Marigolds are considered an herb, but few people grow them for their herbal properties. The flowers, which range in color from bright yellow to orange to red and every shade in between, are often the main attraction of this plant.
Marigolds can be classified by four common species: African marigolds, French marigolds, triploid marigolds and single marigolds.
A fully grown plant measures anywhere from 6 inches to 4 feet high, with a spread of 6 inches to 3 feet. Triploid marigolds are often the largest, and French marigolds the smallest.
Marigolds will grow in nearly any warm to temperate climate. They do not survive well in colder climes. They prefer to be planted in full sun, approximately eight to 16 inches apart in moist, well-drained soil after the danger of frost has passed.
Marigolds produce a pungent smell that deters many insects, but spider mites and spittle bugs may still find marigolds to be a tasty treat.
Keep soil moist but not overly wet. Remove any flowers that have died, a process called "deadheading." This will ensure that the plant blooms throughout the spring and summer. Fertilizers rich in phosphorous will encourage flower growth.
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