Growing Beautiful and Colorful French Marigolds

French marigolds (Tagetes patula) are plants that have a place in the flowerbeds, borders and gardens. They add a cheerful yellow, orange, to orange-red color around homes, businesses and even churches. French marigolds are easy to grow and they are a particularly forgiving and hardy annual. The seeds can also be found in a lot of seed stores. These marigolds didn’t originate in France, despite the name. They are actually native to Southern Mexico and Guatemala. The flower petals aren’t just for show, however. All marigold flowers, Tagetes genus, can be eaten, but some aren’t very good tasting. French marigolds do have a good, spicy and somewhat lemony flavor, though. The petals also yield a yellow dye that can be used to color everything from food to fabric. The plants also deter many insect pests, so they are great companion plants in the garden. They are particularly useful when grown near tomatoes or plants that suffer from aphids and nematodes. The plants grow from a half of a foot to two feet tall, so they aren’t very big, even though they are sometimes bushy. They usually bloom within weeks of being planted and if the flowers are dead-headed (clipped off when the blossom is beginning to fade), they will often keep blooming throughout the late spring, summer and into fall. French marigolds do best in full sunshine. They will grow in soil that is clay, sandy or loamy, so they can be planted in most kinds of dirt. They do Continue Reading →


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