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April 13, 2020

Dr. Gary Bachman: Marigolds are a sure sign summer has arrived. They are easy to grow and give bright colors all summer long. Today on Southern Gardening.

Announcer: Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Dr. Gary Bachman: To many gardeners, marigolds are just those common yellow flowers. They're common all right, because they're easy and don't require much care. There are several types available, but the big two are the American and the French marigold. The American marigold is also called the African marigold, Tagetes erecta. The various series range in size from 15 inches to over three feet tall. American marigolds are recognizable for their pom-pom-type double flowers. Popular series include First Lady, Discovery and Crackerjack. These series feature colors of yellow, orange, dark orange and white.

French marigolds, Tagetes patula are smaller and have more flower variety. There are single as well as double flowers and colors include yellow, orange and reds along with stripes. Popular series include Janie and Sophia. French marigolds are generally less than 15 inches tall and are free-flowering from early summer to frost, but you will have to deadhead to remove the faded flowers. There are a couple of marigold garden myths. First, that they repel insects. In fact, spider mites are attracted to marigolds and can make infestations worse.

Second, there is anecdotal evidence that marigolds do help around tomatoes. When I gardened in ground, I always planted marigolds around the tomatoes and it did seem to help. Marigolds are great in ground or in containers and add a cheerful and colorful brightness wherever they are planted. I'm horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.

Announcer: Southern Gardening with Gary Bachman is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

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