth, it is crucial to keep the fertilizers as away from them as you can. This unpopular opinion stems from scientific facts claiming that nitrogen-rich fertilizers would not benefit marigolds in the long run if sprayed during their growth.
  • While it is important to meet the daily watering requirements of your plant, it is also essential to keep a check on not overwatering the soil. Too wet or too soggy soil tends to encourage root rot and foul leaves, which is a direct source of arm for the progress of your marigolds. 
  • For suppressing unwanted plants, or weeds, add a layer or two (if it’s a thin layer) of mulch between the plants. This is much needed when the plants are young.
  • Given their exquisite color and vibrant fragrance, it is difficult to believe that marigolds do not attract many pests and diseases. Nevertheless, spider mites and aphids still find their way to infest the blooming plants and their flowers. They do not require much to drive them away. A spray of water or a bar of insecticidal soap is more than enough to protect your plants.
  • If you continue to dispense your plants with additional water needs, be ready to encounter fungal infections like powdery mildew on your marigold leaves. Under such conditions, you can only act to reduce the amount of water sprayed on your plants dramatically. Also, you can exchange your soil for well-drained soil that absorbs essential nutrients and keeps the additional water draining systematically.
  • If you wish to decorate your interiors with marigolds, you will be delighted to know that they remain dry and fresh even after much time of removing the flowers from the plants.
  • Marigolds have edible properties, and they make a perfect addition to summer dishes. If you wish to, you can also consume them as a tiny part of your meal. 


When we started, we had a perpetuating question in mind, that is, whether or not marigolds play a successful bait in keeping away snakes.

Not only we got our answer to that, but we also came to realize marigold is not the only plant in the race, but there are 14 other plants that have proved their effectiveness in keeping these dangerous animals at bay. 

Further, we also got to know more about marigolds and the conditions they thrive in. We hope that now you are all set to plant those beautiful marigolds in your backyard. 

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