Marigolds are a popular flower for gardens and flowerbeds. They can be either annual or perennial, depending on the variety. Marigolds will grow well in most soil types, but they prefer rich soil with good drainage and full sun to partial shade.
Marigold care is not too complicated once you know a few basics about marigold growing: how often to water your marigolds, when to fertilize them, how much sunlight they require, etc. In this article, we’ll answer some questions about general marigold care and offer some advice for growing these gorgeous flowers.
The fundamentals of Marigolds
What are marigolds?
Marigolds are a diverse group of flowering plants in the genus Tagetes. They are native to North and South America but are popular flowers worldwide.
Why are marigolds popular?
The flowers come in various colors, from yellow to orange or dark red. The leaves also vary in shape and size, but they usually have a pleasant scent. And above all, marigolds are easy to grow.
Which marigold grows best in my flowerbed?
There are many varieties of marigolds, and each has its own growth characteristics. Most types do well in full sun or partial shade. Marigolds that prefer full sun usually have smaller flowers, while those that prefer partial shade have more prominent blooms. You can also choose a type based on color:
-Aureum: Gold flowers with green centers
-Lemon Gem: Lemon yellow flowers
-Prestige: Orange flowers with golden centers
What are the marigolds’ main benefits?
Marigold flowers are edible and can be used in salads or sometimes as a garnish or even a tea (called calendula flower tea). The leaves may also be eaten. They contain saponins (a natural pesticide) which give them pest-repelling qualities, making them beneficial companions to your crops.
How fast do marigolds grow?
A marigold seedling will grow to maturity in approximately two months but can be harvested within a month of planting.
What are the types of marigolds?
The most popular types of marigold are:
These hybrids typically grow between 10 and 24 inches tall, with single or double flowers. They are famous for their color and the fact that they repel nematodes.
African marigolds can be grown as annuals or perennials. They’re hardy in zones 8 to 11 but may not survive winters further north. As its name suggests, this type of marigold is native to Africa and grows between 12 and 30 inches tall. The small yellow or orange daisy-like flowers appear throughout summer and fall and emit a lemony scent when brushed against.
This popular variety is a form of African marigolds. It will not grow taller than 8 inches and can be planted outdoors in spring or autumn, but also indoors in winter if you live in a colder climate. Its leaves have a pleasing lemon scent released when they’re brushed or crushed.
These are dwarf varieties that only grow around 6 inches tall and have yellow flowers with orange tips. They are suitable for borders, and the leaves give off an onion scent when crushed.
-Marigold Tagette (Tangerine Gem): Around 12 to 20 inches tall, these bright orange annuals with green centers are known for their fresh tangerine smell.
Marigold African daisy
This variety is also known as the French marigold, although it’s native to Africa. It has large flowers and grows between 10 and 24 inches tall. These are typically only available in the summer months when they can be planted outside. Some varieties can even withstand colder temperatures, so you may be able to grow them inside year-round.
Watering and Growing your marigolds
How often to water marigolds?
You should water your marigolds every 7 to 10 days if there hasn’t been a significant amount of rainfall. Be sure to check the soil before watering, as it should never feel soggy and should never be allowed to dry out completely.
How much water does my marigold need to survive?
If you live in an area with hot temperatures or lots of sunlight (such as California), give your marigolds at least 1 inch of water per week during their growing season (spring through fall). Although it can vary depending on how sunny or humid your climate is, watering about twice a week should do the trick in warmer temperatures.
Are Marigolds drought resistant?
Marigolds do not like water-logged soil, so ensure that you only water them every 7 to 10 days and allow plenty of drainages. Although marigolds can survive in dry soil, they grow best with regular moisture. Water, the ground around your plants, gently and deeply rather than sprinkling them as it can cause disease and rot.
How to water marigolds?
Watering marigolds is simple – dig a hole and pour in water until it starts to drain out the bottom of the hole. Repeat once or twice more if necessary. Avoid watering from overhead as this can damage leaves and stems.
How should I water my marigolds?
When you water your marigolds, ensure that the soil drains well so that too much moisture isn’t left sitting around its roots. Marigold plants don’t like having their leaves sprayed with cold water, so give them a long drink during their allotted time and then stop before things get uncomfortable for them. This will also help prevent mildew from forming on the leaves if they get wet when it’s cold outside. As mentioned earlier, watering from overhead is not recommended because it can cause disease and rot.
What kind of fertilizer do marigolds need?
Marigolds require fertilizing every two weeks during their growing season with a standard fertilizer. Alternatively, you can use compost or manure around the base of your plants instead of buying specialist fertilizer.
How much sunlight do marigolds need?
Marigolds will tolerate partial sunlight but grow best in full sun. If you’re growing marigolds indoors, make sure that they are placed near a window where they can get at least 4 to 6 hours of sunlight per day.
What is the best temperature for growing marigolds?
Marigolds grow best in warm weather (temperatures between 60 and 90 F or 15 to 32 C). Marigolds exposed to cold temperatures may start to wilt, so be careful if you’re planting them outdoors during the fall.
What type of soil should I use for growing marigolds?
If you don’t have rich, moist soil, try mixing compost into your existing garden soil before planting your marigolds. As mentioned earlier, don’t plant marigold plants where tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants or peppers were grown the previous year as this will cause leaf rot – something that rarely bothers marigolds themselves but can damage other plants sharing their bed.
How deep do I plant my marigold?
