If your garden feels a little empty, some warm-coloured flowers, such as Tagetes a.k.a. Marigolds might be the perfect solution! Once you see how pretty these flowers are, you’ll surely fall in love with them. And the good news is they are really easy to grow and care for!
With over 50 gorgeous species of flowering plants, Tagetes is one of those interesting genera that deserve a place in your heart and in your plant family. In cultivation, most gardeners know the flowers from this genus by the common name Marigolds. They have a wide natural distribution, growing mostly in regions from the southwestern United States through South America.
Marigolds are very popular ornamental plants, coming with species that vary in hardiness, size, or flower shape and color. The most eye-catching cultivars include T. erecta (African Marigold), T. lemmonii (Mexican Marigold), T. lucida (Texas Tarragon), T. mendocina, T. minuta (Wild Marigold), T. patula (French Marigold), and T. tenuifolia (Signet Marigold).
Keep reading to find out more about one of our favorite ornamental plants − Marigolds!
- Marigolds were considered the flowers of the dead in pre-Hispanic Mexico. Nowadays, these flowers are still very common in the Day of the Dead celebration, a Mexican holiday where families and friends gather to pray for the loved ones that have passed.
- In Ukraine, the T. tenuifolia, T. patula, and T. erecta species are national symbols. Likewise, these beautiful plants have gotten lots of attention in many Ukrainian art pieces, such as poems, songs, and tales.
- T. minuta a.k.a Southern Cone Marigold is an important species for the native folks of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. They make a paste from the leaves and flowers of this plant, then use it to cook the well-known potato dish called ocopa. The flavour of fresh T. minuta is a hypnotic mixture of tarragon, sweet basil, mint, and citrus.
- In Mexico, some people use T. lucida to prepare a sweet, anise-flavoured herbal tea. This plant also works fine as a culinary herb in various warm climates, making a nice substitute for tarragon.
- Marigolds play a big part in both traditional and modern medicine. These plants are effective as a treatment for headache, cough, toothache, swelling, skin problems, wounds, digestive issues, rheumatism, or sore eyes.
- The essential oil of T. minuta is a popular ingredient in perfumes, food flavouring, and tobacco-based products. The florets of T. erecta serve as a food colour for baked goods, ice cream, yoghurt, pasta, mayonnaise, salad dressing, mustard, and citrus juice.
- Marigolds are absolutely irresistible not only for humans but also for different species of pollinators. Their blossoms attract butterflies, bumblebees, and beetles. Moreover, the foliage is an excellent food source for some Lepidoptera caterpillars.
- Depending on the cultivar, Marigolds can be lovely additions to most types of landscape decorations. They are great for Mediterranean gardens, butterfly gardens, herb gardens, kitchen gardens, borders, beds, garden edges, or containers.
- Many marigold cultivars are widely used in cooking and are generally considered edible, but not all of them have a pleasant taste. If you plan on growing them for their aromatic properties, opt for Mexican Mint Marigold, French Marigold, or Gem Marigolds.
- It is very important to mention that although these plants are considered edible and non-toxic for humans, they contain phototoxic thiophene derivatives, which have little effect on humans, but they can be dangerous for animals (if ingested). For safety purposes, grow your Marigolds in a location where your kids, cats, or dogs cannot reach them and use them with caution.
Marigolds Features: An Overview
- Marigolds belong to the Asteraceae family of flowering plants. In this large family, we can encounter numerous popular flowers, such as Aster, Calendula, Chrysanthemum, Coneflower, Dahlia, Daisy, Dandelion, Solidago, Sunflower, Yarrow, or Zinnia.
- Tagetes plants are annuals or perennials, with most of them being herbaceous species. They vary in size, reaching from 4 inches to 7.2 feet (10 cm to 2.2 m) in height and 6 inches to 10 feet (15 cm to 3 m) in width.
- Their evergreen foliage contains many pinnate, greenish leaves consisting of narrow, lanceolate leaflets that can feature deeply serrated margins. On some Tagetes species, the leaves can be aromatic, having a pleasantly pungent, musky fragrance.
- From one Marigold cultivar to another, the blooming period is different. While some Marigolds can bloom from early summer until frost, others will produce blossoms only during the autumn and winter months.
- The blooms of Marigolds have various sizes and shapes, from solitary, small, daisy-like specimens to double, large, chubby ones. They can exhibit superb shades of yellow, orange, golden, red, white, maroon, and even bewitching mixes of these.
- Marigold flowers make for wonderful companions to other species of plants. Some of the most suitable companions are Aeonium ‘Sunburst’, Agave, Black-Eyed Susan, Coral Aloe, Dahlia, Lobelia ‘Vedrariensis’, Mexican Bush Sage, Nasturtium, Pennisetum ‘Rubrum’, Snapdragon, and Zinnia.
