No annual is more cheerful or easier to grow than marigolds. These flowers are the spendthrifts among annuals, showing a wealth of gold, copper, and brass into our summer and autumn gardens. The flower’s popularity probably derives in part from its ability to bloom brightly all summer long.
Common name: Marigold, Tagetes patula
Color: White, Orange, Yellow, Red
Bloom time: Spring, Summer, Fall
Height: Three to five feet.
Difficulty level: Easy
Planting & Care
Marigold seeds can be planted in the garden after all danger of frost has passed, but for the best results and earliest flowers, the seeds can be sown indoors 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost.
Sunlight: Full Sun
Soil: Sandy, Loamy, Clay
Water: Keep soil moist throughout the growing season.
Temprature: 70°-75° until germination
Fertilizer: Do not fertilize marigold.
Harvesting: In flower arrangements, strip off any leaves that might be under water in the vase; this will discourage the overly pungent odor. Marigolds can be dried for long-lasting floral arrangements. Strip foliage from perfect blossoms and hang them upside down.
- Germination from large, easily handled seeds is rapid, and blooms should appear within a few weeks of sowing.
- If the spent blossoms are deadheaded, the plants will continue to bloom profusely.
- When you water marigolds, allow the soil to dry somewhat between watering, then water well, then repeat the process.
- Do not water marigolds from overhead.
- Water at the base of the plant.
- Do not fertilize marigolds.
- The densely double flowerheads of the African marigolds tend to rot in wet weather.
Marigolds are found almost anywhere in the world.
- Marigolds are highly useful for medicinal purposes such as headaches, toothache, swelling, and strengthening the heart.
- The flower petals are sometimes cooked with rice to impart the color (but unfortunately not the flavor) of saffron.
- These easy care, bright blooms are often used as Mother’s Day gifts and growing projects at schools.
Check the seeds after about a week of storage to see if there is any moisture in the container. If you see condensation, remove the seeds and allow them to dry for another two or three days. Place the seeds back into storage when they are completely dry.