Plant your seeds about one inch down in moist soil, keeping the area well-watered until germination occurs. Keep the site free of weeds during this time. Once they have sprouted, thin out the weaker plants touching each other. They will begin blooming in approximately two months.
How tall do marigolds grow?
Most marigolds grow between 6 inches to 36 inches tall. If you are growing your marigolds for their flowers, make sure they get at least one-half hour of direct sunlight per day. This will keep the blooms vibrant and ensure better growth.
How far apart do I plant my marigolds?
Plant them about 4 to 6 inches apart in a sunny area if you’re planting seeds. Make sure that you leave about 8 to 12 inches between established plants – this is where they will flower best. Marigolds can grow close together when planted from seed if space is an issue because the roots don’t always reach all areas when grown from seed, so there’s less need for spacing.
Pruning and Propagating your marigolds
How to propagate marigolds?
It’s easy to propagate your marigolds – snip off a few of the dying flowers and let them dry out over the course of a day. Place them in moist soil in containers, keeping them watered well until they sprout new growth.
How often should you prune your marigolds?
You can cut back, or deadhead spent blooms on your marigolds at any time during their growing season using pruning shears. This will encourage more buds and promote better health for the plant. Pinching off flower heads between three weeks after planting and midsummer can also help with superior bloom production later on down the line. This is only advisable if you are growing marigolds specifically for their flowers.
How to repot marigolds?
To repot your marigolds:
1. Make sure the soil is dry before starting.
2. Lift them out of their pot and remove all but an inch of loose dirt around the root ball with your hands or a trowel.
3. Fill the container back up with fresh soil and water it well.
4. Make sure that there are no air pockets in the dirt.
5. Place your marigolds into their new home and add more soil if needed to cover most of the roots.
What size pot should I use for my Marigolds?
If planting your Marigold plants outdoors, use growing pots at least 12 inches across. If you’re using smaller containers, it’s important to remember that marigolds should only be planted once the roots have reached the bottom of the pot because their roots will quickly become overcrowded and produce fewer blooms if not given enough space. Also, remember that growing marigolds do best when there is sufficient drainage.
How to prune marigolds?
When your marigolds are in full bloom, you can prune them back by about one-third of their total height to improve their health and ensure superior blooms. Cut right above a leaf node – this is where there will be another branch that will grow out from the cut point.
Where to cut marigolds?
If you want to take any stem cuttings from your marigolds, they can be taken from July through September. These cuttings should be about four inches long and should have a least one leaf node on them. Place these cuttings in water or moist soil until roots grow to ensure that they will survive.
How to grow marigolds in pots?
If you are growing marigolds in pots, seek out containers at least 6 inches deep. This will allow the plants to become established before they bloom. Marigolds do best when there is ample drainage and only require about two-thirds of an inch of water per week on average if it’s not very hot where you live. If your area sees high temperatures during the summer months, however, make sure to increase this to 1 hour of direct sunlight per day while also increasing watering by half an inch every day or two depending on how dry it is outside.
Problems with your marigolds
Why are my marigolds dying?
If your marigolds are dying, it could be the result of overcrowding. They should never be planted closer than 18 inches apart because their roots can’t reach all areas grown from seed.
Other reasons include plant diseases, pests, and soil pH levels. If your marigolds show signs of disease, you should always seek to identify the type of infection they are experiencing so that proper care can be carried out. If you believe that your marigolds may have pests, talk with someone about the kinds of bugs that are most prominent in your area. It will help you determine whether it’s necessary to treat the soil with pesticides.
Why are my new marigolds drooping?
There could be too much sunlight or not enough for your marigold plants if they are experiencing sunscald or sunburn. Marigolds don’t enjoy hot weather, so make sure you move them away from direct sunlight if this happens. The lack of water coming into contact with their roots is also a possible reason for drooping blooms because these plants require constant moisture.
Why are my marigolds wilting?
If your marigolds are wilting, they could be suffering from exposure to cold temperatures. Don’t plant them too early in the springtime because this can damage their roots. Also, avoid planting them during hot weather because it will keep moisture away from the soil where the roots need it most. This is why it’s important to water regularly and deeply if you live in an area that experiences dry conditions during the summer months.
Why are my marigolds turning brown?
If your marigolds turn brown, you may have accidentally applied fertilizer with too much nitrogen to the soil. Adding a slow-release organic fertilizer or removing any dead plant material can help to prevent this problem from continuing. Also, make sure that your marigolds are receiving only an inch of water per week because overwatering can also cause them to turn brown.
Why are my marigolds turning yellow?
If your marigolds turn yellow, you may need to fertilize them because it could be a sign of nutrient deficiency. It could also result from diseases like rust or gray mold that can most easily affect areas that receive less sunlight.
Why are my marigolds falling over?
There are many reasons why your marigolds might fall over. If they haven’t been staked when they were planted, they will indeed become droopy and fall with gusts of wind. They should also only be grown in pots if you live in an area where there is not much space available for plant growth – this will make them less likely to become top-heavy and bend at their stems. Marigolds can develop root rot if they are overwatered and don’t receive enough drainage.
How to revive my dying marigold?
If your marigolds die back after falling over, make sure they are in an area where there’s plenty of sun and fresh air. Marigolds need at least six hours of sunlight each day to grow properly, so make sure they have room for this before planting them outside or moving them indoors if you’re growing them indoors during the winter months.
If this has inspired you to get started with marigolds, that’s great! They make excellent plants for your garden, flowerbeds and even in the home as cut flowers. Get started today.