Marigolds are the perfect addition to any garden, whether you are brand new to gardening or have been working in the dirt for years. These easy to grow plants are hardy, colorful, and help keep pests away from other plants in the garden. They are the ideal, frustration free, plant to add some color and texture to your garden. Lets look at how easy growing marigolds really is.
“The Marigold is a flower that blossoms in the face of adversity. It’s hardy and resilient, even when it’s surrounded by dirt.”
Marigolds are a popular flower for many reasons, but mainly their cheerful, easy to grow flowers that are available in many shades and patterns of orange, white, red and yellow. Their flower is similar to a carnation or daisy, and they will bloom all summer long if you deadhead the plant. They are easy to grow from seed and available in the greenhouse in multi-packs to make planting your garden simple.
The marigold is typically grown as an annual, and with more than fifty species available, you can plant a couple new varieties every year and never run out of options. People are quick to pass by the marigold section in their garden center, hearing from some gardeners that they are plain and boring, but a swath of marigolds in a garden is very striking and will attract many native and helpful insects to your property.
Marigolds will do well in many locations, but prefer a full or part sun location with well drained soil. They will thrive in hot locations and don’t do as well in a shade garden. Place your marigold plant wherever you would like it in your garden in loosened soil, add some fertilizer, water well and they will be on their way to providing beautiful flowers all summer long.
Marigolds grow easily from seed, so feel free to pop them directly into the soil after your last spring frost. You will see them sprout within a week and they should produce flowers within 8 weeks of planting. If you would like, you may also start them in seed trays indoors a few weeks before your last frost and then plant them outside into your garden. Marigolds are tough plants and will transplant well.
After you plant your seeds or transplant seedlings and new marigolds into the garden, water thoroughly until they are established.
Marigolds make a great companion plant. Plant marigolds along side tomatoes, cucumbers and beans to help keep bugs away and make your vegetable garden a brighter place to be.
Once you have your marigold seedlings in the ground in a sun or part sun location, continue to water them during hot and dry conditions. Marigolds will do well with an all purpose fertilizer applied every couple of weeks, but it is not necessary.
Pinch back new growth in the few month or so to encourage plants to become more bushy. Although marigolds do not require deadheading, it will encourage them to bloom more frequently and continue all summer. At the end of the season, keep a few blooms on and encourage them to go to seed. You can harvest the seeds for next year, or simply let them fall into your garden and seed themselves.
Try to water marigolds at the base of the plant as excess water can encourage powdery mildew on the leaves.
Marigolds are not prone to encountering pests, but you can keep an eye out for aphids and treat accordingly. Check out my post on five common garden pests for information on how to treat aphids.
As mentioned above, if too much water is left on the leaves of the marigold, they can develop powdery mildew, so try to water at the base of the plant to avoid this occurring. Keeping weeds away from the plant will also help to keep the area dry and prevent powdery mildew.
Growing marigolds is easy and fun and they add a bright splash of color to every garden. If you are looking for a list of great marigolds to try, look at this list of marigold varieties from Gardener’s Path.
Let me know below how you use marigolds in your garden space!