How to Grow Marigolds in Pots – In addition to providing color and nectar for beneficial insects such as butterflies, bees, and ladybugs, marigolds are an easy-to-grow annual that can transform your garden into a sunny haven. Watch them blossom from late spring through autumn if you give them full light and well-draining soil. Marigolds come in a variety of hues, including orange, yellow, and even red, gold, copper, and brass.
After being sown, marigold seeds germinate in a matter of days, then bloom in approximately eight weeks. They’re a wonderful first-time gardening activity for youngsters and garden novices since they provide such a fast feeling of accomplishment. Adding to this, marigolds are a wonderful addition to your vegetable garden since they serve as a deterrent to predators and pests alike.
The varieties range in height and width from six inches to four feet. For additional information on sizes, see ‘Types.’ Flowers of the marigold family are simple to grow, and they will bloom even in full sun, scorching heat, and poor to ordinary soil. Because they look so lovely, even in the ground, marigolds are a great choice for growing in pots. For container marigold growing tips, continue reading.
Types of Marigolds
Marigolds come in more than 50 varieties, but the three most prevalent are as follows:
The most frequent kind seen in local nurseries is Tagetes patula (French marigold), which is 6 to 12 inches tall and 6 to 9 inches broad. They’re little annuals, but they pack a big floral punch.
Marigold Tagetes erecta (African marigold) is the tallest and widest kind, with a height of 1 to 4 feet and a spread of 1 to 2 feet. Flowers may grow to be as big as 5 inches across, with tightly doubled, pompon-like flower heads.
Marigold T. tenuifolia (Signet marigold) is an upright annual that may reach a height and width of up to 12 inches (30 cm). One-inch flowerheads are the norm for single-flowered plants. It’s common to use the blossoms in salads, pasta, and vegetables since they’re edible and provide a splash of color.
Marigold Calendula, sometimes known as pot marigold, is a medicinal plant that is not related to the typical yellow and orange marigolds that the majority of people are used to. This is similar to Mexican tarragon, but it is primarily cultivated for culinary and medicinal purposes. While T. lemmonii, an evergreen shrub, is related, Mexican marigold (T. lemmonii) is not.
Marigold Planting: What You Should Know
What’s the best time to plant Marigold? In the early spring, when all danger of frost has gone, tall African varieties (Tagetes erecta) should be planted. The earlier in the season you start these taller types, the more time they’ll have to develop and mature in. The planting period for French and Signet varieties (T. patula and T. tenuifolia) is from spring to mid-summer.
Where to plant? Marigolds do best in broad sun, but will grow in partial shade if given the chance. A little midday shade is helpful when it’s very hot outside. Varieties of T. erecta should be planted in a sheltered location away from direct sunlight and heavy rains. Some little staking for support may be required for these taller types.
How to plant Marigold? In order to cultivate marigolds, you need to sow the seeds inside, where they will germinate in a few days and bloom in approximately 8 weeks. Put seeds in the ground as soon as the soil reaches a comfortable temperature, preferably after all risk of frost has gone. Seeds should be spaced 1 inch apart, and they should be watered well once they are planted. After the seeds have sprouted, thin them out according to the following rules:
Eight to ten-inch spacing is recommended for French or Signet types, and ten-to twelve-inch spacing is recommended for African varieties. Cut the seedlings out using landscape scissors or tiny garden shears to avoid disturbing the roots of the ones that remain. Although seeds may be planted inside sooner, it isn’t essential because of their quick germination period. Two-inch-tall seedlings are ready to be transplanted.
The final planting hole should be only slightly bigger than the rootball when transplanting marigolds bought from a nursery. Press the dirt back into place once it’s been backfilled. Ensure the area is well-watered. Mulching between the plants with a 1 to 2-inch layer can help keep the soil wet and keep weeds at bay.
Alternatively, keep an eye out for overcrowding while growing marigolds in pots.
Marigold Treatment and Care: Basic Gardening
Deadheading enhances the plant’s look and promotes more flowering later in the season. Young plants may benefit from being pinched to encourage bushier development. Removing new growth as near as possible to the next leaf nodes on the stem by pinching and removing it
Marigolds don’t have particular preferences when it comes to soil, although fairly rich, well-drained soil is ideal. They may not function as anticipated if they are planted in clay soil or in a location that does not drain properly.
Adding a 5-10-5 fertilizer before transplanting is a possibility, but it isn’t required. Marigolds planted in the ground do not require any additional fertilizer. Foliage development may be sped up at the cost of flower output if fertilizer is administered early in the growing season. Adding diluted liquid fertilizer to container-grown marigolds on a regular basis will provide them with further benefits.
When watering your marigolds, be sure to wet the roots from the ground up, not from above. With too much dampness, the thickly double flowerheads will decay. Wait until the soil has dried up between waterings, but if it’s hot or dry, make sure you water every day. Marigolds grown in pots need daily watering due to the brevity of their growth season.
Allow the flowerheads to fade and dry completely on the plant before collecting the seeds. Remove the petals and seeds after they have dried completely. Flowerheads aren’t guaranteed to generate seeds, although the majority of them will. Keep in mind that you cannot grow hybrids from stored seed.
Pests & Disease
Gray mold (a fungal disease), bacterial leaf spot (a fungal disease), powdery mildew (a fungal disease), and root rot may all affect marigolds. Leaf miners and spider mites, for example, may be a nuisance. Marigolds, strangely enough, also serve to repel a variety of insects. Marjoram has been shown to be effective in repelling a variety of pests and diseases. The New York Botanical Garden says it can assist with mosquitoes as well as aphids and nematodes.
Deer don’t like marigolds, so planting them near them may keep them from eating nearby plants. However, this isn’t a sure thing since hungry deer will eat just about everything. Marigolds don’t smell good to rabbits, so keep them away if you encounter them.
How to Grow Marigolds in Pots
In pots, you can grow whatever kind of marigold you choose, although certain varieties, like African marigolds, may grow up to 1 meter (3 feet) tall and may be too big for ordinary containers.
Marigolds planted in containers are popular among gardeners because they are more manageable in tiny spaces. Small, bushy plants such as French marigolds may only grow to a height of 6 inches (15 cm) or less, depending on the type. They come in a variety of colors and flower forms, including orange, yellow, mahogany, and bicolor.
If you want to grow marigolds in a container, signet marigolds are an excellent alternative. The beautiful, lacy leaves and orange, yellow, or rusty red flowers on these bushy plants make them a great addition to any garden.
Don’t overcrowd potted marigolds since they need a lot of air movement to be healthy. Two or three marigolds will do in a 6-inch (15-cm) pot, three in a 12-inch (30-cm) pot, and five or more tiny plants in an 18-inch-diameter container are plenty for a big container to grow (45 cm.).
Ensure that there is a drainage hole in the bottom of the container. Invest in some high-quality, lightweight potting soil. Drainage may be improved using a few handfuls of sand, perlite, or vermiculite.
A location with at least six hours of direct sunshine is ideal for the marigolds.
When the top 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) of the soil is dry, water the marigold. After thoroughly watering the soil, let it to dry completely before re-watering. To prevent root rot and other illnesses caused by excessive moisture, keep the soil dry at all times.
To promote bushy marigolds, pinch the tops of the plants once or twice after they have been planted. Deadhead your plants on a regular basis to keep them from becoming dormant.
Don’t over-fertilize; instead, use a water-soluble fertilizer once a month. Too much fertilizer or a richer soil may lead to weak plants and fewer flowers.