- Growing Marigolds
- How to grow your own Marigold
- 1. Seeds & Soil Preparation
- 2. Germination & Vegetation
- 3. Hydration, Sun Exposure & Fertilization
- 4. Protection & Harvesting
- Caring For Marigolds In Pots – Tips On Growing Marigolds In Containers
- Potted Marigold Plants
- Caring for Marigolds in Pots
- Transplanting Marigolds
Did you know? Marigolds are grown in gardens as natural insect-repellents.
Marigolds are prolific annuals that can add color to any garden. You can choose from a wide range of colors and sizes. The colors include orange, yellow, mahogony, crimson, some bicolors and even white.
The taller American varieties of marigolds can be grown outdoors and the dwarf French varieties in pots and containers. The Marigold seeds can be sown in April. Marigolds begin flowering in June and continue flowering until frost.
Factors involved in growing Marigolds
Though Marigolds are easy to grow, some factors are to be considered when growing them:
- Sunlight: Marigolds can grow in full sun to partial-shade, but it is preferable to plant them in sunny locations as shading may have an adverse effect on flowering.
- Soil: Marigolds grow best in moist, well-drained and fertile soil.
- Spacing: Grow your tall Marigold varieties 40cm apart and the dwarf varieties 20cm apart to give room to the growing branches. This will result in a uniform display.
- Temperature: Minimum temperature for growing marigolds is 10ÃÂÃÂ°C. Optimum temperature for the germination of seeds is 19ÃÂÃÂ°C.
- Watering: Marigolds do not need regular watering but require so during the dry spells. Be careful not to sprinkle water on the flowers of tall varieties, otherwise they become water-logged and soft. It is better to water Marigolds during the early morning hours so that there is sufficient time for the water on the foliage to dry up.
- Fertilizers: Marigolds do not require fertilizers if the soil is rich in organic material. For poor soils, you can add a slow-acting, granular fertilizer(about 1 teaspoon per plant), but be careful not to add an excess of fertilizers which may result in an increased growth of foliage instead of flowers.
- Mulching: When the marigold seedlings are tall enough, spread a 2 or 3 inch layer of some organic material such as dried grass, wood chips or chopped leaves on the soil around them. This mulch reduces weeds, retains moisture in the soil, cools the soil, and fertilizes the soil as it decomposes.
Taking Care of Marigolds
Marigolds are self-reliant plants, but a little care can ensure that they are perpetually blooming in your garden.
- Pruning: Marigolds do not require much pruning, but deadheading is good for marigolds as it suppresses seeding and encourages blooming.
- Staking: Provide staking for tall varieties of Marigolds to protect them from strong winds and heavy rainfall. Insert a sturdy stick or some green stalk behind the plant and tie it with some soft material like plastic. The stick may be small so that it does not show.
- Insects and Pests: Marigolds have a pungent odor, so they are not troubled by insects, but during the wet season, they can be visited by slugs. Slug pellets would solve the problem.
How to grow your own Marigold
1. Seeds & Soil Preparation
A. SOIL PREPARATION Empty the soil bag to the very environmentally friendly coconut pot. Don’t forget to leave about a quarter of an inch or so of empty space in between the surface of the soil and rim of the pot to ensure proper growth. Press the mixture slightly to eliminate stubborn air pockets. Dampen the mixture thoroughly with water so it’s ready to provide the right environment for seeds to germinate.
B. SOW. Drop at least 2-3 seeds into the pot making sure they have ample space in between. Cover them lightly with some soil at least 1-2mm deep. Water the pot very lightly to ensure good seed–to-mix contact.
C. SEAL & NURTURE. Leaving the pot completely open will allow too much heat as well as allowing moisture to escape, this may cause fewer germination or no germination at all. To prevent this, look for a clear plastic kitchen wrap or bag and spray it with some water. Be sure that the moist side of the plastic will sit above the soil. Go ahead and secure the plastic (moist side inside) with a rubber band or thread, acting as the pot’s lid. This will help it to retain the moisture that the seeds need to germinate properly. Twice daily, remove the wrap and sprinkle the pot with some water especially when it’s hot.
2. Germination & Vegetation
A. TIME TO UNVEIL THEM. Remove the plastic wrap when the sprouts start to emerge (around 5-8 days after step 1). When you see the first green tendrils (tiny stems) push up through the soil, you can then remove the wrap. Germination is over, now the second stage starts. It’s called vegetative stage. In this stage leaves will form and it will gradually grow. You need to keep the soil moist to aid the growing plant. You may water it very lightly at least two times daily preferably in the morning and late afternoon to maintain its moisture.
