Marigold flowers are one of the most beloved flowers and are widely used. The flowering plant possesses many positive aspects like protecting the plants growing around them and also providing medicinal benefits to the people.
Marigolds’ bright and colourful petals attract people. It grows in each and every corner of the Earth.
Marigold flowers are considered Symbols of positive emotions and energy. It is known as the “Herb of the Sun” because of its fiery Yellow, Orange and Red colour.
Marigold belongs to the genera of the daisy family “Asteraceae”. It also incorporates species of plants from the genus “Calendula” and genus “Targets”. Marigolds germinate very quickly from the Marigold Seeds within a few days and bloom within 8 weeks of planting.
Method Of Planting Marigold Seeds In A Pot
Marigold Seeds can be planted in a pot. It is better to plant in the month of spring. The methods followed to plant marigold seeds in a pot are as follows-
- A pot is required that is filled with damp soilless potting mix.
- The Marigold Seeds are to be sprinkled over the potting mix.
- The seeds are then covered with a thin layer of vermiculite, which is a group of hydrated laminar minerals of Aluminum, Iron, Magnesium and Silicates.
- The pot is then covered with plastic wrap.
- The pot should be placed in a warm spot.
- The seeds need to be checked daily.
- It takes nearly three to four days to germinate.
- As soon as the seedlings appear the plastic wrap should be removed immediately.
- The pot need to be moved in a place where the seedlings can get sunlight for about five hours regularly.
- Lights from artificial sources can be used if situation arises.
- As the seedlings produce two sets of true leaves, they can be brought indoors.
Required Soil Depth For Planting Marigold Seeds
- Before planting the marigold seeds, the soil should be moistened.
- The soil is dug 1 inch deep.
- Then the small seeds are sown 1 inch apart from one another.
- The seedlings are spread evenly on the soil.
- French and Signet types of seeds are to be spread 8 to 10 inches apart.
- Large African marigold seeds are spread 10 to 12 inches apart.
Conditions For Planting Marigold Seeds Indoor
Marigold seeds can be planted indoors under certain conditions–
- Marigold seeds can be sown indoors mainly 6 to 8 weeks before frost condition.
- In indoors marigold seeds need to be covered with vermiculite.
- The adequate soil temperature should be 21⁰C to 25⁰C.
- At this temperature seeds easily sprout within 14 days.
- Proper and sufficient amount of water are needed in dry conditions.
- Water soluble fertilizers are to be given to the seeds.
Nature Of Marigolds
Marigolds are those plants that grow very rapidly. Most of the varieties are self-seeding and therefore drop seeds throughout the yard or garden where they are planted.
Marigolds are self-seeding and are perennial in nature. Marigolds are hardy, vibrant and easy grow plants. Some varieties of marigolds like French and African can bloom for several months under proper care and nourishment.
Sunlight Requirements Of Marigolds
Marigolds survive well in sunny weather conditions. At first in their delicate state, the seeds are kept away from strong sun rays. As soon as the seedlings appear it requires sunlight for about 5 hours.
When the marigold plants grow they need full sun. The plant absorbs the heat of the sun for its proper growth and development.
Marigold can even experience the reflected heat and light of the sun. Along with heat adequate amount of water is also needed for their healthy growth. Sometimes under extreme conditions, it requires 80% of heat and 20% of shade.
Marigold needs full sun in order to maintain their vibrant blooms and bright colours, but it should be tolerable for the plants.
Seasons For Planting Marigold Seeds
Marigold seeds are very delicate and tender. It cannot bear cold weather conditions and can be damaged under frost. So, the summer and spring seasons are ideal for the planting of marigold seeds.
Marigold seeds should be planted directly into sunny, well-drained soil in spring. From late autumn sowing of seeds can be started. The seeds should be protected from the scorching heat of the sun at their initial stage but they require tolerable heat after the seedlings appear.
Methods To Take Care Of Marigolds
Several aspects are to be followed to take care of the marigolds-
- Before watering the plant the soil should be allowed to get dry up completely.
- Water should be poured at the base of the plant.
- The plant should neither be over watered nor over fed.
- No fertilizers should be applied immediately after sowing the seeds.
- Weed growth should be avoided and layer of mulch are put between the marigold plants.
- Liquid fertilizers are applied once a month for their healthy growth.
- Too rich soil should be avoided as it hinders the growth of the plant and makes them weak.
- Spent blooms need to be pinched out to maintain the bushy and prolong flowerings.
- Regular deadheading can provide bright, attractive flowers constantly.
- Fungicides are to be applied to keep the diseases and fungus away.
