GROWING AND SAVING SEEDS OF MARIGOLDS
Latin name Tagetes patula (French Marigold) or T. erecta (African Marigold) is an annual member of the aster family. This bushy ornamental is commonly found interplanted in the vegetable garden, as it posesses natural fragrance that is believed to deter some garden pests. The marigold also sports edible flowers, making it even more at home in the veggie garden. Marigolds are also amazing planted in beds and borders. They are easy to grow and create a gilded blanket of regal warm colors.
Native to Central America. These flowers have long-held spiritual significance in a wide range of traditional cultures. They are a symbolic flower for the Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead in Mexico. The vibrant blooms are also popular in Hindu culture, often found adorning altars or worn around the necks of newly wed couples.
- Edible ornamental
- Useful pest-repelling plant for the vegetable garden, often interplanted among vegetables
- Beds, borders, containers, window boxes, cottage garden, cut flower garden
- Garlands of marigolds are used for decoration in a number of religious festivals and events from Latin America to India
- Dye garden, a bright gold or yellow dye plant
- Marigold flowers are edible, but not all types taste good. Stick to Mexican Mint marigold and French marigolds for best flavor.
- Seeds germinate in 7-14 days.
- Sow indoors 4-6 weeks before last frost date or direct sow after last frost. Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep.
- Ideal germination temperature is 70-75 F.
- These famously care-free plants prefer full sun, but will tolerate some light shade.
- Well-drained soil is best, but they tolerate a wide range of soil conditions.
- Space plants 8-12 inches apart.
- Deadhead to encourage continued blooming.
- While they are typically a disease-free plant, Japanese beetles can be a problem for marigolds.
- Japanese beetles can be prevented and controlled by applying a combination of milky spore and beneficial nematodes.
- Allow the flowerhead containing the seeds to completely mature and dry on the plant.
- Then clip off the flowerhead and place in a container.
- Working over the top of another clean, opened container, rub the flowerheads to separate the seeds.
- Store over winter in a cool, dark, dry place.