What Are the Different Types of Marigolds?
Marigolds are bright flowering annuals indigenous in Mexico and native to South America, tropical America, and southwestern North America. There are over 50 species of marigolds that grow globally. All marigolds fall into two broad categories: French marigolds (Tagetes patula) and African marigolds (Tagetes erecta). Other varieties include the dwarf and tall marigolds varieties.
- French marigolds: Theseare native to Mexico, and they grow as bushy annuals. They bear blooms in shades of red, yellow, and orange. Some examples include Bonanza deep orange and Bonita mixed.
- African marigolds: The African marigolds are native to Mexico and Central America. They are taller than the French varieties and more tolerant to dry conditions and extreme heat. The cultivars include Gold coin, safari, and jubilee varieties. They are commonly known as tall marigolds.
- Dwarf marigolds: Most dwarf marigolds grow about 6 to 8 inches tall, with a few varieties reaching 12 inches. They have feathery leaves that clump under the double flowers. They produce red, yellow, and orange blooms.
Which Marigold Variety Is Best?
All marigolds protect against nematodes, but French marigolds are the best variety to grow in your garden. It can protect against a broad array of nematodes. They not only protect the plants against these root pests but also kill them.
Many commercial growers opt for these marigolds because of their low-maintenance and incredible beauty. If you live in hot climatic conditions, where these nematodes dominate, planting French marigolds will save you the stress.
Where Do Marigolds Grow Best?
Marigolds love heat, and they perform best in summer conditions throughout their growing periods. They thrive well from zones 2 to 11 USDA. Healthy plants require full sun as shade might lead to legging the plant and reduction in bloom quality and quantity.
They are not selective about soil and can flourish in evenly moist, well-drained soil with a slightly acidic, neutral pH of 6.0 to 7.0. They grow better in lean soil than in organically-rich soil.
Top 10 Types of Marigolds
1. Bonanza Marigolds
It is a bushy annual dwarf and a member of the French marigolds’ family. They grow best if you propagate them from spring once the last frost melts away. They are ideal for growing in the typical garden or containers.
- They have a mounded growth habit and reach 6 to 8 inches of height and 10 to 12 inches in width
- They can withstand any soil but perform best in moist, well-drained clay, loamy, or sandy soil. You can correct the soil with compost before planting
- They require full sun exposure for maximum blooming
- They start blooming in late spring and extend through summer to autumn
- Bonanza starts bearing flowers about 60 to 70 days from planting
- The seedling requires regular watering until it is established
- It would help if you pinched young plants to achieve a bushy growth habit
- Deadheading prolongs the blooming period
2. French Marigolds (Tagetes patula)
French marigold is a bushy annual that boasts crested, double, or semi-double blooms of 5 cm across. It produces showy blossoms in orange, red, and yellow combinations to cover the lovely aromatic foliage. The foliage and flowers deter insects from the garden with their spicy fragrance. They are easy to grow and perfect for edging, beds, and containers.
- They do best in moist, well-drained sand, loam, or clay with neutral, alkaline, or acidic pH
- They grow about 15 to 30 cm in height and width
- They prefer full sun exposure
- They are low-maintenance plants with average water needs
- Their blooming reduces with an increase in the summer heat but resumes as the temperatures start dropping. Please pinch off dead flowers to prolong the blooming period
- They can tolerate drought, deer, and clay soil
3. Hero Orange French Marigold
Hero orange marigold is a dwarf variety that grows up to 25 cm tall. The double-layer orange bloom is an outstanding feature that distinguishes it from other types. The flower can reach 6 cm when in full bloom.
- It takes approximately 1 to 2 years to mature
- It thrives best in moist, well-drained loam, clay, or sand with neutral, acidic, or alkaline pH
- It loves partial shade or full sun for maximum blooming
- It is pest and disease-free
- You have to cut it back after flowering
- Water freely during dry spells and deadhead regularly to extend the blooming period
4. Lemon Gem Marigold
It is a kind of signet marigold with daisy-like lemon-yellow blooms. They are unusual annuals because they do well in all weather conditions except chilling winters. It has glossy foliage with small leaves and bright yellow fragrant and erect flowers.
