Seed To Bloom:
Sow 6-8 weeks before last frost. Sow seeds thinly and keep at 65-75°F.
Direct sow at last spring frost date.
PLACEMENT & CULTIVATION
African marigold provides mid to late summer through fall cut flowers and is invaluable for keeping insect pests away from veggie gardens while attracting beneficial ladybugs and hoverflies. It is also lovely in the mid-border with other summer annuals. It does best in moist, well-drained soils but will tolerate drier locales, perhaps at the expense of flowering. Provide some afternoon shade in hot summer areas. Pinch back when seedlings reach about 6" tall to encourage bushiness. Deadhead regularly for continued bloom.
About 1" per week, though it will tolerate some drought once established.
Prefers slightly acidic to neutral.
Mix in about an inch or two of compost or some organic granular fertilizer when transplanting. Flowers well with little added fertilizer, too much and foliage will be lush and flowers less abundant.
Diseases & Pests:
Be sure to space properly to increase air circulation and avoid fungal issues such as leaf spot. Japanese beetles can be hand-picked into a bowl of soapy water. If insects such as spider mites, aphids, thrips, or whiteflies are an issue, treat with an insecticidal soap.
When to Cut for Bouquets:
Harvest when fowers are fully open.