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How to Grow Tagetes Plants

Guide to Growing African Marigold, French Marigold, and Mexican Marigold

Members of the Tagetes genus are commonly grown garden plants

They are hardy or half hardy annuals and reach heights of 15 to 90 cm depending upon species.

Tagetes come into bloom from summer through to the first frost of winter. When in bloom Tagetes carry multitudes of single yellow or orange flowers.

French Marigold
Tagetes tenuifolia - Signet Marigold

Signet Marigold picture

Some common names for Tagetes are Marigold, African Marigold, Dwarf Marigold, French Marigold, Aztec Marigold, American marigold and Signet Marigold. Information on pot marigolds.

French Marigold
Tagetes Patula – French Marigold by LoneWalkerNYC.

African Marigold
African Marigold by D.A.L. Both photographs under creative commons licence.



Quick Tagetes Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: African Marigold, French Marigold, Mexican Marigold, Aztec Marigold.
Life Cycle: Half hardy annual, hardy annual.
Height: 4 to 85 inches (10 to 220 cm).
Native: Americas.
Growing Region: Zones 1 to 10.
Flowers: Summer until first frost.
Flower Details: Yellow, white, gold, orange. Daisy-like ray and disc florets.
Foliage: Pinnate. Toothed.
Sow Outside: Cover seed. A couple of weeks before the last frost. Spacing 6 to 30 inches (15 to 75 cm).
Sow Inside: Vermiculite. Water from below. Germination time: three days to two weeks. Temperature 70°F (21°C). Seven or eight weeks before expected last frost. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.
Requirements: Full sunlight or afternoon shade in hot areas. Soil pH 6 to 7. Organic soil. Can survive in dry soils. Monthly feed. Regular watering. Pinch tips. Deadhead.
Miscellaneous: Pot Marigold belongs to the Calendula genus. French Marigolds are often grown as companion plants as their roots release substances that are able to destroy nematodes.

How to Grow Marigolds and other Tagetes Plants in your Garden

The seeds of Marigolds (Tagetes) should be sown outdoors a couple of weeks before the last frost of spring, marigold seeds should be lightly covered once sown. When planting Marigolds they should ideally be grown in a sunny area of the garden that receives shade in the afternoon. The soil that Marigolds grow in should be organically enhanced and of pH 6 to 7.

If starting off indoors, then sow the seeds of marigolds about seven weeks before the last expected frost of spring; they should be transplanted outdoors following the last frost. Germination of marigold takes from three days to two weeks and should be done at about 20 to 24 degrees centigrade. It is important to water the young marigold seedlings from below. When putting out into the garden space small marigold varieties about 15 cm apart; medium species 30 cm apart and large marigolds from 45 to 60 cm apart.

Caring for Marigolds (Tagetes Plant)

It is fairly easy to care for members of the Tagetes plant genus such as Marigolds. They are both hungry and thirsty plants so fertilize and water frequently. Pinch back tall marigold varieties when young to encourage bushiness and give them a support.

Dead-heading of marigold flowers will prolong the blooming season. Marigolds are annuals so if you require more plants then they should be propagated form seed.


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