How to grow & care for marigold
Marigold flowers will bring bright pops of colour to your warm season garden, veggie bed or pots. There are 3 main types of marigolds that are readily available as seeds or potted plants.
French Marigolds (Tagetes patula) - are compact plants (up to 40cm tall), great for pots or the fronts of garden beds.
African Marigolds (Tagetes erecta) - are taller plants (up to 60cm tall), mass plant them for big displays of huge pom pom like blooms.
Signet Marigolds (Tagetes tenuifolia) - are sprawling or cascading plants, ideal for rockeries or hanging baskets.
Marigolds grow happily throughout spring, summer and autumn in most climates, except the tropics. They are frost sensitive and do not like cold winters.
Top 5 steps to growing marigolds
- Choose a full sun spot in a free-draining soil
- Marigolds can be grown from seeds or potted plants easily
- Marigolds hate wet feet, waterlogged soil or potting mix will quickly cause them to rot
- Fertilise with Scotts Osmocote® Controlled Release Fertiliser: Roses, Gardenias, Azaleas & Camellias in spring
- Pinch off dead flowers to encourage a bushy plant and more blooms
- Marigold plants or seeds
- Scotts Osmocote® Controlled Release Fertiliser: Roses, Gardenias, Azaleas & Camellias
- Scotts Osmocote® Compost Premium Soil Improver
- Garden shovel
- Defender™ Pyrethrum Insect Spray
- Defender™ Snail & Slug Pellets
- If growing in pots, you’ll need Scotts Osmocote® Rose, Gardenia, Azalea & Camellia Mix + Scotts Osmocote® Controlled Release Fertiliser for Pots, Planters and a suitable pot or container
Preparation & Planting in the garden
Marigolds prefer a full sun spot in a well drained soil - they will also tolerate a bit of afternoon shade.
Prepare the site for planting marigolds by mixing a little Scotts Osmocote® Compost Premium Soil Improver through the original soil - using a garden shovel to turn it through the top 10cm.
Gently remove the marigold from the nursery pot or punnet and tease the roots lightly if they are compact. Marigolds in punnets may need separating into individual plants.
Plant your marigolds into the prepared soil and backfill around each. Water in well and mulch to suppress weeds and retain moisture.
Growing from seed
Marigolds can be grown easily from seeds that are broadcast over prepared soil in spring when the soil is warm. Lightly cover the seeds with more soil and keep them moist while they germinate.
If you’d prefer to start marigolds from seeds in pots - sow seed into pots or punnets filled with Scotts Osmocote® Rose, Gardenia, Azalea & Camellia Mix. If the pots are kept in a protected, frost free spot marigold seeds can be sown in late autumn or winter.
Transplant pot or punnet grown marigolds into the garden or larger pots in spring.
Planting in pots
Marigolds can be grown in small to medium pots or planters (at least 20cm wide and deep) with good drainage - choose a pot that will suit the mature height and width of your chosen marigold variety. If you’re limited with space look for some of the more compact growing types.
Fill your pot or planter with Scotts Osmocote® Rose, Gardenia, Azalea & Camellia Mix. Gently remove the marigold from the nursery pot and tease the roots lightly if they are compact or seperate the plants if they are growing in punnets. Plant the marigolds - as per the labels recommended spacing - into the potting mix and backfill around the plant. Water in well and top the soil with mulch to retain moisture.
Fertilising & Care
Marigolds don’t need a lot of fertiliser, a single application of Scotts Osmocote® Controlled Release Fertiliser: Roses, Gardenias, Azaleas & Camellias in spring is normally more than enough for marigolds grown as annuals. If your marigolds survive throughout winter and repeat flower a second application in early autumn is recommended.
Deadhead marigolds throughout the flowering season to encourage bushy plants and more flowers.
Pests & Diseases
Marigolds are susceptible to fungal diseases in high humidity. To reduce the risk of rust and powdery mildew, follow the recommended plant spacings and remove lower branches to open up the plants and improve airflow.
Aphids can sometimes cause a problem on marigolds new growth - spray any infestations with Defender™ Pyrethrum Insect Spray if needed.
Slugs and Snails can cause significant damage to young marigold seedlings. Protect young plants by setting beer traps (saucers filled with beer) amongst seedlings or use Defender™ Snail & Slug Pellets.