Water Requirements Of Marigolds
Marigold does not need watering on a regular basis but needs water mainly during the dry spells. Before watering the plant the soil should be allowed to get dry up completely. Water should be poured at the base of the plant.
Water should never be sprinkled on the flowers of tall varieties. Too much water may cause waterlogging and the plant may become soft.
African and Signet marigolds are resistant to drought whereas French marigolds prefer wet conditions and grow best in well-drained fertile soil.
Various Colours Of Marigolds
Marigold comes in various colours like orange, golden, yellow, red, white. Orange and Yellow flowers are found commonly. Various types of flowers are known as “Herb of the Sun” as it the symbol of passion and creativity.
Preparing Marigold Flower Beds
Marigold flower beds are prepared during warm weather. In planting beds marigolds are placed 10 to 12 inches apart in case of African marigolds and 8 to 10 inches apart in the case of French marigolds.
Benefits Of Marigold Flowers
Marigolds provide a lot of benefits–
- Marigolds have Pest Resistant Capacities.
- It is also Drought Resistant in nature.
- Its bright colours and vibrant nature attracts people regarding spiritual purposes.
- Marigolds’ sweet scent helps in attracting bees and other insects, which helps in pollination.
- They are planted as borders in the vegetable garden.
- Marigold flowers are used for decoration purposes.
Height And Width Of Marigolds
Marigolds are tall and grow up to 6 to 12 inches. It is 6 to 9 inches in width. Good quality water-soluble fertilizers cause the stems to grow with proper health.
African Marigolds grow up to 10 to 36 inches, whereas French Marigolds grow up to 6 to 18 inches in height.
Procedure Of Germinating Marigold Seeds
To germinate marigold seeds various methods are considered–
- Marigold seeds are sown directly on the ground.
- It should be spread 8 to 18 inches apart.
- The ground is covered with thin layer of soil of about 1/8th inch deep.
- The soil is watered thoroughly.
- The seeds germinate very quickly and as the seedlings appear it should be kept under full sun for their proper growth.
Flowers That Resembles Marigold Flowers
Marigold belongs to the Aster Family and the flowers that belong to this family resemble Marigold. The flowers belonging to this category are- African Daisy, Sow-thistle, Dog weed, Zinnia, Tansy and Dandelion.
Cinquefoils are similar colourful flowers resembling marigolds in attracting beneficial insects.
Time Taken For Marigolds To Grow
Marigold seeds germinate quickly just within a few days when they are sown. It blooms in about 8 weeks. April is the best month for sowing marigold seeds. It takes around 45 to 50 days to flower. Seeds that are sown in early April should produce flowers in May.
Methods Followed To Take Care Of Marigolds In Pots
Marigolds planted in pots require very special care.
- The pot containing the marigold should be placed exposed to sunlight, so that it can get at least 5 to 6 hours of sunlight.
- Marigold plants will be watered only when 1 to 2 inches if the top of the soil gets dry.
- After watering the soil is left undisturbed for utilizing the water.
- The soil should not be water logged as it can cause roots to rot and can invite moisture related diseases.
Soaking Marigold Seeds Before Planting
Marigold seeds need to be soaked before planting for at least 8 hours. More than that may cause the seeds to decompose. If very hot water is used then the soaking time can be reduced. Warm water can be used to soak the seeds at bedtime and they will be ready for planting in the morning.
Availability Of Marigolds
Although marigolds do not come year-round under special care and nourishments they can bloom for several months consecutively. Since marigolds are self-seeding and easy-to-grow plant it comes back every year with their glorious blossoms and fulfils the desire of the people.
Protective Nature Of Marigolds
Marigolds are well known as Insect Repelling Plants. Marigold possesses a scent that keeps away pests like mosquitoes, nematodes, cabbage worms. It also attracts other beneficial insects like ladybugs, hoverflies to attack and kill aphids which cause harm to other plants.
So, marigolds are planted as borders in the vegetable gardens. It also attracts bees for pollination.
Ways To Support Marigolds To Survive In Winter
Marigolds mainly bloom from mid-summer till winter. Marigolds are tender to frost and can die if the temperature falls below the freezing point. But under cool weather conditions, marigolds can survive under certain conditions-
- During winter the marigold plants should be kept under direct sun for at least 6 hours.
- Artificial heat and light are to be provided for their survival.
- Plants should be watered regularly during the dry spells of winter.
- In winter soil also gets dried easily, so soil should be moistened from time to time.
- Soil should be covered with 2 to 3 inches with shredded barks.
- No over watering or over feeding the plant is desirable.
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