Written by Caroline Howland
These beautiful orange and yellow annuals symbolize good luck and happiness.
Marigolds add bright color to gardens and also attract insects so they are typically planted near vegetables so they can keep aphids and beetles from eating crops. They are popular because they bloom all summer long.
Plant from Seed: Marigolds are tolerant of wet to dry soil but do best in well-drained, fertile soil. Pick a spot with full sun, once the soil is warm in the spring it’s time to plant. Dig soil 6 inches down to loosen. Moisten the soil and then plant seeds 1 inch deep, 1 inch apart. Seeds can be started indoors or outdoors. The seeds should sprout within a week.
Plant from transplants: plant directly into loosened soil, at least 8 inches apart. Water each flower as you plant. Choose a sunny spot where the soil drains well.
Taking Care of Marigold flowers: water at the base of the plant when the soil is dry. Pinch off the tops of the growing plant to make the flower bushier and promote more blooms. If the blooms are dead, pinch off the flower to the nearest leaf.
Varieties of Marigolds: these flowers come in a variety of colors ranging from creamy white to golden orange. Some are larger than others. French marigolds, American marigolds and African marigolds are the most popular. The French variety are smaller than the others.
Using Marigolds: Marigolds can be cut and added to any flower arrangement but they are commonly dried because of their ability to keep their color. Hang the cut flowers upside down until the flowers are dry and they can be used for fragrance to homemade soaps, oils or lotions. They can also be kept as a dried bundle.