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Plant of the week: Marigolds

Loved by children and gardeners alike, marigolds are popular flowers to plant in the spring. They come in a variety of different colors including red, yellow and white, which makes them ideal for brightening up any lawn or garden. When planted in partial sun, they thrive with little maintenance and put on a show when they bloom in mid-summer.

Marigolds date back to the 16th century when they were first discovered by the Portuguese in Central America. They were brought back to Europe and Asia where they were quickly cultivated. Marigolds were used in art for their colorful pigments, in medicine for their herbal properties, and in perfume for the scent of their oil. Today, they’re used for aesthetic purposes in gardens across the world. Get your hands a little dirty this spring and plant some marigolds in your own yard. You won’t regret it after you experience their lavish colors and fragrance.

Marigold Q&A

1. When should I begin planting my marigolds?

Marigolds can be planted any time after the last threat of frost. Here in New England, that may be anywhere from mid March to early April once the ground has softened and is ready for sowing. Select a location where the plant will be able to get partial sun.

2. What type of soil should I plant my marigolds in?

Marigolds prefer well-drained, rich soil, but they can grow in almost anything. Incorporate compost to encourage growth.

3. How often should I water my marigolds?

Marigolds only need to be watered 1-2 times a week. If you apply mulch to retain moisture, you can water less frequently. Dry spells during the hottest summer months, such as July and August here in New England, are the only times you will need to constantly water your marigolds to keep their roots from drying out.

4. Are marigolds prone to any pests or diseases?

They aren’t prone to any diseases and many insects actually avoid marigolds due to their odor. Snails and slugs love munching on marigold leaves, however. Treat immediately with a mild insecticide if you see evidence of snails and slugs.

5. My marigolds have yet to slow down, is this normal?

Yes. When planted in the right conditions, some marigold varieties can grow up to four feet tall! Enjoy your hearty flower for all its worth, happy growing!
 

For More Info: To learn more about planting your own marigolds, visit this site for gardening tips.

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