Marigolds are colorful, compact annual flowers that resemble daisies, coreopsis, and even carnations in blossom form. Marigolds are a great container plant since they are so easy to grow.
Marigold plants are native to Mexico, although they can be grown almost anywhere. They're incredibly versatile and low-maintenance. They can be direct-seeded in the spring after the final frost for a summer of vivid blooms.
Types of Marigold
Marigolds come in a variety of species and divisions. The majority are short, but there is a lot of variability among the different varieties. Short bedding marigolds grow 4 to 6 inches tall, while larger types grow up to 18 inches tall and make lovely cutting flowers. African, French, and signet marigolds are the three most popular varieties.
- African Marigolds (Tagetes erecta)
African Marigolds (Tagetes erecta) are famous for their enormous, pom-pom flowers on compact or reasonably tall plants. They can reach a height of over 2 feet and produce blossoms that are 5 inches in diameter. Yellow and orange are among the available colors, while a red option is sure to appear at some time.
- Marigolds from France (Tagetes patula)
The long, abundant blooms of French marigolds are admired. Although they can grow from 5 to 18 inches tall, they are usually short, bushy plants. They feature purple-tinged stalks with double flower heads that are about 2 inches across and come in yellow, orange, and mahogany colors.
- Signet Marigold (Tagetes tenuifolia)
The signets are edible marigolds. They have lacy leaves and petite, solitary daisy-like flowers, which distinguish them from bedding marigolds. They're available in yellow and orange, with names like 'Orange Gem,' 'Tangerine Gem,' 'Red Gem,' and 'Lemon Gem' to match. Some hybrids with a broader color palette, such as cream, burgundy, and bi-colors, have lately hit the market, although their flavor isn't necessarily on par with the 'Gem' kinds.
Marigolds: How to Grow Them
Following their planting, marigolds require little maintenance and are free of pests. They're frequently employed to ward off pests. Marigolds bloom almost continuously throughout the summer and will continue to do so until the first frost arrives. Keep your marigolds deadheaded to ensure nonstop blossoming.
Plant your marigolds and provide them with enough light for the most flowers and the healthiest plants.
Marigolds aren't picky at all. As long as the soil is not too acidic, they should be happy with excellent garden soil (and a little water during dry spells). Maintain a pH of at least 6.0 in the soil. They also don't require a lot of organic matter in the soil and seem to thrive in a cleaner environment.
Make sure your marigold seeds or seedlings get frequent watering when you first plant them. Leave them in dry soil for no longer than a few days. Water them every day if the weather is scorching and sunny. They will be more drought-tolerant after a few weeks of establishing a solid root system, but they will still bloom best if watered weekly.
Humidity and Temperature
Marigolds are one of the few real annual flowers in the garden. Every year, gardeners in all planting zones must replant them. They can withstand various temperatures; however, powdery mildew can develop in damp or humid summers. This difficulty can be mitigated by planting in full sun and allowing plants adequate airflow.
Unless your soil is exceptionally poor, you won't need to add additional fertilizer to your marigolds. Deadheading regularly is the greatest way to keep them in bloom.
- African marigolds of the 'Antigua' Series have huge blooms.
- The 'Gem' Series signets have single-flowered flowers and fern-like foliage.
- The ruffled, deep-yellow French marigold ‘Naughty Marietta' has maroon spots in the center.
Growing From a seed
Marigolds are a breeze to grow from seed. Their large, easy-to-handle seeds are frequently utilized in school projects with children. You can start seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before your last frost date, but it's not necessary.
Marigolds germinate when planted outside, and because the plants don't begin to grow until the weather gets warm, the direct-sown plants have time to catch up to the seedlings started indoors. Of course, seedlings are available in almost every nursery, so you don't have to produce them from seed if you want to get your flower garden off to a fast start.
Marigolds in the Landscape
Marigolds are attractive border plants, but their vibrant colors should be utilized. They go well with other bright hues, such as yellow and orange daylilies, or complimentary purples, such as salvia and verbena. Marigolds are commonly utilized in the front of a border or containers because they are short plants.
Although French marigolds are known to have pest-repelling properties and were once thought to be an essential flower for the vegetable garden, there is little evidence that they repel anything other than nematodes.
They do, however, provide a lot of colors to the veggie garden. You might be able to repel rabbits by planting marigolds around the boundaries of my veggie plot.