How To Take Care of Marigolds & Maintain Them
To provide the best care, plant marigolds in well-drained soil and full sun. Water them regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. You may use a balanced fertilizer as well. Lastly, don’t miss on deadheading the spent flowers.
Marigolds are popular flowering plants that can have abundant blooms. They can enhance the beauty of a place with their cheerful blossoms provided you learn how to care for marigolds right from the early stage of planting them.
Soil preparation, proper watering, and pest management are essential tips for maintaining healthy marigolds.
For marigolds always keep the soil moist but not overwatered, as excessive watering can result in root rot. To ensure that never happens, always plant marigolds in well-draining soil and in a sunny location.
Removing dead flowers and regular weeding can also help encourage new blooms and growth. Marigolds can be susceptible to pests like spider mites. Hence, it helps to be well-versed in marigold plant care to combat all harmful pests.
Ideally, using insecticidal soap and pest control methods can be effective ways to combat these issues.
But the care for marigolds is much more extensive than this. So, keep reading this guide below as we discuss it in detail.
Marigold Care: Key Takeaway
|Sun||Full sun, at least 6-8 hours per day|
|Soil||Well-drained, fertile soil with a pH of 6.0-7.5|
|Water||Consistent watering, especially during dry periods; avoid overwatering|
|Temperature||Thrives in warm temperatures between 64-91°F (18-33°C)|
|Humidity||Can tolerate low humidity but will benefit from occasional misting|
|Planting time||Direct sow after the last frost in spring or start indoors 3-4 weeks before the last frost|
How To Take Care Of Marigolds?
Marigolds are low-maintenance and pest-resistant plants, making them ideal for deterring pests that attack other plants. They are also suitable for beginners and amateur growers, not well-acquainted with planting care.
Even beginners won’t have much trouble in adding a marigold to their garden.
Here are a few all round marigold care instructions to keep in mind.
A. What is the best placement for marigolds?
Marigolds cherish a sunny location that has well-draining soil. You can plant them in containers, borders, or vegetable gardens to deter pests that attack other plants.
It is imperative to note that different marigold varieties have distinct height requirements. Thus, you must pick a location with adequate space for planting the chosen specie.
B. Do marigolds like sun or shade?
Marigolds enjoy being planted in a sunny spot, as they need plenty of direct sunlight to flourish. Even though some marigold varieties can ensure partial shade, they generally thrive in full sun.
Typically, marigold loves to be exposed to at least six hours of direct sun daily to thrive. Ideally, grow them in a spot receiving eight to ten hours of sun daily.
In locations with extremely sunny and hot climates, marigolds may benefit from partial shade during the hottest time of the day to avoid extreme heat stress.
C. Will marigolds grow in poor soil?
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Understanding their soil preferences is crucial in learning how to care for marigolds. Fortunately, marigolds are very easy to grow. Hence they can endure different soil types, including not so ideal soil.
But to achieve hearty and healthiest blooms, plant your marigolds in well-draining soil, amended with organic matter, such as aged manure or compost. It can help boost soil fertility and structure and offer better plant growth and performance.
However, if the soil is extremely poor, adding plant food or fertilizer can help provide the plant with vital nutrients necessary for growth.
D. What should not be planted with marigolds?
Marigolds are particularly famous for their ability to repel pests and attract some beneficial insects. However, good marigold plant care involves not planting some plants alongside them.
Generally speaking, you must never grow marigolds near brassicas (like cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli) and beans, as they negatively affect the marigold’s growth and development.
Further, when you grow them near these plants, marigolds might find it challenging to repel some pests, such as nematodes or slugs, and may also attract spider mites.
E. How often do marigolds need watering?
Marigolds need regular watering, especially when planted for the first time. It is important to ensure you do not let the soil become too dry, especially during sunny and hot weather.
So, if you reside in exceptionally sunny and warm conditions, you must water your new marigolds daily. After a few weeks, they will establish a strong root system and become more drought-tolerant.
However, they will still need watering on a weekly basis to ensure optimal blooming. While watering marigolds, avoid overhead watering, as it can lead to diseases and damage the flowers. Instead, water is at the base of the plant to keep the soil moist.
F. Do marigolds like to be fertilized?
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Another question arises about how to look after marigolds fertilizing needs. Know that you do not need to give your marigolds regular feeding. However, if the soil quality is poor, it always helps to add compost to the soil.
It can elevate nutrition and drainage. When feeding your marigolds, use a balanced kind of plant food as you transplant it into the pot or the garden. However, it is an optional step and not necessary for in-ground marigolds.
But marigold care instructions for container-grown blooms are different. These can benefit from an occasional watering feed from a diluted liquid fertilizer. However, please do not feed the marigolds during their growth phase, as nitrogen-rich plant food stimulates foliage growth instead of flower production.
In addition, fertilizers can lead to lush foliage at the expense of blossoms, so it is vital to use them sparingly. Granular fertilizers can also be added during planting time, but be mindful of not over-fertilizing.
G. Are you supposed to deadhead and prune marigolds?
Yes, you must prune and deadhead your marigolds. These are essential measures for home growers interested in learning how to maintain marigold plants. Deadheading involves removing spent flowers.
It promotes continued blooming and helps prevent the plant from spending all its energy on seed production.
On the other hand, pruning involves cutting back the plant’s foliage. It helps control the marigold’s shape and size and promotes bushier growth.
Ideally, if you wish to know how to care for marigolds in pots, you must regularly deadhead marigolds by removing spent flowers as soon as they wilt and prune them back by about one-third of their height if they become too leggy or tall.
H. What to do with marigolds at the end of the season?
At the end of the season, you can let your marigolds die naturally and dry out on the plant. So, you can remove and compost them.
However, if you remove them, ensure that you pull out the entire plant, including the roots to avoid any potential diseases lingering in the soil.
You can also collect and plant the seeds from marigolds in the following season. To do this, follow the steps:
- Let the flowers fully bloom, and only then dry out the plant.
- After the flower heads have turned dry and brown, remove them from the plant and gently crush them to release the seeds.
- Store the seeds in a cool, dry place until you are ready to plant them.
How Do You Take Care Of Marigolds and Protect Them From Pests and Diseases?
Even though marigolds are low-maintenance, several diseases and pests can affect marigolds. A few of the diseases that affect marigolds are:
1. Powdery mildew
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It is a common disease that affects marigolds. You will see it as a white, powdery substance on the leaves. Powdery mildew stunts the growth and reduces flowering.
To prevent powdery mildew, space out the plants properly and do not conduct overhead watering. Using fungicide sprays can also be an effective preventative measure.
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These are other common pests that attack marigolds. Aphids, such as the sap out of the plant, result in distorted leaves and stunted growth.
You can use neem oil or insecticidal soap for marigold plant care and protection from aphids. Further, lacewings and ladybugs are the best natural predators that help keep aphids in check.
3. Spider mites
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These are other prevalent pests that damage marigolds. They make the leaves turn yellow and speckled, and webbing may be visible. To control spider mites, use insecticidal soap or neem oil, and keep the plants well-watered to prevent stress.
4. Slugs and Snails: They also damage marigolds by leaving slime trails and chewing through leaves and flowers. To control slugs and snails, handpick them from the plants or use a slug bait.
Additionally, keeping the garden area free of debris and mulch can help to reduce their hiding places.
How To Take Care of Marigold Plants In Winter?
Marigolds are annual plants. They do not usually survive the winters. But you can take measures to guard them against extreme cold and frost if you wish to prolong their growth.
One of the best ways to do this is by covering them with a blanket or frost cloth at night. Alternatively, you can also bring container-grown marigolds indoors to a sunny window.