Who has never seen the Marigold? It is a small plant, which can be kept in a pot throughout its life, or if you prefer, in the garden along with other specimens. Plus, it is so easy to care for that even children will enjoy it. Learn all about How to Grow Marigolds in this article.
Origin and Characteristics Marigolds
Our protagonist is a plant that, despite the common names it has, is native to Mexico. It belongs to the botanical genus Tagetes and is popularly called Marigold. There are 47 accepted species, out of the 151 described, being Tagetes erecta and Tagetes patula some of the best known, both being ideal plants to have in pots or the garden during the spring and summer season.
It is a plant that, depending on the variety, can grow as an annual or perennial herb or as a shrub. The stems are slender or stout, highly branched. The leaves are opposite at the bottom, opposite or alternate at the top, and in all cases simple and entire to pinnatifid or compound, with entire or serrated margins.
The flowers appear in cymose or solitary capitulescences measuring about 0.8″-1.5″ (2-5cm) and are of very bright colors: yellow, orange, red, or bicolored. The fruit is an achene (dry fruit whose seed is not attached to the inner wall) elongated and thin, with bristles and/or scales.
How to Grow Marigolds and Care
If you decide to have a specimen, we recommend the following care:
It is important to place your Marigolds outdoors in full sun. This will allow it to grow well and bloom.
Pot: universal growing substrate without or mixed with 20% perlite.
Garden: the type of soil is indifferent as long as it has good drainage.
Watering should be frequent during the warmer months of the year, but rather scarce the rest of the year. Thus, in general, it will be watered 3-4 times per week during the summer, and 1-2 times per week the rest of the year. Anyway, I insist, this is only a general rule: the frequency of watering will depend on the climate (the warmer it is, the more watering is necessary), the location (a plant in a pot will not need the same amount of water as another one in the garden), and if it has a saucer underneath.
During spring and summer, it can be fertilized with organic fertilizer, taking into account that it has to be liquid in case it is planted in a pot. This fertilizer can be guano, compost, mulch, humus, manure from herbivorous animals, or any other.
Planting or Repotting Time Marigolds
In spring, as soon as it is purchased. If you want to have it in a pot, it should also be repotted the same day it is purchased.
How to Propagate Marigold
Marigold is easily multiplied by seeds during spring. The step by step to follow is as follows:
First, you must fill a seedling tray with a universal growing substrate.
Second, water so that the soil is well soaked.
Third, place 1-2 seeds in each alveolus, and cover them with a thin layer of a substrate.
Fourth, water again, this time with a sprayer.
Fifth, place the seedbed in a slightly larger tray that does not have holes in it.
Sixth, place it outdoors, in full sun, and water it by filling the tray without holes with water.
If all goes well they will germinate in 7-10 days.
When the sun is very strong for many days in a row, it can be affected by red spider mites. They feed on the sap of the leaves, where they also weave their webs. They are combated with acaricides.
Snails and slugs can also be harmful but can be kept away by sprinkling a ring around the plant with diatomaceous earth.
If growing conditions are not the most suitable, it can be affected by:
Leaf fungus: such as Alternaria or Cercospora. They cause the appearance of spots. They are combated with fungicides.
Fungi on the stem and/or roots: such as Phytophthora, which first infects the root system and then causes the stem to rot and die. It is combated with fungicide.
Gray mold: caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea. It develops on flowers and leaves, which must be eliminated as soon as you see that they have been affected. Treat with fungicide.
Virosis: causes the appearance of colored mosaics on the leaves. There is no cure.
Frequently Asked Questions About Marigolds
Can Marigolds Grow in Shade
If there are only a few hours of shade per day, this will not be a problem for the plant. But if they are too many hours the plant will die, since it needs enough hours of sun.
Can Marigolds Grow in Pots
Of course, Marigolds can be grown in pots, as long as they have good sun.
When to Grow Marigolds
The best time is in spring.