Marigolds


 

A widely grown half hardy annual in the UK, the most common forms being;


African Marigold erecta:


These grow to a height of around 600mm and requires planting out approximately 300-400mm apart in an open sunny position and flower from July till first frosts.


African Marigold erecta

French Marigold: patula


This annual generally grows to 200mm (8*) high with upto a 300mm (12") spread subject to variety.

There are single or double forms, and the colours range from yellow through orange to red plus bi-colours, and flower from early July to the first frosts.


patula (single)
patula (double)

The leaves of the marigold are coated with oily glands that produce a pungent scent.

The flowers are hermaphrodite (having both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects, and are noted for attracting bees ,butterflies and hover flies.


The plant is often used in companion planting for many vegetable crops.

Its root secretions kill nematodes in the soil and it is said to repel harmful insects, such as white fly amongst tomatoes.


Both erecta and patula are easy to grow.

They will bloom for most of the summer providing the plants are deadheaded regularly.

Seeds can be collected and saved when it ripens in September.


Examples of Petal formation and colours:





Cultivation


Week 12:


Sow both types of seeds under glass in pots/cells/trays, lightly covering the seeds with compost and germinate at temperature of 18°C (65°F)

Germination should take about four to five days.

Marigold Seeds

Week 14-15:



Prick out seedlings if large enough to handle in 50mm (2") cell trays or in boxes set out 50mm (2") apart,gradually harden them off in a cold frame.

Marigold Seedlings

Week 22:


Plant out in sunny borders 200-250mm (8"-10") apart after all chances of frost has passed.

Dead head as flowers fade to encourage further flowering.

Planted Out Marigolds

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