Val Bourne admires African marigolds - and reveals why they make a very useful companion plant for fruits and vegetables. Find out how to grow these cheerful orange annuals. African marigolds actually come from sunny Mexico despite their name and as you would expect these half hardy annuals enjoy warm, bright conditions.
Check a plant list in any butterfly gardening publication and you're sure to find marigolds, especially French marigold Tagetes patula. What makes this old-fashioned species so desirable to butterflies? Compared to pompon-type hybrids, the French marigold remains close to its wild relatives in Mexico and Central America.
Roses, in other words, or lilies or lilacs or masses of sky-blue flax on gracefully nodding stems, but definitely not marigolds. Not many would describe the fat, heavy flower of a marigold, jammed so full of petals that it looks more like a Koosh ball than a blossom, as delicate or elegant. Odoriferous comes to mind, but not fragrant.
Smack-bang in the middle of March we had a glorious few days of sunshine and a much-needed contrast to the mild, grey, rainy winter. In the garden I was aware of a visible jolt. Roses pruned a fortnight earlier started to bleed because the sap was pulsing in their veins, and the bare hornbeam was suddenly hung with a fringe of light-catching catkins.
I adore Four O'Clocks, and the Stars and Stripes mix is lovely, but no matter how often I plant this mix from seed, I always wind up with a million splashed rose pale pink flowers, a handfull of splashed yellow flowers, and no red, white, or blue flowers where's the patriotism?? I've saved the tubers, collected the seeds, and purchased fresh seeds -- all three have high germination rates. These plants grow to approximately three feet tall and do extremely well in containers although I have had my strongest plants bust right out of their clay containers.
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Marigold Striped marvel Stage I Starts with the radicle breaking through the testa. The roots are touching the medium. Ends with fully developed cotyledons.
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Bright yellow, gold and orange-red blooms of marigolds Tagetes spp. Marigolds are subtropical plants known for their hardiness, and are used in garden beds, cut flower arrangements and container plantings. Despite varietal distinctions of African and French marigolds, marigolds were originally cultivated in Mexico more than 2, years ago.