How to Grow Marigolds

marigold flowers

CC Flickr photo courtesy of tolomea.

Marigold flowers are a quick growing flower that have vibrantly colored flowers that are known to attract butterflies and other pollinators. With over fifty-six species the plant can grow up to two meters tall with the flower head being around 4-6cm in diameter. The plant has lush, green leaves that can overpower the flower buds if the conditions are right. The floral blooms are white, orange, yellow, and golden. There are often maroon highlights as well. Marigold seeds should be planted in April so that they will bloom by June and continue throughout the season until the first frost.

Growing Requirements for Marigold Flowers

Marigolds prefer full sunlight but can be grown in partial shade. The soil must be well fertilized and drained of free standing water but moist. Tall marigold should be spaced at least 40 cm apart while dwarf species should be spaced at least 20 cm apart. This kind of spacing will not only ensure that the plant has enough room to grow to full size but will present a uniform display of flowers in the landscaping.

Taking Care of Marigolds

Marigolds should be watered in the morning but not very often. The taller species of the plant should not be watered directly from above because it will water log the plant and cause rotting. Because marigolds prefer organic rich soil, fertilization treatments should be done often. The plant will not require much care beyond removing dead and wilting foliage. Also, tall marigolds should be staked to prevent bending when exposed to heavy winds and rainfall.

History and Uses of Marigold Flowers

The flowers have distinctive uses as medicines and culinary herbs in places such as Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, and other similar locations. The marigold also has spiritual significance in many cultures around the world. For example, the marigold is present during the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico among many other festivals and holidays.

Native to the new world, the marigold plant is used in daily rituals and worship practices. They are used in weddings as well. Also, the plant appears as national symbols, in literature, poems, and musical lyrics.

Marigolds: Diseases and Pests

Marigold is itself a pest control used to fight large nematode populations. Some species also repel deer, rabbits, and rodents. Marigold is particularly vulnerable to insects such as spider mites and spittle bugs. All of these can be treated with insecticides. Common fungal diseases can also affect marigold and can be prevented by keeping the plant in good health and treating with fungicides.

Additional Information on Marigolds

Details on general information can be found on the West Virginia University website.

Details about marigolds and pest control can be found on the University of Florida website.

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