They are decorative, easy to care for and almost indestructible: the marigold. These advantages alone make the small daisy family popular plants for beds and balconies. The marigold, as the marigold is also called, has even more to offer and is extremely useful.

Ideal location for the marigold

The marigold comes from the rather dry and warm areas of America, so it even tolerates direct and full sun extremely well. However, even in partial shade, it shows its lush flowers. So when it comes to light, the tagetes is not picky. Nor when it comes to the substrate. This does not have to be particularly rich, a moderate content of nutrients is sufficient. Occasional fertilizing is allowed, but should not be overdone with the marigold. In any case, the substrate must be airy and permeable. Waterlogging should be avoided as well as prolonged dryness.

Tip: A layer of mulch will help reduce the frequency of watering and eliminate the need for fertilizing.

The optimal location of the marigolds at a glance

  • Direct sun to partial shade
  • Permeable, airy substrate
  • Moderate nutrient content
  • Keep moist, avoid waterlogging and drying out

prefer and plants

The marigold is sensitive to ground frost and should therefore only be outdoors when this is definitely over. Usually, the end of the Eisheiligen gives the starting shot here. If you want to grow the marigold yourself from seeds, you can do so indoors from March. All you need is a sunny window seat where the young plants are not exposed to direct sunlight. It shouldn’t be too warm for healthy germination and initial growth, the best results can be achieved at a temperature between 15 and 18°C.

Once the frosty months are over, the marigold can move to the balcony, terrace or garden. How much space it needs depends on the species you choose. With a variety of over 50 varieties, the marigolds have very different space requirements. Very tall growing marigolds that grow up to 75cm contrast with compact species that stay close to the ground.
seed collection and sowing

The seeds of the marigold can be easily obtained from withered flowers of the plant. If you want to prefer or sow yourself, you should remember to save a few dried flowers and shake the seeds out of them in good time. Stored dry, cool and dark, they survive the winter without any problems.

Note: Be sure to label the seed to avoid confusion in spring.


The sowing is just as unproblematic as the choice of location. Potting soil or unfertilized coconut fiber are ideal. In any case, the substrate should only have a moderate nutrient content, be permeable and airy. If the soil is too rich, the plants shoot up too quickly. The result is thin sprouts that kink easily and are vulnerable. In the apartment, the seeds can be brought forward from March. The marigolds may only be sown directly outdoors when they are completely free of ground frost. Because the seeds do not tolerate temperatures below freezing either.

  • Avoid direct sun
  • Choose unfertilized soil
  • keep soil moistured
  • Make sure the temperature in the apartment is between 15 and 18°C
  • Fertilize and avoid too high a nutrient content
  • Separate young plants from a height of 8 to 10 cm
Tip: Anyone who sows three to five seeds directly per flower pot or seeding site saves having to separate the plants later.

The care of the marigold

As already mentioned, the marigold is normally extremely easy to care for and undemanding. In order to achieve a lasting, long and full bloom, only the dried flowers and leaves have to be removed as regularly as possible.

However, there are also exceptions here. More sensitive or demanding cultivated forms that grow very tall or come up with filled and therefore heavy flowers may sometimes need planting aids and attachments.

Note: Free some flowers from the seeds only in late summer and autumn. In this way, the seed only spends a short time in storage, which increases the probability of germination.


Most forms of marigold, especially the original varieties, are quite undemanding. Fertilizing is therefore only necessary if the plants show little growth and the shoots only develop thin and weak. An ordinary fertilizer for flowering plants will do.
Alternatively, the marigold can also be surrounded by a layer of mulch that gradually enriches the soil substrate with nutrients.

If the marigolds are supplied with too many nutrients, they will initially grow strongly. However, the splendor of flowers falls by the wayside. Only the leaves benefit from the oversupply. While the result is still decorative, lovers of fiery colors will be disappointed.

  • Only fertilize when absolutely necessary
  • If the soil is rich or mulch, do not use any additional nutrients at all


The marigold does not like to be flooded or dried out. Moderately moist soil is ideal. Depending on the chosen location, regular watering may therefore be necessary. Daily watering can even be on the agenda, especially when the marigolds are in direct sun or provide a fiery accent on the balcony or terrace. However, the quantity should not be exaggerated, because the marigolds do not tolerate waterlogging.

In a shady spot in the garden, protected by a layer of mulch, occasional rain is usually sufficient. Of course, care should be taken that the marigold does not dry out here either.

