Marigold plants are very prolific, easy-to-grow annual flowers. Kids love ’em and adults love ’em. Marigold flowers are available in a variety of colors, including white, yellow, orange, red, and mixed colors. The flowers bloom from mid-summer until frost. They can be used for indoor arrangements. However, they give off a pungent odor that is sometimes too strong indoors.
Marigold varieties abound! There is a variety for everyone and for every need. There is a profusion of colors, multi-colors, and hues. Marigolds also come in a wide range of sizes from miniatures smaller than a foot to giant varieties that can grow up to four feet tall! You can select the color and size that is perfect for your flower garden. And don’t overlook Marigolds in container gardens. The smaller varieties do well in containers.
Did you Know? Marigolds are considered companion plants that keep insects away. Many gardeners grow them amidst their vegetable crops. More on Companion Plants
Plant height: 6 to 30 inches, depending upon variety.
Flowers Bloom: Summer through Fall
Popular Varieties: Crackerjack, Petite Yellow, Queen Sophia
Annual, Tagetas Ercta, Tagetas Patula
Marigolds are grown from seeds. They sprout quickly. Marigold seeds can be directly sowed into your flower garden or seeded indoors for transplanting later. We recommend planting Marigolds in pots and containers indoors, then transplanting them outdoors. This allows you to make the proper spacing without the need for thinning seedlings.
Sow Marigold seeds early in the season and cover lightly with soil. Water thoroughly once. They germinate easily and will grow quickly, producing their first of a continual display of blooms by mid-summer.
Transplant Marigold plants into your garden after the last frost date for your area. Spacing depends upon size with miniature varieties spaced four to six inches apart, and Giant varieties one to two feet apart.
Final Plant Spacing: Plant smaller varieties 12 inches apart. Space larger varieties 18 inches apart.
Days to Germination: 5 – 10 days.
The plants like full to partial sun. However, they tolerate light, partial shade.
Marigold plants like rich, well-drained soil, but are very tolerant of average to slightly poor soils. Improving your soil quality will produce much healthier plants and flowers, so add plenty of compost. Add a general-purpose fertilizer once a month.
Once your Marigolds are established, they should grow well, even if left unattended. Soil should be moist, but not wet. Water them during dry periods, once or twice per week.
Add mulch around the plants for appearance and to keep weeds down.
Around mid-summer, your plants will begin to produce flowers and will continue to do so up to the first frost. You do not need to remove dead flower blooms, except for appearance.
Marigolds are annual and susceptible to frost. They may survive the first light frost with only a little damage. They will not survive a hard frost or freeze.
Saving Seeds: Marigold seeds are easy to harvest for next year’s gardening season. Wait until the flower turns brown and has completely dried. Next, pull the seeds from the pod. Then, allow the seed to dry for several more days. Finally, store them in a paper envelope in a cool, dry place. More on Storing and Saving Seeds.
Ideal Soil pH: 5.5 – 7.0.
Plant Problems – Identify the causes and find the cures.
Insects largely avoid Marigold plants. They do not like its pungent odor. This is why Marigolds make good companion plants. You can even make an insect repellent spray from these plants. See Organic Sprays
While insects avoid Marigolds, slugs can do major damage. Slugs like to slither up the stem and chew on the leaves. They can destroy an entire flower garden of Marigolds. They can be seen on the plants overnight, in wet weather, and early morning. If an infestation occurs, treat quickly to avoid major damage. More on Slugs and Snails