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French Marigold

Tagetes patula

French marigolds have been grown for ages. We love them, because they are easy to grow and care for. The brightly-colored blooms last the entire growing season, from frost to frost, making this plant is popular pick for gardeners everywhere. Along with their ornamental attributes, French marigolds can also be used in cooking and perfumery.

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Light:

Sun

Type:

Height:

6 to 12 inches

Width:

6 t0 10 inches wide

Flower Color:

Foliage Color:

Seasonal Features:

Problem Solvers:

Propagation

Colorful Combinations

French marigolds add a bold pop of color. Flowers are typically found in warm shades of oranges, yellows, reds. Some flower with single rows of petals, while others have fluffy double blooms. If you have yet to find your favorite French marigold, don't worry. It seems like there is a new marigold shade or petal type introduced each year.

French Marigold Care Must-Knows

Did we mention how easy they are to grow? French marigolds are often one of the first plants a child will grow—they're that easy! The best soil for growing any type of marigolds is well-drained soil that won't stay wet for long periods. Because they produce so many blooms in a season, they benefit from a regular application of fertilizer.

Learn about the different types of fertilizer.

Marigolds perform best in full sun, which will help the plant grow tall and sturdy and form large, dense blooms and foliage. When planted in part shade the marigold is susceptible to fungal diseases like powdery mildew. Marigolds are also prone to spider mites in the dry heat of the summer, so watch for fine webbing and treat with insecticidal soap as needed.

As a marigold's bloom dies back, pick off the spent blooms. Deadheading will focus the plant's energy on flower production rather than seed production. At the end of the year, if you want to collect seeds for the next spring, leave a few spent blooms and allow them to fully ripen and dry. Note that the seeds will produce plants that are genetically different from the parents, so there may be some variability in flower color and overall plant growth.

See more on thinning and deadheading your plants at the end of the season.

New Innovations

Hybridizers are always looking for ways to make this plant do just a little more. Recently, there was a color breakthrough—the first pink marigold, found at online seed retailers. They are also finding ways to make varieties that are more disease-resistant, longer-blooming, and have bigger, tougher blooms.

More Varieties of French Marigold

Disco Queen marigold

Tagetes patula 'Disco Queen' bears orange-red flowers ringed in yellow on long-blooming plants that grow 1 foot tall and wide.

Durango Red marigold

Tagetes patula 'Durango Red' produces orange-red flowers all summer long on plants that grow 1 foot tall and wide.

Little Devil Fire marigold

Tagetes patula 'Little Devil Fire' bears double red-and-yellow flowers on compact plants that grow only 8 inches tall and wide.

Striped Marvel marigold

Tagetes patula 'Striped Marvel' offers bold burgundy-and-gold striped blossoms on 2-foot mounded plants.

Yellow Gate marigold

Tagetes patula 'Yellow Gate' bears 3-inch-wide blooms atop rounded, 10- to 12-inch-tall plants.

Plant French Marigold With:

Bidens
Bidens is a perfect container plant. It spills down the edges of windowboxes, large pots, and planters with starry, yellow flowers and ferny, green foliage. Some varieties are fragrant so plant them where you can enjoy their sweet scent. Bidens likes rich, well-drained but moist soil. While it's a perennial in Zones 8-10, it's usually grown as an annual.
Moss rose
Moss rose is the gardener's choice for the hottest, driest, most problematic spots in the garden -- even a clay strawberry pot in full sun. This succulent plant thrives in heat, drought, and lousy soil, rewarding gardeners with nonstop color. Coming in sunny warm reds, oranges, magentas, and yellows, moss rose looks at home in a sun-drenched area. There's also a whole pastel color palette for moss rose -- creamy white, pink, and peach varieties. It often happily reseeds, coming back every year with gusto.
Zinnia
Want fast color for just pennies? Plant zinnias! A packet of seeds will fill an area with gorgeous flowers in an amazing array of shapes and colors -- even green! And it will happen in just weeks. There are dwarf types of zinnias, tall types, quill-leaf cactus types, spider types, multicolor, special seed blends for cutting, special blends for attracting butterflies, and more.Zinnias are so highly attractive to butterflies that you can count on having these fluttering guests dining in your garden every afternoon. But to attract the most, plant lots of tall, red or hot pink zinnias in a large patch. 'Big Red' is especially nice for this, and the flowers are outstanding, excellent for cutting. Zinnias grow quickly from seed sown right in the ground and do best in full sun with dry to well-drained soil.
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