B. THINNING. Thin seedlings after they get their second sets of leaves. Pull out the weakest seedlings (Note: perform thinning after the emergence of the true leaves- 4th leaf), for the strongest, healthiest plants you’ll want just one seedling per pot. Discard plucked out seedlings or you can try to transplant them into different pots, but you risk damaging the roots of the plant, which can adversely affect its rate of survival.
3. Hydration, Sun Exposure & Fertilization
A. HYDRATION & SUN EXPOSURE. Because the potting mix in a pot dries quickly; you will need to water oh so frequently. Keep the soil damp but not soaked. When the plants have begun to sprout, they will need to be watered regularly but the soil should be allowed to dry out between watering. Do not water your Marigolds from overhead. Water at the base of the plant.
Marigolds grown in cool, damp conditions are likely to develop problems with mold, mildew and fungus. These problems can be avoided BY KEEPING YOUR MARIGOLDS IN FULL SUN.
B. FERTILIZATION. That frequent watering tends to wash out nutrients from the pot’s soil, as well as some of it was already acquired by the plant so you will need to replenish it with fertilizer. Start to fertilize 14-21 days after emergence of sprout and every 15 days. Sprinkle at least 5-10 pcs of DURABLOOM Pellets to the soil for its nutrients requirements. You can crush the pellet and sprinkle indirectly around the marigold for faster absorption. (Note: not a single bit of nutrient will ever reach the plant system if not carried out by water) it is a must that you water the pot after fertilizer application or apply it before you do your watering. You can also enhance the marigold development by giving it direct nutrients, dilute ½ teaspoon of DURABLOOM Foliar in 2 Litres of water and spray it to the leaves of the plant. This will boost root development and ensure that the plant will utilize all nutrients available in the potting media. You can do this once a week.
4. Protection & Harvesting
A. DEADHEADING AND PEST MANAGEMENT. “Deadheading” is a cultivating process in which you snip off dead blossoms from flowering plants. While not strictly necessary, deadheading your marigolds will help prompt the plant to produce new flowers.
Gardeners have long known that marigolds make important companion plants all over the garden. Not only does the scent of the marigold repel animals and insects, but the underground workings of the marigold will repel nematodes worms and other pests.
B. SEEDS HARVESTING. To harvest your marigold seeds, leave the flowers on their stems to dry. Wait for the flowers to wilt and die and after about a week the petals and shell will turn dry and brittle, and the flower will take on a brownish color. When this happens simply grasp the dried up flower and pull it out of the pod. The seeds will come through the opening in a tight cluster attached to the withered flower. Clasp that cluster of seeds and pull it from the dried flower to separate them. Let the seeds dry for a few days on an open plate, or newspaper before storing them.
Caring For Marigolds In Pots – Tips On Growing Marigolds In Containers
Marigolds are easygoing plants that bloom reliably, even in direct sunlight, punishing heat and poor to average soil. Although they are beautiful in the ground, growing marigolds in containers is a surefire way to enjoy this delightful plant. Read on to learn how to grow marigolds in containers.
Potted Marigold Plants
Any type of marigold can be grown in containers, but keep in mind that some types, such as African marigolds, can reach heights of up to 3 feet (1 m.) and may be too large for standard containers.
Most gardeners like to plant smaller container grown marigolds. For example, French marigolds are small, bushy plants that reach heights of only 6 to 18 inches (15-20 cm.), depending on the variety. They
are available in orange, yellow, mahogany or bicolor, and in double or single blooms.
Signet marigolds are another good choice for potted marigold plants. The bushy plants have attractive, lacy foliage and orange, yellow or rusty red blooms.
Caring for Marigolds in Pots
Don’t crowd potted marigold plants, as healthy marigolds require plenty of air circulation. One marigold is enough for a 6-inch (15 cm.) pot, but you can grow two or three in a 12-inch (30 cm.) pot, and five or more small plants in a large container with a diameter of 18 inches (45 cm.).
Be sure the container has a drainage hole in the bottom. Use a good quality, lightweight potting mix. A handful of sand, perlite or vermiculite improves drainage.
Place the pot where the marigold is exposed to at least six hours of sunlight.
Water the marigold when the top 1 to 2 inches (2.5-5 cm.) of soil is dry. Water deeply, then let the soil dry before watering again. Never allow the soil to remain soggy, as wet conditions invite root rot and other moisture-related diseases.
Pinch the tips of newly planted marigolds once or twice to encourage bushy plants. Deadhead the plants regularly to trigger new blooms.
