Marigolds are easy to grow and require minimal effort. All you need is some well-drained soil, a little sunlight and some water every now and then. That’s it! Seriously, growing marigolds is stupid easy. If you don’t know how to grow marigolds but still want to plant them for the pest control or bee attracting benefits, this guide might help you get started.
Marigolds are excellent at repelling unwanted garden pests such as nematodes, cutworms, slugs and snails, mosquitoes and squash bugs. This makes them one of the best plants for organic gardening! Marigolds also repel thrips, which can destroy vegetable pollination if ignored.
How to Grow Marigolds
Step One – Plants
There are three main types of marigolds: African, French and single. The African variety is generally preferred due to its size and longevity. Their single flowers are the biggest at around six inches wide!
African marigold (Tagetes erecta) seeds can be planted in spring or fall; plants that grow in the spring will bloom much sooner. The French variety can be planted any time of year and potted plants are available in all seasons, so if you don’t know how to grow marigolds it’s an option! However, since African marigolds have a stronger scent than French ones, they’re often used as companion plants (plants that help repel pests) in the garden.
The single type is more commonly used to attract butterflies and hummingbirds, as well as bees. They also have smaller flowers that grow on multiple branches, making them ideal for a natural looking design.
Step Two – Preparing Your Garden
Marigolds are fairly resilient and can adapt to a wide range of conditions. They grow best in full sun but can also tolerate partial shade. Ideally, you want your soil to have plenty of nutrients and organic matter for good drainage and growth.
Since marigolds are such hearty plants, they can help add nutrients to the soil. You can also amend your soil with compost before planting them for a more nutrient rich garden!
Step Three – Planting Your Marigolds
Once you have an area in your garden prepared (and amended if desired), it’s time to plant your marigolds!
Sow seeds 1/4″ deep in rows that are 18 inches apart. When they have germinated (they should grow within a week if conditions are right), thin out the seedlings by weeding or pulling them so there is about one every 8-10 inches.
Marigolds like to be watered regularly, especially in dry periods. They don’t have a deep root system so they only need about 1 inch of water every few days. Over-watering can cause crown rot, which leads to the death of your marigolds! When watering them, make sure you get the soil wet about 3″ deep so they will be able to absorb the water.
Step Four – Marigold Care
Marigolds are pretty low maintenance so there’s not a whole lot of upkeep to do once they grow in. If you want to have blooming marigolds all season long, deadhead them by snipping off any flowers as they fade. This will encourage more blooms to come.
Pinching the tops off your marigolds (by pinching them about 2″ above the soil) can encourage branching and bushier growth, which will make them more attractive to butterflies. They need some maintenance but for the most part they are quite able to care for themselves!
If you want a lot of blooms from your marigolds over time, make sure you remove any dead leaves from the plant. Also, both African and French marigolds need to be planted when they are young or else they can become “leggy” with a weaker root system.
Step Five – When Your Marigolds Bloom
Once they bloom (in about 2-3 months), it’s time to cut off the dead flowers! They bloom for about eight weeks or until the heat of summer arrives. At this point you can either pull them out and compost them or allow them to die back on their own.
A lot of people throw away marigolds that have died because they assume that they’re done blooming. But you can actually still use them in your garden as a companion plant!
While marigold plants are pretty hardy, they do have some pests that may attack them so it’s good to know how to grow marigolds if you want to avoid this. Marigolds can naturally repel some pests like aphids, whiteflies, and nematodes.
If you want a pest-resistant garden, growing marigolds as companion plants will help deter these bad bugs! It’s also great to grow lots of companion gardens so your flowers are less likely to be attacked by the insects that attack other plants.
Marigold flowers are quite sticky so they can trap some insects that would otherwise attack other gardens. Marigolds will naturally repel aphids, whiteflies, and nematodes by attracting the predators of these insects to your garden without the use of harsh chemicals or pesticides!
Add color to your garden
Marigolds are a great way to add color and beauty to your garden while helping deter pests with their natural bug repelling abilities. They can withstand a lot of different conditions and have a long blooming period so they are definitely worth growing if you’re looking for an easy to maintain flower in your garden!
They come in a variety of colors, including white, pink, yellow, red, orange, brownish-reds and even lavender!
Marigolds aren’t just for your garden, though! You can also grow them in containers or planters as decorative flowers. They make a great addition to any yard or home and are a fun way to add color and liveliness to any space without taking up much room at all.
If you think marigolds are some boring flower, you’ll be surprised at how much work and love they can give to your garden! If you’re looking for a flower that will last all season long, grow marigolds in your garden and enjoy their sunny presence.
They thrive in hot, dry climates and require little care, making them the perfect plant for your garden.
They need at least 4 hours of direct sunlight each day to grow well. If planted in an area that doesn’t receive enough light, it can affect their flowering and growth.
Marigolds are quite low-maintenance so there isn’t a lot of upkeep once they are planted. However, they do need to be planted close to other plants and spaces need to allow proper air circulation. Two feet apart is a good distance for growing marigolds in order to give them enough room so their roots have space to grow but not too much that they get lonely!
When to plant marigolds
You can start planting marigold plants in the beginning of the year or sometime during spring. Most gardeners plant marigolds in late summer or early fall so that they have time to bloom over winter if planted outside.
Where to plant
Add them to pots or hanging baskets on your porch or patio. They make a great summertime addition to any indoor space.
Sprinkle them in your garden beds and mix with annual flowers and perennials for a colorful display of blooms all season long . You can also add marigolds when you’re planting bulbs so you don’t have to worry about the bulbs being eaten by bugs over the winter!
So, if you’re looking for a flower that is easy to grow and maintain in your garden, consider growing marigolds. They come in colors like yellow (the most popular), white, pink, and red-orange. Don’t forget to water them!