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|6" to 36"|
|average, well-drained soil|
|year-round depending on variety and zone|
|yellow, gold, orange, maroon and crimson; solid or bi-colored, single or double flowers|
|light to dark green|
|beds, borders, mass plantings, edging, containers, planters, paths and walkways|
|Start with inexpensive nursery transplants or seeds sown directly into the ground in the spring. You can also start seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date. Pinch off spent blooms for continuous flowering all summer long.|
|Marigolds possess natural compounds useful for repelling nematodes in the garden, especially African varieties. Several varieties are also widely used for their culinary and herbal properties (mostly for tea) in many Latin American countries.|
Some garden experts feel that we rely too much on marigolds to fill in our summer beds and borders. I disagree. If anything, these summer staples are often under appreciated. Marigolds couldn't be any easier to grow, and their cheerful flowers offer a summer-long burst of color anywhere you plant them.
Origins: Mexico, Central and South America.
Life cycle: Half-hardy annual.
Site: Full sun to partial shade (better in sun).
Soil: Average, well-drained soil.
Height: Dwarf, 6 to 12 inches; large, 18 to 36 inches tall.
Foliage: Dark green leaves are thin and lacy; pungent when crushed.
Flowers: Yellow, maroon, orange, creamy white, or bi-colored; flowering from June-October.
Watering: Plants are drought tolerant, but perform better with regular watering.
Propagation: Sow seed indoors in mid-spring or outdoors after danger of frost has passed.
Garden uses: Container planting, cut-flower garden edging, mass planting, mixed borders, rock garden.
African marigolds (T. erecta): This is the largest variety, growing 1 1/2 to 3 feet tall with tight double pompom blooms (white, gold, or orange) that are 4 to 5 inches wide. Compact cultivars stay under 18 inches. These are the strongest smelling of all marigolds, but the odor is only emitted if you crush the leaves or stick your nose in the flower.
French marigolds (T. patula): Mid-size plants grow 6 to 18 inches tall and have 1 to 2 inch wide more open flowers (single, semi-double, or double). The flowers are often bi-colored.
Triploid marigolds (T. erecta x patula): These hybrids are a cross between French and African marigolds and grow to a height of 12 inches tall. Because they are sterile, none of their energy goes into seed production which results in vigorous 2 to 3 inch wide flowers. Triploids will keep blooming even in hot weather.
Signet marigolds (T. tenuifolia): Plants form mounds of flowers, 9 to 12 inches tall, with lacy foliage and masses of 3/4 to 1 inch ray-like flowers. The blooms are edible.
Marigolds offer months of easy-care color and combine well with other annuals and perennials in the flower garden. Compact signet marigolds and the mid-sized French types are well-suited to edgings, walkways, and mixed containers. The taller African marigolds are best for back borders and cutting gardens.
Marigolds also make good neighbors in the vegetable garden. Many long-time gardeners claim the roots of marigolds discourage nematodes when planted near tomatoes, potatoes, asparagus, strawberries, and roses. Their flower petals are rumored to repel the Mexican bean beetle when planted around bean plants. While there is no concrete scientific evidence to back up these claims, marigolds are still worthy of some planting space. They attract hover flies, which attack aphids, and their bright and cheerful appearance is sure to make any garden a more pleasant place.
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Hardiness Zone: 6a
Peggy from Springboro, OH
It sounds to me like slugs or snails have an appetite for your marigolds. They attack at night, usually eating the lower leaves first. The next day, you wake up to holey flowers and ragged leaves, or worse, nothing but a row of stems and a silvery-gray trail of slime on the ground where they have glided up to your plants.
The good news is that there are several easy and economical ways to effectively control the damage caused by slugs and snails.
Handpicking: This isn't the most appealing method, but it works. To spot them, grab a flashlight and head out to your marigold patch for a snail safari about an hour after sunset.
Setting traps: Snails and slugs love cool, moist places-especially to lay their eggs-so use this information to your advantage. Flip over some old flowerpots on the ground around the garden. Leave one side propped up just slightly to act as an entrance. Half an intact grapefruit or orange rind (minus the fruit) will work well, too. Check these traps daily and discard any snails and slugs you find hiding there.
Snails and slugs like beer. I've used this method myself after snails and slugs discovered some of my hostas, and I can verify that it works. Place a shallow container like a saucer or even a cut down yogurt container into the ground so that the top is at soil level. Fill the container with about an inch of stale beer (there's no need to waste the good stuff). Slugs and snails will stop by for a cold one, crawl into the container and die a happy death. Check traps daily and refill as needed.
Constructing Barriers: Slugs and snails avoid crawling over sharp surfaces. Create a physical barrier next to the base of your plants with crushed eggshells, dichotomous earth, wood ash, or coarse grade saw dust.
Snails and slugs will also avoid crawling over copper because it gives them a slight electric shock. Construct barriers from copper pipes or strips available at local hardware stores.
Cleaning up debris: Snails and slugs love to take refuge under garden debris from the hot afternoon sun. Clean up leaves, old boards, rocks, and old pots to reduce daytime hiding places, and avoid using mulch more than 3 inches deep.
Watering during the day: Because snails and slugs love a moist, humid environment, water your plants in the morning to allow time for leaves and stems to dry before nightfall.
Slugs! Slugs are eating your marigolds at night. It is a very well-known problem. I remember when I was growing up, my mother used to make little moats/trenches around her marigold beds. Then she filled the trenches with beer. This is a very common solution for the slug problem, even though it sounds crazy. I found an explanation for you that might explain it better than I can. Go to: http://www.adva caping/42925.php
The other possibility is pill bugs and/or sow bugs since I have caught them happily eating my marigolds.
If it is slugs, I have also read on this web site that crushed egg shells will stop them.
This is slugs, snails or cut worms. Sow or pill bugs ar decomposers - they only eat dead material. Put a strip of copper wire to keep slugs/snails out - but this can be expensive. There are good (and fairly non toxic products like Sluggo that can help). For Cut worms, try putting a little paper "collar" around your seedlings. Time consuming, but it works. Cut worms are an inch long grub (larva) of a large moth that lays eggs into the ground.
You could put little paper cups on top of your seedlings at night. I have actually used the clear plastic cups as miniature green houses for growing from seed.
I put out a ton of seed this year which included marigolds. I now have the tallest and healthiest marigolds I have ever seen, but there are no flowers. None at all. I have a least 100 seedlings, healthy and all, and no flowers.
what is happening?
No gardening experience whatsoever here :-)
....but you might check out the answers here:
No Blooms or Faded Blooms Due to Temperature
Lack of Blooms Due to Excessive Heat
High summer heat may slow, or even stop, blooming on marigolds. Once temperatures moderate, affected plants will begin to produce blossoms again. Triploid hybrids are somewhat resistant to heat problems. Two to three inches of organic mulch lowers the soil temperature and delays the effects of the heat of summer.
For more possible reasons go to: http://blogs.ch ____bloomin.html
My marigold plants start turning brown after a couple of weeks then just continue to turn brown till they are dead.
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Picture of Marigolds in front of the creek that runs through our property. Marigolds are one of the few flowers that the deer won't eat up! We have to put fences around most things we are trying to grow. Love the country in the spring and summer.
By Dorothy W.
These are zinnias and marigolds! I dislike the smell of marigolds, but I love the way they are sooo bright!
By Robyn F. from Tennessee
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I set some marigolds that were going to be planted up on one of my colorful benches and this little sparrow thought it would be a perfect photo opportunity for me so he posed right in the center and I got the shot!
Cute pic! I love fat little birds. (05/26/2010)
How cute! (05/30/2010)