Marigolds (Tagetes spp.) are one of the most popular and dependable bedding flowers. They are a low-maintenance annual that attracts butterflies, bees, ladybugs, and other helpful insects as well as providing color to your garden.
From late spring through fall, provide them full sun and well-draining soil, and observe them flower.
Marigold seeds germinate in a matter of days and bloom in around 8 weeks. They’re a terrific first-time gardening activity for youngsters and garden rookies since they provide such a quick sense of accomplishment.
Marigolds are also an excellent vegetable garden companion, as they can help protect your vegetables from predators and pests.
How To Care For Marigold Plant
Prune the marigold
Deadheading (trimming off withered flowers) improves the plant’s look and encourages more blooming later in the season.
Young plants can be pinched to encourage bushier growth. Pinch and eliminate new growth as quickly as possible to the next leaf nodes on the stem at the top of the plant.
Read also: How To Grow Marigolds From Seed
Use the proper soil
Marigolds aren’t fussy about their soil, but fairly fertile, well-drained soil is ideal. They may not function as well as intended if planted in clay soil or in an area that does not drain effectively.
Fertilize the marigold
A 5-10-5 fertilizer can be used during transplanting, but it is optional. Marigolds growing in the ground don’t need much fertilizer.
In reality, fertilizer can promote leaf growth at the price of flower output if applied throughout the growing phase.
Marigolds in containers might thrive from a liquid fertilizer that is diluted and watered in regularly.
It’s recommended to water marigolds from the bottom up, rather than from above. With too much dampness, the thickly double flowerheads will decay.
Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, but water often if the weather is hot or dry. Container-grown marigolds should be watered daily because containers dry up rapidly.
Propagate the marigold
Let the flowerheads wilt and dry completely on the plant to save seeds. Discard the petals and shake off the seeds once they have dried completely.
Although not all flowerheads will generate seeds, the majority of them should. It’s important to remember that hybrids can’t be grown from preserved seeds.
Marigolds are heat-loving plants that flourish in hot weather across their whole growing range, from zones 2 to 11.
These genuine annuals may appear to remain dormant during the summer, especially in hotter climates, but flowering resumes as the temperature drops in the late summer and fall.
Marigolds can withstand a wide range of humidity levels, but in wet or humid summers, they may develop powdery mildew.
This difficulty can be mitigated by planting in full sun and allowing plants adequate airflow. These plants are endemic to Mexico and prefer dry air.
Eliminate pests and diseases
Gray mold, bacterial leaf spot, powdery mildew, and root rot are all diseases and pests that can affect marigolds. Leaf miners and spider mites, for example, can be a nuisance.
Marigolds, amazingly enough, are also effective at repelling a variety of insects.
Marigolds can help repel mosquitoes, aphids, thrips, whiteflies, Mexican bean beetles, squash bugs, tomato hornworms, and nematodes, as per the New York Botanical Garden.
How Do You Keep Marigolds Blooming?
Marigolds are annuals, so they won’t flower every year. However, by deadheading marigolds regularly, you may keep them in your flower beds all summer.
If you keep busy eliminating dead marigold flowers, marigolds, like cosmos and geraniums, will bloom throughout the growing season.
How Long Do Marigold Plants Last?
Garden marigolds are annuals, meaning they germinate, develop, produce flowers, and perish all in the same growing season.
Even when grown early in the year indoors rather than from seed straight in the garden, their optimum lifespan is less than a year.
When To Plant Marigolds
Marigolds are a western world native that can be found growing wild from the southern United States to Central and South America. Marigolds prefer warm, dry weather, although they may be grown successfully outside in any climate as long as the temperature stays above 40°F.
Annuals make up the majority of garden marigolds. Marigolds are not frost tolerant, despite their hardiness.
They shouldn’t be sowed or planted outside until the risk of frost has passed.
You can start cultivating marigold seeds six to eight weeks before the last frost date if you reside in a location with a late last frost date. When the soil temperature rises over 40°F, seedlings will be ready to plant.