Marigolds are incredibly popular not only for their easy-going disposition, but their rapid growth in any sunny spot in your garden or windowsill.
Marigolds love poor soil and tend to blossom more with very little tending. In fact, if you dote over marigolds you may get lush, green growth at the expense of flowers.
In spring, the distinctively shaped marigold seed can be planted directly in the ground right after any threat of frost is present. In any sunny spot in the garden (marigolds need at least 6 hours of sunlight a day) blossoms should begin to appear only a few weeks after planting.
Marigold's bright orange or yellow blossoms are known to attract butterflies from miles around. Some gardeners also point to their beneficial effects in dispelling common insect pests, including mosquitoes. However, slugs and snails seem to find marigolds extremely tasty and can gobble up an entire crop if left unchecked.
An excellent edging or border plant, marigolds easily tolerate reflected heat from garden walks or pavement, and also withstand drought conditions without a fuss. As marigolds are a cut-and-come again Be sure to deadhead marigolds to ensure a longer blooming period throughout the growing season.
Hardy they may be, but marigolds are sometimes prone to various disease such as leaf spot, gray mold, and root rot -- conditions most prevalent as a result of over-watering or poorly drained soil.
Marigold fun facts:
• Marigolds are named after the Virgin Mary and translates to "Mary's gold."
• The first record of marigold cultivation dates back to the Aztecs in the 1500s. Soon after, Spanish explorers introduced the flowers to Spain where their popularity quickly spread throughout Europe and Africa.
• During the Middle Ages, marigolds was used as a remedy for a variety of ailments including headache, jaundice,, toothaches, bee stings, sprains and wounds.
• Marigold petals are edible, and add a citrus-like flavor when added to summer salads.
• Farmers often add marigold flowers to their chicken feed to help naturally produce an egg with a rich yellow-hued yolk.
On the Web - How to grow marigolds :
Questions on Marigolds - Get expert responses from a professional horticulturist to common & offbeat questions on growing marigolds including container gardening, spider mite pests, grackle attacks ( ! ), and more...
Marigold - Complete fact sheet with how to's on sunlight & watering requirements, susceptibility to pests & diseases, description of several varieties including African, French, Irish Lace and tangerine-scented marigolds.