By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden
It’s often difficult to choose the right plant for a dry, hot and windy landscape. Even extra effort from the gardener sometimes can’t make plants grow in this situation. If your landscape has such conditions, try growing tough and pretty desert marigold plants. Desert marigold information says these showy, solitary flowers thrive in these difficult conditions.
Desert Marigold Information
Botanically called Baileya multiradiata, desert marigold flower is also called paper daisy, as mature blooms have a papery texture. They are also sometimes known as desert Baileya.
Desert marigold plants may reach a foot in height with big, yellow flowers that produce lots of seeds. Some of the clumping, daisy-like mounds of flowers are shorter. The plant is an herbaceous, short-lived perennial, returning again next year. Blooms begin in spring and may continue through summer. Caring for desert marigold is simple as this specimen is basically carefree.
How to Grow Desert Marigolds
Get started growing the desert marigold flower by planting seeds in a sunny area. Desert marigold plants are not picky about soil types, but they do need good drainage. Furry, silvery foliage will soon appear, followed by blooms of the desert marigold flower.
While it’s not necessary to water regularly, an occasional drink makes flowers grow quickly and results in a bigger bloom. Caring for desert marigold is this easy. Use desert marigold plants as part of a wildflower garden in hot, dry areas.
Once planted, the desert marigold flower drops seeds for multiple plants to grow from later on. If reseeding is not desirable for your landscape, remove spent blooms before the seeds drop. This deadheading also encourages more flowers to bloom.
Now that you’ve learned how to grow desert marigolds, get some planted in the desert landscape where other plants are hard to grow. Information about desert marigolds say they’re native to Mexico and grow well in most western areas of the United States. Plants may be damaged when temperatures reach below freezing, so protection in these situations may be necessary.
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How to Grow Marigolds
Last Updated: March 29, 2019 References Approved
This article was co-authored by Katie Gohmann. Katherine Gohmann is a Professional Gardener in Texas. She has been a home gardener and professional gardener since 2008.
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Marigolds are very easy to grow and are available in a variety of colors, including white, yellow, orange, red, and mixed colors. They will bloom from mid-summer all the way until frost. Marigolds also come in a wide range of sizes, from miniatures smaller than a foot to giant varieties that can grow up to four feet tall! You can select the color and size that is perfect for your flower garden. And don't overlook marigolds in container gardens, as the smaller varieties do well in containers.
How To Care For Marigolds Flowers
The Marigold plant, the equivalent of a no-fuss, easygoing person who brings a lot of color into your life.
It blooms some bright and extremely cheery flowers throughout the summer season until the first autumn frost arrives.
Marigolds flower and thrive in all USDA plant hardiness zones. Due to their resilient nature, plant them almost anywhere and they will start growing with little to no encouragement.
For the best looking Marigold flowers, plant marigolds in places where they get plenty of heat and sunlight.
They will continue to grow even when placed near paved surfaces, as long as you don’t forget to water them.
As far as marigold care, the plant can tolerate some partial shade, but only if that particular area gets a fair share of sunshine.
Plant marigold flowers in flower beds along with the other bright-hued perennials and annual plants.
Growing them in containers the marigold will grow in regular soil and will actually thrive in poor soil conditions!
Don’t water them too much, or apply too much fertilizer, as plants will grow too many leaves instead of the beautiful flowers.
How And When To Plant Marigold Seeds
Plant marigold seeds in your garden when weather is warm or sow seed into pots approximately 4 to 6 weeks before the last spring frost arrives.
Cover marigold seeds with ¼ inch of soil. Marigold seeds germinate easily but watch out for damping off issues as they grow. Separate marigold seedlings when they reach about 2 inches.
When caring for marigolds remember, they do not demand a special soil, but many gardeners recommend using a potting mix when putting their plants in containers.
When planting marigolds, use a loose soil, whether in the gardens or containers.
When planting tall marigolds space them about 2 feet apart, while smaller varieties space them approximately 1 foot apart.
Marigold plants do not necessarily require intensive pruning, but deadheading actually aids plants in the blooming and suppresses the seeding process.
When deadheading, inspect plants for any dead flowers, and snip them off via your fingertips. Before you know it, healthy marigold flowers will grow and take its place!
Marigold P est Control
The natural scent of the Marigold plant works very effectively, wards off various insects and some animals from your garden.
It also produces a substance known as alpha-terthienyl which helps in getting rid of root-knot nematodes. It staves off harmful microscopic nematodes and other pests for a good number of years.
More specifically, you can protect your precious other plants from the deer by adding the marigolds into the mix.
However, marigolds don’t find themselves entirely immune to pests though white & green aphids and sap-sucking spider mites sometimes take a liking to the marigold plant.
A quick spray of water combined with an insecticidal soap or neem pesticide spray oil will usually solve the infestation issue.
Apply once per week until the pests are gone. Slugs may also find your Marigolds attractive during the wet season, but there’s nothing a bit of slug repellent options won’t fix!
Sow seeds directly into the flower bed and just cover and keep them warm and moist. Transplants need good soil amended with organic matter. Spacing depends on species of marigold space large varieties 18 to 24 inches apart, medium varieties 12 to 15 inches apart and dwarf species 6 inches apart. Marigolds prefer soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0 enriched with organic matter, but the plant can tolerate dry soils.
Marigolds need an area with full sun, but in areas where summers get very hot, they prefer some afternoon shade. Too much shade can delay flowering, however, so provide light shade only when needed. Marigolds make good bedding and edging plants. They are also well-suited for growing in containers for patios, porches and balconies. Good complementary plants for flower beds include Salvia, Zinnia, Nasturtium, Gaillardia and Bassia.
Depends upon the variety you are growing. For French, Signet, and Pot Marigolds, a 6-8 inches pots will suffice. For bigger varieties like African Marigolds, take a pot of 10-12 inches. If the pot is small, go with ‘one plant per one pot’ rule.
This plant is in love with sunlight. The more, the merrier it is going to be for the flowers and their magnificent colors.
Marigolds are not fussy when it comes to soil requirements. Your regular potting soil will work just fine. If you want the best results, use loamy soil with some water retention capability.
Water them well and let the soil go a bit dry before you reach for the can again. Drainage holes in pots will do their work to drain the excess water out. Avoid watering the foliage.
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