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©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Marigold is an See more pictures of annual flowers.

The marigold is an annual flower that blooms so well over a long season that they're a mainstay of gardeners everywhere.

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Description: American marigolds (T. erecta) can be tall plants, growing up to 36 inches high, though breeding has produced shorter heights. They have large, fully double flowers in yellow, gold, and orange. French marigolds (T. patula) are bushier and more compact with smaller flowers. Triploids, a cross between French and American marigolds, resemble French marigolds but have larger flowers.

How to grow: Marigolds grow best in full sun with moist, well-drained soil, though they will tolerate drier conditions. Plant them outdoors as soon as all danger of frost has passed. Space French marigolds 6 to 10 inches apart, Americans 10 to 18 inches apart.

Propagation: Seeds may be sown in place after the danger of frost or four weeks earlier indoors. Seeds germinate in five to seven days at 65 degrees to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Uses: Grow taller ones to the center or rear of beds and borders or as planting pockets in full sun or in containers.

Scientific name: Tagetes patula, Tagetes erecta

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