Container Growing a Marigold
Marigolds are cheerful flowers with colors that range from pale yellow to burnt orange. These practical flowers are ideal for either gardens or indoor planting as the scent keeps harmful bugs away from other plants. Marigolds are easy to grow and can be easily transplanted to larger containers if needed. They come in several varieties, including African, French, and triploid, all of which look beautiful alone or when combined together in a large flower pot.
The best type of indoor pots for a marigold plant should be medium-sized, about 5 to 6 inches in diameter if they are grown from seedlings or seeds. The best type of pots to use are clay or ceramic with holes in the bottom for drainage.
Add a layer of pebbles at the bottom of the pot before adding the soil. Place the soil in a shallow bowl to help catch the water that drains out whenever the plant is watered.
Consider planting marigolds in large outdoor flower pots that can contain a variety of flowers in a bunch. Use 16 to 18-inch pots for the young marigold plants. Self-watering clay, ceramic or cement pots will keep the soil moist outdoors even in dry weather. If a self-watering pot is not available, you can use a regular one and just check the soil each day for moisture levels. Water the marigolds whenever the soil feels dry to the touch.
Marigolds prefer moist soil. Add some clay mixture to regular potting soil to help make it retain moisture. You can also add a slow-acting granular fertilizer to help encourage as many blossoms as possible. Do not use potting soil directly as this will be too dry.
Growing the Marigolds
Once planted, marigolds require sunlight and water. Position in an area that receives southern exposure. It is important to keep the soil moist, but not overwatered.
Harmful garden insects will avoid the marigold, so they are not a vital concern to the plant.
If using large outdoor pots, place them about 4 inches apart. Place taller marigolds in the center with the dwarf varieties on the outside.
Caring for Marigolds
Marigolds will blossom throughout the spring, summer, and early fall so long as they are deadheaded. Deadheading will also encourage more blossoms. Simply snip off the dead flower with your fingertips, and more flowers will grow.
If the plants get too crowded in a small container, transplant them to another container. Allow airflow between the plants to prevent them from getting powdery mildew when they are watered or when exposed to humidity.