Quick facts and care essentials

Sunset  – September 22, 2004

• Warm-season
• Annuals
• Full sun
• Regular watering

Robust, fast growing, and virtually trouble free, marigolds come in vibrant shades of yellow, orange, and orange red, as well as white and bicolors. Foliage has a pungent scent. T. erecta, called African marigold (though all garden marigolds are actually descended from species native to Mexico), has large blossoms ― fully double in most varieties ― on plants that grow 20 to 36 inches tall. T. patula, the French marigold, bears single or double flowers and grows 6 to 18 inches tall.

Space dwarf varieties about 6 inches apart, taller kinds 1 to 2 feet apart. Stake tall marigolds early in the season to prevent them from toppling.