This group of showy, half-hardyincludes some of the commonest and most popular border and bedding . The are produced from summer until autumn and also last well as cut .
Suitable site and soil. A rich, well-drained soil in a sunnyis best. Border edges are a good site for a row of marigolds.
Cultivation and care. Plant out in late spring. Remove old flower heads to promote a longer flowering season.
Propagation. Grow fromsown in early or mid spring.
Recommended varieties. Varieties of T. erecta, or the African marigold, are available in varying heights from 75cm – 21 – 2ft down to about Socra – lV&ft. Good varieties are the tall T. e. ‘Climax’, growing to 9.0cm – 3ft and spreading 46cm – lV&ft with large double yellow and orange flowers; and small African marigolds from the ‘Inca’ series which grow to 30cm – 12in with gold, orange and yellow flowers. Varieties of T. patula, or the French marigold, are smaller and more compact. A good one is T.p. ‘Disco Orange’, with single flowers in a pretty, cheerful orange. It grows to 15cm – 6in high and wide. Varieties of T. tenuifolia pumila (formerly T. signata pumila) make excellent edging plants growing to about 23cm – 9in high and forming low mounds. They are available with lemon, yellow and orange-red flowers.
Pests and diseases. Watch out for attack by slugs and snails; they may also suffer from fungal grey mould androt.
Varieties of T. patula (French marigold) attract butterflies. Plant them at the base ofdavidii (butterfly bush) for a lovely swarm of butterflies and for a purple and orange flower contrast.