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French Marigold

The all-American French marigold comes in such an array of bright colors over a long season that they're a mainstay of gardeners everywhere.

Description of French marigold: French marigolds are bushy and compact with small flowers and a neat overall appearance. Their flowers come in many colors and forms and often feature multiple colors in a single flower head, which is part of their charm. They usually grow no more than 12 inches.

How to grow French marigold: French marigolds grow best in full sun with moist, well-drained soil, although 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. They get along with no deadheading but bloom more prolifically if you tackle this occasionally.

Propagating French marigold: Seeds may be sown in place. For earlier bloom start indoors 4 to 6 weeks prior to outdoor planting. Seeds germinate in 5 to 7 days at 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Uses for French marigold: Use French marigolds to line the edge of a sunny garden or surround a vegetable garden as they are thought to repel some pests. They also grow nicely in containers.

French marigold related species: Triploids, a cross between French and American marigolds, resemble French marigolds, but have larger flowers.

French marigold related varieties: One of America's most popular annual flowers is the French marigold, 'Queen Sophia,' with gold-rimmed red flower heads. 'Janie' is an extra-early bloomer only 8 inches high, and comes in yellow, orange, red and gold, gold, and mahogany with an orange center. Unique 'Mr. Majestic' has red stripes on yellow florets and golden centers.

Scientific name for French marigold: Tagetes patula

Want more gardening information? Try:

  • Annual Flowers: Learn more about annuals and their glorious, must-have summer colors.
  • Annuals: Find out how annuals can enhance your garden.
  • Perennial Flowers: Find out more about how to grow and care for perennial flowers, which come in all thinkable shapes, sizes and colors.
  • Gardening: Read our helpful articles and get tips and ideas for your garden.