Looking to keep your marigolds blooming big and flowering all summer long?
Marigolds are certainly one of the most beautiful, useful and durable of all annuals to grow. They are right at home in flowerbeds – whether in mass plantings, or grouped to add small pops of color to compliment other perennials, shrubs and bushes.
The marigold’s versatility doesn’t end there. They also happen to be perfect for growing in containers and baskets. With their amazing array of bloom styles, sizes and colors, potted marigolds add huge interest and beauty to porches, patios and decks. And if all of that wasn’t enough – they are even more useful when growing in vegetable gardens!
The bright, colorful blooms of marigolds are great for attracting key pollinators like honeybees and butterflies to your plants. But perhaps the most useful quality in the vegetable garden for marigolds are not the insects they attract – but the ones they help to keep away.
The strong scent of a marigold plant’s foliage and blooms deter a long list of garden plant enemies. That list includes hornworms, aphids, nematodes, whiteflies – and best of all – mosquitoes! But one thing is for sure – to get the most beauty and protection from marigolds, the more you can get them to bloom – the better!
How To Keep Marigolds Flowering
When it comes to keeping your marigolds healthy, strong and blooming big, success all boils down to taking care of three critical elements for your plants:
- Giving Plants The Proper Amount Of Water
- Giving Plants The Nutrients They Need To Bloom
- Deadheading Plants Regularly To Make Way For New Blooms
If all three of these needs are met on a consistent basis, you can all but ensure big flowering success. With that in mind, here is a look at each specific element, and how to make sure your plants get exactly what they need to flower bigger than ever – all summer long!
#1) Water Consistently – How To Keep Marigolds Flowering
Marigolds are an extremely durable plant. They handle full sun and heat well. And, they also happen to be one of the most drought tolerant of all summer flowering annuals. But to really get them to bloom big and keep them blooming, they need a consistent source of water.
Water is key not just for keeping roots and foliage healthy, but for powering new bloom sets. When marigolds are properly hydrated, they can more quickly soak in and distribute the nutrients they require for flowering.
So how much water is enough? For marigolds, it truly is about consistency. Marigolds growing directly in flowerbeds or garden soil should be getting one to one and a half inches of water per week. That amounts to about one-half to three-quarters of a gallon of water per plant.
For marigolds growing in containers, daily watering is usually required. It is always best to water early in the morning. This not only allows the plants to be ready to handle the heat of the day, but also helps them maximize the sunlight for more blooming power.
As important as consistent water is, be careful not to overwater. Overwatering can swell roots and make them unable to take in nutrients. Check down into the soil a few inches and if good moisture is present, skip watering for the day.
For pots and containers, moisture meters are great for this. They allow you to quickly stick the probe in down deep to see the moisture level where the roots are. For those that struggle with knowing when or when not to water – moisture meters can be a lifesaver! Product Affiliate Link : Moisture Meter Instant Read Probe
Fertilize For Success – How To Keep Marigolds Flowering
Marigolds use a lot of energy to maintain their foliage and flowers. Even the richest of flowerbed, garden or potting soil will eventually run out those nutrients over the course of the summer. And that is exactly where fertilizing can pick up the slack.
Fertilizing is just as important as proper watering in giving your plants the nutrients they need to continue blooming. And once again, just as with watering, the key to success is consistency!
Giving any annual flower too many nutrients all at once can actually harm their blooming cycles more than help. When plants receive too much energy, instead of producing new blooms, they simply work to grow bigger. And, of course, without enough, they will stop or slow blooming as well!
How To Fertilize Marigolds…
For marigolds, whether they are growing in containers or directly in the soil, it is best to give them a lower but steady dose of nutrients every ten to fourteen days.
As for what type of fertilizer to use, liquid fertilizers are best. Not only do they deliver nutrients to the roots of a plant, but they also absorb into the foliage as well. This double dose of energy can really power up plants and help to produce new blooms quickly.
Select a water-soluble fertilizer that has a higher middle number in its Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium (N-P-K) makeup. Phosphorous is the key nutrient for powering blooms. This will help the plant concentrate more on flowering than on simply growing bigger. Affiliate Product Link: Jacks Classic No.4 10-30-20 Blossom Booster Fertilizer
When feeding every ten to fourteen days, mix your fertilizer of choice at half strength. This will allow you to power the plants more often to maintain consistent energy, without having to worry about giving your marigolds too much energy all at once.
Deadheading Old Blooms – How To Keep Marigolds Flowering
Last but certainly not least, deadheading your old marigold blooms is a must to keep blooms coming on. See: How To Deadhead Annuals & Perennials
Fading flowers continue to take valuable nutrients from your marigolds if left on the plant. But by removing these spent blooms, you can allow the plant to direct all of its energy and resources back to producing new blooms. And deadheading marigolds couldn’t be easier!
To remove old blooms, simply pinch off the bloom below at the stem. You can also use small scissors or pruning snips if desired. Usually, with marigold blooms, the flowers will pop off with ease. One thing is for sure, you will more than notice that a few days after deadheading, your plants will already be sending up a lot more blooms!
For best results and to keep plants flowering, try to deadhead your marigolds at least once a week all throughout the season. And remember, save a few of those stem heads and allow them to dry out – you will be rewarded with tons of free seeds to plant next year!
Here is to keeping your marigolds flowering strong all summer long, and to big color to your landscape right up until the end of the growing season!
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