Our Plant of the Week – Marigolds are a member of the daisy family and are originally from Central America. Marigolds have since spread around the world to almost every continent. Their bright, abundant flowers are favorites of almost all gardeners and now come in a multitude of colors and variations.
Fast-growing with lacy foliage, the flowers tend to the yellows and oranges, but many hybrid varieties may also show variation in the blossoms and the leaves.
These prolific flowering plants will grow well in almost any well-drained soil with full sun. One thing to remember is that they will easily reseed themselves, and if you decide to change your bedding plan, you may have to deal with the stragglers for several seasons after the last planting.
Not only do marigolds provide abundant and colorful flowers for cutting, but they also make excellent border and mass planting selections. Planted with vegetables, they act as a natural deterrent to a host of pests and are said to enhance the flavor os some vegetables.
Plant early for early color in the garden and the do succession plantings through the season to insure a steady supply of color.
Seeds are easily harvested after the flower blossoms have dropped their petals and before the seed head bursts. Pull them and let them dry then drop them in a plastic bag for next season.
Pests and Problems
Marigolds are known to be attractive to spider mites, so watch your plants for the telltale web works of these minute critters. A good hosing with water will often solve the problem as will a misting with any number of organic mixtures. Neem oil will work.
For added color and visual sensation, interplant with calendulas and nasturtiums. Plant among your vegetables and add color to your edible garden. Speaking of edible, the flowers of the marigold are edible and can be used to add a flash of color to salads. If used when cooking, be aware that they will impart color to your dish.
Marigolds have a place in almost every landscape. Their brilliant color, quick bloom time, and ease of cultivation make them a good choice for ornamental and food gardens as well.
Comments from Our Readers
Allen Litton from Facebook!
08 May 2019
Allen Litton The petals of the calendula also contain linoleic acid and flavonoids which are very powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial agents. I discovered this when trying to find something to sooth and heal radiation burns. They can be made into topical ointments and creams.
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