What Is A Marigold Flower?
Scientific name of Marigold is (Tagetes). It is genus of about 50 species of annual herbs of the aster family (Asteraceae) and native to south western, North America, tropical America, and South America. The name marigold also refers to the pot marigold (genus Calendula) and unrelated plants of several families.
Members of the genus Tagetes have attractive yellow, orange, or red composite flowers that are solitary on the stems or clustered. The leaves are arranged opposite each other on the stem and are usually finely cut. Characteristic bracts (leaf like structures) form a cup-shaped base below each flower head.
Annual Marigolds are appropriate for seasonal use in all zones.
There are varieties available from 6 inches to 4 feet tall, and 6 inches to 2 feet wide.
Late spring until first frost
There are approximately 50 species of marigold, but the 3 most common are:
- Tagetes patula (French marigold): The most common type found in local nurseries, these range in size from 6 to 12 inches tall and 6 to 9 inches wide. They are compact annuals with double flower heads up to 2 inches across.
- Tagetes erecta (African marigold): These are the tallest variety of marigolds and range in height from 1 to 4 feet, and have a 1 to 2 foot spread. Their large flower heads can reach up to 5 inches across, are densely double and pompon-like.
- Tagetes tenuifolia (Signet marigold): Upright annuals that grow up to 12 inches tall and wide. Flower heads are single and are usually 1 inch in size. The flowers are edible and often used as a bright topper for salads, pasta and vegetables.
How to Plant Marigold?
Marigolds germinate quickly, sprouting within a few days and blooming in about 8 weeks, making them easy to grow from seed.
Sow seeds directly outside after all danger of frost has passed and the soil has begun to warm up.
Sow seeds 1 inch apart and water thoroughly after planting. After the seeds sprout, they should be thinned to the following guidelines:
French or Signet varieties 8 to 10 inches apart, and African varieties 10 to 12 inches apart.
Use landscape scissors or small garden shears to cut the seedlings out, as pulling them out can disturb the roots of the seedlings left behind.
Seeds can be started earlier indoors, but with their fast germination time, this really isn’t necessary. Seedlings can be transplanted when 2 inches tall.
When transplanting marigolds purchased at a nursery, dig and loosen the soil about 6 inches down, with the final planting hole just slightly larger than the root ball. Back fill with soil and press firmly into place. Water thoroughly. Adding a 1 to 2-inch layer of mulch between the plants will help keep the soil moist.
Best Time To Plant Marigold:
Taller African varieties (Tagetes erecta) should be planted in early spring after all danger of frost has passed. Starting these taller varieties early in the season will allow them more time to grow and mature.
French and Signet types (T. patula and T. tenuifolia) can be planted any time from spring through mid-summer.
What is the Ideal Soil For Marigold flower?
Marigolds aren’t too picky about their soil, but will be their best in moderately fertile, well-drained soil. If planted in clay soil or an area that doesn’t drain well, they may not perform as expected.
How Much Sun Does Marigold Need?
You can plant them in almost any area that receives sufficient sun, but will tolerate some shade. During times of extreme heat, some afternoon shade is beneficial.
Although capable of growing in a part-sun environment, marigolds will never shine in these conditions. In addition to developing weaker and less prolific blooms, when grown in the shade, they become susceptible to powdery mildew and a host of rots that affect buds and stems.
How Much Water Does This Plant Need?
It is best to water marigolds at the base of the plant and not from overhead. The densely double flower heads will tend to rot with excess moisture. Allow the soil to dry somewhat between watering, but do water regularly in high heat or dry weather. Marigolds growing in containers should be watered daily as containers dry out quickly.
Caring Tips Of Marigold Flower Plant:
Keep a diligent eye out for spider mites when the weather is hot and dry, and look for little weblike buildups on plants to indicate their presence.
Like many plants, marigolds are also susceptible to yellow aster. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do if you find this nasty ailment in your garden except to dispose of infected plants.
Home Remedies of Marigold :
Interestingly enough, marigolds also do their fair share of repelling several types of insects. According to the New York Botanical Garden, marigolds can help keep away mosquitoes, aphids, thrips, whiteflies, Mexican bean beetles, squash bugs, tomato hornworms and nematodes.