“Open afresh your rounds of starry folds, Ye ardent Marigolds.” – John Keats
Marigolds make for a striking addition to any garden. The bright, golden-orange colour that radiates from them makes the environment feel warmer and more welcoming. These flowers also make for an excellent addition to bouquets and vases and are October’s birth flower!
If you’d love to plant your own marigolds, join us as we discover everything you need to know about growing and caring for these glorious flowers.
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- How To Plant Marigolds
- How To Care For Marigolds
- How To Deadhead Marigolds
- Common Types Of Marigolds
- Common Marigold Questions
How To Plant Marigolds
Planting marigolds is a relatively straightforward task. However, to help them thrive, consider the following aspects:
Make sure that you sow seeds directly into the garden. Seeds can be planted indoors but they germinate quite quickly, so there is no real advantage to doing so.
French and signet marigolds can be planted at any time between spring and the midsummer months. Taller African marigolds are best planted right at the beginning of spring, once the danger of frost has passed because they tend to mature and produce flowers at a slower rate.
How To Care For Marigolds
Caring for marigolds is easy but be sure to follow these rules to help them grow to their full potential.
- Once established, make sure that you pick off the tops of the marigold plants. Deadheading will encourage them to become bushier and keep them from becoming leggy. It will also encourage further blooming.
- Make sure you allow the soil to dry between watering your marigold plants. Then, water well and repeat the process. Spend extra time watering your marigolds when it’s very hot. Keep your watering to the base of the plant and avoid watering from overhead.
- Avoid fertilizing marigold plants while they grow as this will stimulate foliage growth at the expense of flowers.
- By adding a layer of mulch between plants when they are young, you can suppress weeds and keep the soil moist.
How To Deadhead Marigolds
Marigold plants don’t usually require deadheading but by regularly removing dying blossoms, the plants are more likely to bloom profusely.
No fancy tools or training are necessary to deadhead marigolds. In fact, it can easily be done just with your fingers.
You can either use pruners or your fingers to pinch off the dying flower heads. When doing so, make sure that you snip the flower pods that have started developing behind the flower off too. Continue to remove dead or wilted marigolds as they appear to encourage new flowers to bloom.
Common Types Of Marigolds
There are four common types of marigolds:
- French Marigolds
- Signet (single) Marigolds
- African Marigolds (also known as American or Aztec Marigolds)
- Triploid Hybrids
Triploid Hybrids are a mixture of French Marigolds and African Marigolds.
Common Marigold Questions
Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about caring for marigolds.
Do Marigolds Come Back Every Year?
The most common types of marigolds for garden planting are annuals. This means that they sprout, flower and die within the same year. However, the flowers do tend to come back the following year due largely to their ability to self-seed.
What Do Marigolds Keep Away?
Marigolds have been reported to deter root-knot nematodes, which are tiny worms, from other plants like strawberries, roses, potatoes and tomatoes. These worms live in the soil, but marigolds are believed to keep them away.
While it has not yet been proven, seasoned gardeners claim that marigolds can control pests like cabbage worms, thrips, tomato hornworms, squash bugs and whiteflies, to name a few.
How Long Do Marigolds Last?
Generally, marigold blooms can last from the beginning of spring, right until the first frost of winter. The blooming of any marigold plant can be encouraged with simple maintenance.
Deadheading the blooms, for example, could result in an abundance of flowers throughout the season. Furthermore, the foliage can also do with a bit of attention to promote bushiness and encourage the plant to last longer.
To induce greater bushiness in the plants’ stems and leaves, pinch off pieces of the plant at intersections of the leaf.
Are Marigolds Poisonous To Dogs?
Some kinds of marigolds can be mildly toxic to dogs when ingested, while others can lead to contact dermatitis when they are touched.
In most cases of ingestion, dogs may experience a mild gastrointestinal upset. This could lead to a great deal of discomfort for your dog as dogs do not have the enzymes to break down the greenery, leaves and flowers of a marigold plant. Any skin irritation that dogs may experience from marigold plants will typically be short-lived. Very rarely does a dog’s interaction with a marigold plant become fatal or life-threatening.
Will Marigolds Attract Bees?
While bees are beneficial to the environment in many ways, they can be considered something of a pest and can be incredibly dangerous to some people too. There is no science to support the fact that marigolds deter bees. However, there is plenty of belief in gardening communities across the world that their pungent scent keeps bees out of the gardens in which they grow.
Interestingly, it’s not just bees. Numerous other insects and pests such as rabbits are thought to be deterred from gardens by the presence of marigolds.
Do Marigolds Multiply?
Marigolds are among the most easily grown plants, which is why they are so commonly used in flower beds, gardens and general landscaping. They bloom within 45 days after planting, are very hardy and grow considerably quickly.
Like many other kinds of flowers, marigolds are able to multiply. This is because most varieties of the plant are self-seeding, which means that they spread throughout the flower bed or garden in which they are planted every year.
While the African Marigold plant is much larger than other variants, the quickest growing and fastest-spreading variety of marigold is the French Marigold.
Fast-growing, cheerful and easy to care for, marigolds are a wonderful addition to any garden – big or small!