What are the calendula companion plants? Calendula contains a natural active ingredient that could be a safe and inexpensive alternative to pesticides.
Scientists have found a natural way to stop insect damage to tomato plants.
Researchers at Newcastle University’s School of Natural and Environmental Sciences found that Calendula (or Pot marigold) releases a chemical called “limonene” that effectively stops whiteflies on tomato bushes.
As a result, they recommended planting Calendula next to tomatoes to protect the crop.
Not only is limonene safe for the environment, but it is also safe for beneficial insect pollinators such as honeybees. In addition, Calendula provides nectar for the survival of honeybees, noted lead study author Dr. Colin Tosh.
He believes that in the future Calendula’s limonene will be a natural alternative to synthetic pesticides because it does not cause resistance in whiteflies.
In addition, limonene makes up about 90% of the oil content in citrus peels. It is a common ingredient in mosquito repellents and can also be used as an air freshener.
Whiteflies, or alewives, are small, equal-winged insects that are known to be vicious pests of crops. They feed on plant sap, reduce the immunity of plants and promote the growth of mildew.
Scientists plan to conduct further experiments with Calendula to control whiteflies, thrips and spider mites, three major tomato pests.