There are so many benefits of growing marigolds! They have long been heralded as a flower of choice for both flower and vegetable gardens.
Did you know there are over 50 species of this particular flower?! Who knew this lovely little plant offered so much variety.
Marigolds are such a wonder flower to grow, especially if you are just starting a garden, or prefer a low maintenance option. They have a beautiful array of colors in all shades of vibrant orange, soft yellow and striking red.
Unfortunately, they are considered annuals. I wish they were perennials, however they are the kind we need to plant year after year.
Types of Marigolds
There are so many types of marigold , which is great when you want to add dimension and depth of color to your garden. Here are a few of my favorites, and most common varieties:
This is one of the smaller types and typically grow about one foot in height. Good for edging a garden as they don’t spread and stay small. Their colors can vary among each plant, with red, yellow and browns, often within each flower head.
(Common or Scotch Marigold)
I love this flower for it’s beautiful height, which can grow to around 3 ft and its stunning petals. They have gorgeous round flower heads and spread open to show a deep eye in the center. Typically orange and perfectly ornamental.
(Mexican Marigold or Aztec)
This is one of the larger varieties that can grow over two feet in height. I love this type of as they are the so fill with cute flowers that look like a little round poofs!
These are sweet, and are a bit different in style than the others. They aren’t as full of flower but rather have five larger petals. Often referred to as an herb, this variety can grow about 18 inches tall.
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When to Plant
No surprise here, you need to plant marigolds after the last frost! Check your grow zone to be safe and try to avoid any chance of slight frost.
You can sow directly into the ground once it thaws and becomes somewhat warm. You can also start your seedlings indoors a few weeks prior.
Where to Plant
You absolutely want to be growing marigold flowers in a sunny location that will receive about 90% sunlight a day. While they can grow in a shaded space, they won’t thrive and you will not reap the benefits of these beauties. Definitely aim to place them where they will get lots of light!
When planting marigold plants, allow for about 18-20 inches of space between seedlings. You will want to consider their growth and span and let them flourish with lots of space between.
If you’re transplanting your flower from a seed growing pot you have two options depending on your soil composition and assuming you have an establish root system. For dense, clay-like soil (like mine) dig a hole that is double the size of your little seedling.
If you have loose, airy or loamy soil, you don’t need to dig a much bigger than the current size, just enough to allow for some soil to settle in and help establish the roots.
I would encourage you to plant your seeds directly into the ground. They are nearly fail proof!
How to Care for Marigolds
When growing , keep in mind they prefer hot, dry climates, and can tolerate a mild drought well. Typically, they would only require a nice watering two to three times a week.
They can be susceptible to root rot and other issues due to over watering. Feel free to add a light layer of your choice of mulch, but not too much as you’ll lock in too much moisture for too long. In addition, aim to water the soil, not the flower.
As with most flowers, you want to deadhead your marigold flower regularly, or as soon as you notice one dying off. This will allow the plant to concentrate on growing the healthy parts.
Benefits of Growing Marigold Flowers
Here are some of the best advantages of growing marigolds in your garden. Take note, reap the rewards!
Did you know that these gorgeous flowers are edible? They are! You’ll often see them sprinkled on dishes to add a pop of color, like a salad. They do best on food when they don’t get fully absorbed into a dish, but rather act as a decoration.
Aside from their culinary dazzle, one of my absolute favorite functions of these plants is their ability to repel insects. Bugs like mosquitoes, flies, and other nasty little pests that may otherwise damage your gardens.
They are great pollinators! Another benefit is that they attract bees, butterflies and other flying insects that will actually help your garden grow and produce!
For the extra crafty, marigold flowers can be used as a dye in foods and cloths. You can extract the color from the flower easily by boiling them in water and submerging your product of choice to absorb that gorgeous shade!
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