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Tagetes is a genus of annual or perennial, mostly herbaceous plants in the sunflower family. It was described as a genus by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The genus is native of the h of Mexico, but some species have become naturalized around the world. No annual is more cheerful or easier to grow than the marigold golden flowers plants. These flowers are the spendthrifts among annuals, bringing a wealth of gold, copper, and brass into our summer and autumn gardens. The flower’s popularity probably derives in part from its ability to bloom brightly all summer long.
Marigolds are among the most popular flowers you can plant in your garden, and they are easy to grow and care for. Depending on which variety you choose, the familiar red, orange, and yellow blooms will continue from late spring till the end of the fall season. They can be sown from seed or purchased at a garden center as a live plant. Marigolds also help protect other plants from harmful bugs, and their dried petals can benefit neighboring plants when incorporated in the soil. Here are some other notable facts about marigolds.You can sow marigold seeds directly into your garden by starting with moist soil and placing seeds about one inch apart and one inch deep. Seedlings can be thinned to about eight to 10 inches apart once they emerge. Plants grown in containers also need space to grow. Marigolds do best in fertile, well-drained soil, and are prone to powdery mildew if planted in shade or areas that are too wet. Take care not to plant until the weather is consistently warm as they are sensitive to frost.
When you harvest your own marigold seeds from existing plants simply remove the dried flower heads from the stem, removing any petals or leaves. At its base you will see the seeds, which are light-colored with darkened ends. Pull the seeds from the base and allow them to air dry on a paper towel for a week. Keep them in a cool, dry, dark place until you are ready to sow them, usually about two months before last frost when sowing them indoors. When sowing directly into your garden wait until after fear of frost has passed. Marigolds are resistant to most of the problems that afflict other plants, but they are still vulnerable to spider mites and aphids. These two pests can easily be addressed with a blast from a hose or insecticidal soap. Overwatering or too much shade can lead to powdery mildew, a white fungus that appears on the top of the marigold’s leaves and can stunt the plant’s growth. To prevent powdery mildew, plant your marigolds in a sunny spot to help keep the foliage dry. A spray-on fungicide or a solution of one teaspoon baking soda mixed with a quart of water will kill the fungus. (Source: www.trees.com)