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Marigolds are the official flower of October! I can’t think of a better bloom to represent a month full of startling colors. These flowers are not interested in being subtle. They display brilliant color and have a fragrance that can’t be ignored. Growing marigolds is an easy way to add another dose of cheerful color to your window box, porch, balcony, or garden. This week, we take a closer look at the lovely flower of October.
A Brief History of the Marigold
Throughout history, these blooms have been known for different things in various cultures. Ancient Egyptians treasured marigolds for their power to heal the skin and soothe ailments such as a sore throat. Greeks loved to put marigolds in their food and drinks to give them more flavor. American doctors used marigold petals during the Civil War to help treat the wounds of soldiers. In short, this flower is appreciated for a lot more than its striking appearance.
Are All Marigolds Gold?
The answer to this question is no. Marigolds are seen in a variety of colors, including pink, yellow, orange, white, and red. Of course, if you want golden marigolds, they can be found in abundance at this time of year. Some marigolds feature more than one color. Red marigolds trimmed in yellow are especially popular in autumn flower pots across the country.
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Caring for Your Marigolds
Whether you keep your marigolds in a container or plant them in a garden, they tend to flourish in well-drained soil. Be sure to put them in a place where they will get several hours of full sun. When watering your marigolds, avoid getting any water on the petals. The moist petals of a marigold can develop mold. If you get some water on the petals, gently shake it off or dab it with a soft cloth. I have several marigolds in my vegetable garden because their scent keeps aphids and other leaf-eating insects away. They stand guard over my more vulnerable vegetables. I’ve also read that marigolds repel deer, for those of you who have deer that like to check out your flower and vegetable gardens.
Fun Facts About Marigolds
- Brightly colored marigolds are known for attracting butterflies to a garden.
- Marigolds were discovered in Central America in the 16th century.
- The fragrance and color of marigolds make them a welcome addition to many salads and cups of tea.
- The roots of this bloom repel microscopic worms that can damage a garden from underground.
- African, French, and Signet are just a few of the many varieties of marigold.
- Marigolds grow better in poor-quality soil than they do in rich soil.
- These flowers are named for the Virgin Mary and are known as “Mary’s gold.”
- Tagetes patula is the scientific name for marigolds.
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So if you’re looking for some flowers that will draw even more attention to your beautiful garden, try planting some marigolds! They are easy to care for and are sure to win you lots of compliments from your neighbors.