Apply a water-soluble fertilizer every month, but don’t over-fertilize. Too much fertilizer or overly rich soil can produce weak plants with few blooms.
Marigolds are great companion plants that can be used to divert pests away from more important cropping plants. While they are annuals, marigolds are not very hardy. Always keep starting plants indoors to make sure you have enough for your needs.
Step 1: Plant Your Seeds
You can use seeds from the previous year’s plants or you can buy new seeds from a garden shop. It is best to plant the seeds indoors in pots to save any danger of a late frost killing them off. Marigolds germinate readily and grow quickly in a warm, dry atmosphere. It is usually safe to restrict your planting to one seed per pot because the failure rate is so low. Water each seed well after planting then wait for it to germinate.
Step 2: Transplant the Seedlings
Once you are sure you have had the last frost you can transplant the seedlings into your garden. If you are using them as companion plants, space them wide apart within the cropping plants. If you are planting them for their flowers, space them in rows about 6 inches apart.
Step 3: The Soil
While marigolds will grow in just about any soil they prefer rich and well-drained soil. To transplant them simply dig a hole about the size of the pot the seedlings are in. Tip the seedling and the soil into your hand and then transfer them into the hole. Tap down firmly and use any spare soil to fill gaps and spread around the seedling. Although an established marigold will tolerate a dry spell you should remember to water the seedlings once or twice a week.
Step 4: Mulching
Although marigolds are prolific growers and do keep pests down, they are not very robust when faced with weeds. It is a good idea to surround your marigold plants with a layer of mulch to keep the weeds down or plant them through a small sheet (9 inches square) of black polythene held in place by a few stones.
Step 5: Using Fertilizer
Once the marigolds start flowering they will bloom continually for several months. This can deplete the soil so it is a good idea to dig in a little fertilizer around the marigold roots to feed them.
Step 6: Slug Pellets
Marigolds are great at protecting other plants against insects. They have an aroma that is too strong for them. Unfortunately slugs love marigold leaves and can cause a lot of damage so it is a good idea to put a few slug pellets around the base of each marigold plant.
Marigolds are very attractive flowers and very easy to grow. Children especially like them because of the speed at which they grow and the large blooms that just keep on coming after the first ones arrive. The first frost kills off the plants very quickly so any plants that you have growing in pots should be brought into a frost-free area before winter really sets in.
With their rich yellow, cream, lemon, gold, orange and reddish-brown flowers, marigolds are great plants for brightening up any garden. They are excellent massed in a bold display on their own, or they can be toned down with while and blue flowering annuals for a mixed display. Recently marigolds have become popular in the vegetable garden for use as companion plants, because not only does their pungent foliage deter insects, but their roots discourage soil-dwelling nematodes. Marigolds are extremely easy to grow, and can be cultivated almost all year round in warm regions of Australia. Here are some easy tips for growing stunning marigolds.
Marigolds can be raised from seed, or you can plant them as seedlings. The two main types are African, which are tall and produce large flowers and French, which develop into smaller plants with generally smaller flowers. Despite their names, both types originate from Mexico. The tall varieties can grow up to 75cm high and may need staking, while the compact types are ideal for the edges of beds and borders and containers. Both varieties require the same growing conditions.
The first point to bear in mind is that marigolds must be grown in full sun to flower well – they won’t reach their full potential if they are grown in shade. Tall varieties need to be protected from strong winds to prevent them blowing over.
Marigolds prefer a loose, friable loam which has been enriched with organic matter and complete fertiliser. The texture and properties of Searles® Garden Soil Mix are ideal for these types of plants and planting your marigolds directly into this mix will save you the time and effort of digging over, improving and manuring your existing soil. Space tall varieties 40cm apart and dwarf types 20cm apart for a good display.
Another important tip for marigolds is to pinch out the first few flowers before they open. This will force each plant to produce more flowers and you’ll end up with a far better display or colour. Whilst you are at it, remove any weeds from around your marigolds otherwise they will compete with the plants for food and water. Marigolds develop a relatively shallow root system so it is important to keep them well watered and mulched with Searles Mulch Plus® to prevent heat stress and evaporation.
Young marigold plants grow vigorously so you will need to fertilise regularly with Searles Flourish® Soluble Plant Food right up to the point of flowering. Once your plants start flowering, you won’t need to fertilise as much. Marigolds have a long flowering season, which can be extended even further by regularly deadheading your plants. This will keep them looking neat and fresh and will stimulate the production of more flowers over many weeks to come.