When it comes to lighting conditions, Marigolds are not as picky as you might think. All you have to do is plant them in a location where they will enjoy full sunlight exposure and let them be. For healthy growth and profuse blooming, your plants will need at least six hours of bright and direct light daily. Indoors, keep Marigolds in front of south, north, or west-facing windows.
No matter what region you live in, Marigolds will perform best outdoors if you are growing them as annuals. Once the weather gets colder in autumn, usually at 40 °F (4.4 °C), you will have to get your plants out of the soil and replant them next spring. However, you can also keep your Marigolds always inside and forget about this process for good.
Although these flowers can withstand a wide range of temperatures, some fungal issues may occur when they experience damp or humid summer months. Make sure you provide your Marigolds with proper lighting exposure and excellent air circulation to avoid this unpleasant situation.
The ideal time to plant your Marigolds is typically in spring, but only when the last danger of frost has passed. Soil-wise, these plants are not fussy at all and can grow just fine in any good-quality garden soil that is rich in organic matter. Furthermore, they prefer those substrates that are not too acidic, with a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0.
Unless you plant your Marigolds in extremely poor soil, the flowers will thrive without additional feeding. But for those specimens that grow in inadequate soil, an application of balanced slow-release fertilizer once every year in early spring is mandatory.
If you are dreaming about long-lasting Marigold blooms, you will have to deadhead them regularly. Whenever you notice a spent flower on your plants, we recommend you remove it to make extra room for new ones to flourish.
Without a doubt, most Marigolds can make for adorable potted plants both indoors and outdoors. However, depending on the species, they tend to outgrow their containers in several months or years. When this happens, you must transplant your flowers in new pots that are one size larger than the current ones. To avoid stressing them out, repot your Marigolds only in spring when they are most vigorous.
- Beautiful - Full color seed packets of Crackerjack Marigold (Tagetes erecta) flowers. This variety produces beautiful round orange and yellow colored blossoms. Enjoy outside in the garden and indoor as cut flowers. Minimum of 750mg per packet.
- Fun - Plant wildflower style or in carefully arranged beds, whatever suits your fancy. Crackerjack Marigold will bring color to your garden as they blossom all summer long.
- Pollinator Friendly - Butterflies and bees love Crackerjack Marigold flowers and will likely pay you many visits. Great way to support your local pollinators.
- Easy to Grow -- Instructions included on each packet with additional growing tips in the “How To” section of our website. Plus we are available to answer your questions as well. If these seed don’t germinate, we will happily make it “Right” for you.
- Safe Seed - Sow Right Seeds has taken the Safe Seed Pledge and sells only Non-GMO heirloom seeds that are safe for you and your family.
- EXTRA LARGE PACKET contains over 1 full ounce of pure live seeds (10,000+ seeds!) - Enough to cover 125 square feet.
- THE FRESHEST SEEDS available lead to high germination rates, making your gardening easy, successful, and fun!
- PREMIUM PACKAGING designed for optimal seed storage, with full planting instructions and reusable zipper - Great for gift giving!
- GUARANTEED TO GROW - We guarantee our seeds will germinate or your money back! No questions asked within 30 days.
- HEIRLOOM VARIETY with large and fragrant blooms will bring beautiful color and beneficial insects to your garden!
Last update on 2023-06-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
At the beginning of the road, you should water your Marigold plants or seeds regularly to maintain the soil constantly damp. To help these flowers settle in their new home much easier, it would be wise to avoid allowing them to sit in dry conditions for more than a couple of days. In case the weather in your area is more on the hot side, you will have to spoil your young Marigolds with drinks once every day.
Once established, Marigolds become somewhat tolerant of drought for short periods. Still, this does not mean that you should forget about their watering routine too often. Marigolds will grow healthy and happy if you provide them with weekly drinks. We know, this might seem a bit difficult at first. But you will get used to it in no time!
The fastest and easiest way to have lots of stunning Marigolds in your collection is to propagate yours through seeds. This method requires no prior experience in the gardening world, so you will encounter no difficulties if you are a beginner. And since you can do this all by yourself at home, you will also save some extra money along the way. All great!
Now let’s get to the real deal! First things first, make sure you collect the seeds from your Marigold flowers once they start to wilt. After this process, you have a decision to make. You can start the seeds indoors about six to eight weeks before the last frost date from your region. Likewise, the seeds will perform just the same if you sow them directly outdoors. Either way, germination will occur only once the warmth of spring shows its presence.
Sow the Marigold seeds in fresh soil and provide them with water whenever the substrate feels dry to the touch. With lots of full sunlight exposure and warm temperatures, the seeds will typically germinate in a month or so. If you have started the seeds indoors, you can transplant the seedlings in their permanent spot once each has at least one pair of leaves on it.
Marigolds are spectacular plants that produce warm-coloured blooms. Add them to your plant collection and enjoy their blooms during the warm season. If you are a cool gardener and you already have at least one Marigold around, make sure you share your interesting journey with us in the comments! If not, what are you waiting for? Give Marigolds a chance and we promise you won’t regret it!