- They are not soil-fussy and can thrive in any well-draining soil type with 5.0 to 8.5 pH
- It grows about 0.75 feet tall
- It is a low-maintenance plant with moderate water needs
- It needs full sun exposure to bloom from late spring to early fall. At least six hours of direct sunlight continuously every day
- It is tolerant to deer, drought, rabbits, humidity, seashore, and slope
5. Mexican Marigold
Mexican marigold is a sprawling evergreen shrub popular for its bright blooms and aromatic foliage. It produces five cm-across bright daisy-like flowers with golden petals and a dark yellow central disc. It has highly fragrant leaves that emit a pleasant pungent smell when crushed. They shun deer and attract bees and butterflies with this musky fragrance.
- It is a low-maintenance plant with low water requirements
- It does best in moist, well-drained soil with acidic, alkaline, or neutral pH
- It grows about 1120 to 180 cm tall and 180 cm to 3 meters wide
- It blooms best in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. Full shade makes the plant leggy and lowers the quality and quantity of bloom
- It can withstand drought but performs best with irrigation
- It is tolerant to drought, heat, deer, and poor soils
- You can trim to shape the shrub, but this might interfere with the bloom period
- It is native to northern Mexico and Arizona
6. Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis)
Pot marigold is an annual plant famous for its abundant blooming and cheerful bright blossoms. The gorgeous blooms not only adorn the land with beauty, but they are also edible. They are a perfect addition to soups or any rice dish for color and flavor. You can use fresh petals or dried ones.
- It is native to southern Europe
- It is easy to grow with low-maintenance and average water requirements
- It thrives, attaining a mature size of 1 to 2 feet tall and 1 to 1.5 feet wide
- It withstands cold weather but is intolerant to extreme heat conditions
- It loves well-drained soil with a neutral, acidic, or alkaline pH
- It needs full to partial sun to bloom in spring, summer, and fall
- It is deer and rabbit tolerant but attracts butterflies
7. Red-crescent Marigold (Tagetes lunulata)
It is an annual or perennial herb native to tropical America. It releases a strong aroma when crushed. It has simple, alternate leaves that are sometimes dotted. It is native to Guatemala and Mexico, with many species, spread globally.
- They bloom best in full sun exposure
- They are low-maintenance plants and need watering once per week once established
- Avoid nitrogenous fertilizer as it may make the plant bushy and reduce flowers
- Deadheading red crescent marigolds encourage branches and promote blooming
- Grow them in well-drained soil with acidic or neutral pH
8. Signet Marigolds (Tagetes tenuifolia)
It is a showy annual marigold with tiny, numerous brilliant blossoms covering the lacy foliage. It is a compact vigorously-growing bush with fragrant foliage and blooms that release a lemon fragrance when disturbed. It grows well in well-drained acidic, neutral, or alkaline soil.
- It requires low-maintenance and average water
- It needs full to partial sun to bloom throughout summer and fall
- It is deer, drought, and rabbit resistant and attracts butterflies
- It requires pinching off dead flowers to encourage continuous blooming
9. Southern Cone Marigold (Tagetes minuta)
Southern cone marigold is considered invasive in some regions. It has tall stems that bear small flowers. It is native to Peru, Ecuador, Chile, and Bolivia. It has edible leaves that the natives of these regions crush into a paste they use to cook ocopa potato dishes. When fresh, its flavor is a mixture of mint, citrus, sweet basil, and tarragon.
- They grow best as outdoor plants in full sun
- They love well-drained acidic, alkaline, or neutral soil
- Only water the plant if the soil is dry
10. Sweet Mace Marigold (Tagetes lucida)
It is a bushy perennial with long aromatic, linear green leaves and clusters of tiny golden-yellow flowers. Mexican natives use leaves as a substitute for tarragon in cooking. It takes 2.5 years to achieve a mature size of 0.5-1 meter in height and 0.1-0.5 meters wide
- It does well in well-drained acidic, alkaline, or neutral soil
- It blooms best in full sun to bloom in summer and autumn
- It helps to cut back the plant after blooming
Below are more marigold varieties.
|Common name||Botanical name||Bloom season|
|Queen Sophia marigolds||Tagetes patula ‘Queen Sophia.’||It bears yellow or rich maroon flowers from early summer until frost.|
|Safari scarlet marigold||Tagetes patula ‘Safari Scarlet.’||They produce bold scarlet flowers with a golden eye from late spring to late summer.|
|Yellow jackets marigolds||Tagetes patula ‘Yellow Jacket.’||It displays yellow blossoms from June to October.|
|Irish lace marigold||Tagetes filifolia||It blooms from early summer until frost.|
|Court Jester marigold||Tagetes patula nana||It displays its lovely blooms continuously until frost.|