Marigolds may be stereotyped as Grandma’s flowers or old fashioned annuals, but they are still a favourite of mine! Marigolds’ zesty blooms come in shades of orange and yellow, and also include rusty coppers and golds. Their blooms can be simple and daisy-like, or fluffy doubles. French marigolds (Tagetes patula) are the shorter, bushier variety starting at 6” tall, and African marigolds (Tagetes erecta) are the taller version at 24”-36”. Their pungent aroma is a love or hate experience, and of course I am on the love side. These peppy annuals bloom spring to fall with easy deadheading. They serve as classic container flowers, and a long lasting cut flower. As a companion plant in the veggie garden, marigolds are known to repel aphids, suppress nematodes (microscopic worms that attack roots), and their strong fragrance may even mask the smell of veggies to confuse pests – plus they add splashes of splendid colour!
Technical stuff – Marigolds/Tagetes, annual for Canada, height varies by variety 6” – 36”, full sun, well-drained soil to avoid root rot, richer soil makes for more greenery, leaner soil makes for more blooms.