  • Water moderately
  • Pay attention to slightly moist soil
  • Avoid waterlogging and dryness

diseases and pests

The marigold and its diverse subspecies and hybrids are as resistant as they are easy to care for. However, only against diseases. With insects and snails, the situation is completely different, because they are only too happy to eat the flowers and leaves of the marigold. If the marigold is used as a decorative flowering plant, it should be protected as early as possible with at least slug pellets. Other protective measures are not necessary. And attraction to snails can also become an advantage in the garden.

  • Marigolds are disease resistant
  • In damp, warm weather, protect with slug pellets

Flower bed or between the vegetables?

The marigolds – whether original forms or cultivated variants – are characterized by a long, lush bloom. This is usually in yellow, orange and red. Filled or unfilled, the marigolds are a sunny eye-catcher and can be used as an accent in the flower bed, as a border or even between roses of matching colour. Due to their low nutrient requirements, a close location to other plants – whether vegetable, fruit or ornamental plants – does not have a negative effect on their development.

The attractive effect that marigolds have, especially on snails, can be used not only in the flower bed but also in vegetables. Because the tagetes inevitably attracts attention. If there is an existing snail problem, inexpensive marigolds can therefore be used as a decoy trap.

The marigold as a boon for the soil

Marigolds are not only pretty to look at and easy to care for, they are also extremely useful. On the one hand, they attract pests and thus prevent them from attacking more sensitive plants. On the other hand, they improve the structure of the soil and only remove very small amounts of nutrients from it.

In addition, the marigolds have another effect: as attractive as they are to snails, they are a deterrent to nematodes. If marigolds are planted regularly in the garden, the number of harmful worms in the soil is significantly reduced. Even susceptible plants can benefit from it.

  • Tagetes has a positive effect on the structure of the soil
  • Remove few nutrients from the soil
  • Act as a deterrent to harmful nematodes

Annual or overwintering?

Marigolds are not usually just annuals, but their sensitivity to frost ensures that they quickly wither in temperatures below zero. If you want to prevent this, for example with very rare or very beautiful specimens, you should bring the plants to frost-free areas in good time for overwintering. However, it should not be too warm here either. As with sowing and pre-growing, 15 to 18°C ​​are ideal here.
However, since the extraction of seeds and the cultivation are so easy, a space-consuming overwintering is unnecessary. If the seeds are removed from the flowers in late summer or autumn and stored dry, dark and reasonably cool, nothing stands in the way of re-sowing.

  • Plants can be overwintered as long as they are absolutely frost-free
  • Also during the winter, pay attention to temperatures between 15 and 18°C
  • Choose a bright location for wintering
Note: Collecting seeds and re-sowing in spring is easier than overwintering whole plants and saves space.

Marigolds – Edible or Poisonous?

Filled or unfilled, high-growing or ground-covering – the cultivated forms of marigolds are diverse. Therefore, there are poisonous as well as edible variants. The edible marigolds, such as marigolds tenuifolia and marigolds filifolia, are an exotic treat. Depending on the type, they can be used as an edible decoration, as a spice, as a tea, as a stand-alone accompaniment or as an addition to desserts and salads. Depending on the species, flowers or herbs and stems are used. In any case, woody pieces should not end up in the saucepan or on the plate.

Overview of some edible marigolds:

  • Tagetes tenuifolia – carries a citrus flavor
  • T. filifolia – erinnert an Lakritz
  • T. lucida – similar to aniseed or woodruff
Note: Edible marigolds are rarely available and also more expensive than other forms, so overwintering or propagation by seeds is particularly useful here.

The marigold as a medicinal plant

In addition to being used as a decoration and as an edible plant, the marigold can be used in the form of essential oils and directly as a herb and flower as a medicinal plant. And as such, it already has a long tradition. The wild forms played a healing role with the Aztecs and were also used in spiritual ceremonies.

Healing effects of marigolds

  • Has a positive effect on corns, calluses and calluses
  • Increases zest for life, energy and concentration
  • Has a balancing and stimulating effect

The extent to which marigolds actually heal has not been scientifically proven. External use can also cause skin irritation and rashes. So caution is advised here.

The marigold, marigold or velvet plant is an ideal flowering plant for the garden, balcony and terrace. Even for people who don’t have a green thumb. In addition, the marigolds are very inexpensive, but you can also propagate them yourself without any problems. The only disadvantage: If the marigolds are not protected against snail damage, they can be eaten completely bare overnight.

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