What Is a French Marigold?

Written by paige turner
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A French marigold (Tagetes patula) is a type of marigold that is typically shorter than other marigolds, including African marigolds. It can grow to 12 inches in height. Other cultivars may be smaller, growing to only 6 inches in height. French marigolds emerge in a wide range of colours.

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French Marigold Growing Tips

According to the Cornell University Growing Guide, French marigolds are easy to care for, have an annual life cycle and are propagated via the scattering of seeds outdoors after a frost. They may also be started indoors four to six weeks prior to the last frost and then transplanted to a desired outdoor location.They should be watered regularly in hot weather, especially when they are not flowering. Remove any flowers when they start to look brown to increase the production of flowers.

Types of French Marigolds

The Hero series and the "Discovery" F-1 hybrids are 10-inch varieties of French marigolds. The Janie series, an 8-inch variety, grows well in containers and blooms early. The Queen and Aurora series may grow to a foot in height. Their flowers emerge in different colours, including maroon, orange and yellow.

Optimal Planting Conditions

French marigolds grow well in containers and window boxes. They may also be used on the edges of flower beds due to their bushy growth patterns. French marigolds bloom longer than African marigolds. The Iowa State University Department of Horticulture recommends the cultivars Queen Sophia and Golden Gate French.

Pests and French Marigolds

French marigolds do not attract many pests and are sometimes planted in rows between other flowering plants to deter the proliferation of pests. French marigolds attract beneficial pests such as ladybirds and lacewings. The are also known to reduce root knot nematodes.

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