3 tips for planting marigolds in your garden

June 23, 2015

Tremendously popular and easy to grow, marigolds are the best source of sunny yellow colour in the summer garden — or let orange or bronze marigolds carry your garden into fall.

3 tips for planting marigolds in your garden

1. Simple to plant

Adaptable and easy to please, marigolds perform well from seed sown directly in the garden in spring, or you can set out bedding plants.

  • As long as the site is sunny and the soil is well-drained, marigolds will thrive. Sow more in midsummer for a big burst of colour in the fall.

2. The first blooms should go

Pinch off the first blooms, even if you have to grit your teeth to do it.

  • It's the best way to encourage marigolds to develop more branches, which means more flowers.
  • Once the plants begin to bloom heavily, regular deadheading accomplishes the same thing as pinching.

3. Strip down the stems

Marigold foliage rots quickly in water.

  • When preparing to use marigolds in a cut flower arrangement, strip off the leaves that will be below the water line.

Get to know your marigolds

  • French marigolds grow into bushy mounds less than 45 centimetres tall and are the best marigolds for edging a bed. Many varieties help to control the soilborne pests known as rootknot nematodes. French marigolds are available in yellow, orange, mahogany and some bicolours.
  • African marigolds grow to one metre tall and have tight pom-pom blooms up to 10 centimetres across in shades of yellow or orange. There are many hybrid marigolds with a little African ancestry that grow into big, robust plants.
  • Signet marigolds, often called gem marigolds, have lacy foliage and small, dainty flowers. The blooms are edible, but signets often do not bloom for as long as other types of marigolds.
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