Marigolds or Tagetes can be Dwarf or 16 inches tall

Marigolds, or Tagetes, are one of the most cheerful plants that are easily grown from seed in the spring. Their ease and variety make them a good choice for children and family gardens.

Since the plants die with the first freeze and return from seed each spring, this fall’s seeds can be collected to start indoors. The plants will drop their seeds in the garden now and come up next season. You can transplant the seedlings around your other flower beds and containers or just thin them out.

Since they bloom all the way to our first hard freeze, Marigolds make a good cover for bulbs and daylilies that have faded for the season. Scientific experiments have recently disproved Marigold’s ability to repel garden pests so just plant them for their beauty. 

Nutrient-rich Marigold flowers attract pollinators and can be used as a saffron substitute or to make tea. When you see Marigolds used as an ingredient in medicinal creams, it is the Calendula variety that is high in antioxidants.

Newer varieties include: 

Garland Orange Marigold - 3 to 3.5 feet tall, 2-feet wide, wind tolerant, double-flowers are 3-inches across. Bred as a cutting flower and used to make garlands. Start seeds indoors in early March. The best germination is at 75 degrees. After they come up put the plants under bright light and give them at least 55 degrees. Space the plants 2 feet apart in your garden and for best flowering, avoid fertilizing.www.parkseed.com

Marigold Garden Joy 16-inch stems with 5-inch wide, ball-shaped, fragrant, deer resistant flowers in gold, orange and yellow. Bred to withstand heat, humidity and disease.  Start seeds early spring in the garden or  indoors. Space plants18-inches apart.  www.jungseed.com

Marigold Alumia- 10-inches tall with double, citrus flavored, cream to dark orange flowers on strong, branching stems. Good for containers and mass planting. Start seeds indoors in Feb, with 75 degrees for germination. Plant one foot apart in the garden. www.harisseeds.com

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