Marigold Flower Facts
One of the easiest plants to grow, the marigold flower is also one of the most popular bedding plants. Colorful and cheerful, these little plants will flower all summer long with the proper care, making them an ideal bedding plant along with other uses that may not be as well known.
Classified as an annual, the marigold flower can appear in many forms. It can be as simple as a daisy shape, or as ornate as large pompoms, and either short and bushy or tall and willowy. The most familiar types of marigolds planted in the home garden are the African, French and Signet varieties.
Brilliant oranges, yellows and reds are common in marigold flower colors of all varieties. These garden favorites will bloom all summer, with continuous new blooms taking the place of fading flowers. As long as frequent deadheading is performed on the dying blossoms, your plants will provide a dazzling display of color throughout the season.
The fragrance of these long bloomers may be the only drawback; an unpleasant, pungent scent is emitted by the flowers and plants. However, the smell can be a positive drawback when it serves to repel rabbits and other garden pests. Planting a border of the marigold flower around your vegetable garden may be an effective, safe and attractive way to keep these garden vegetable scavengers out of your garden, according to many home gardeners. One variety of the marigold, the Signet, is actually the exception to this rule. This type is actually an edible form of the marigold flower, exhibiting a flavor similar to that of tarragon while the leaves have a nice lemony scent.
Another reason that the marigold flower is such a favorite is its hardy nature. They can be sown from seed or as seedlings equally as well, and perform in almost any type of climate. Marigolds do need to have frequent watering, especially during the hottest months of summer, although a good layer of mulch will help to preserve the much needed moisture. They will continue to grow and bloom right up until the onset of frost in most areas.
In addition to the pretty and hardy nature of the plant, the marigold flower is also considered to be a beneficial herb. Using the leaves and the flowers, many medicinal properties have been associated with this plant. Tea can be made by steeping dried and crushed marigold flowers in boiling water, and is used to ease stomach upsets as well as cramps. In culinary uses, the flowers can be used in salads and also as a substitute in recipes that call for saffron.
The marigold flower is just an all around great garden plant. Used for its colorful displays, for repelling garden pests, for medicinal and culinary purposes, the marigold is a diverse plant while being one of the easiest and hardiest to grow.