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Marigolds are called flowers from the Aster family as part of the Compositae family. They have a specific pungent odor "for an amateur" and bright colors - from pale ocher to deep brown. They are kept in homes mainly for their pleasing and eye-pleasing appearance.
This article discusses how you can most effectively grow marigolds at home in pots.
Can I grow at home?
Experienced gardeners are always skeptical about planting flowers at home. In their opinion, flowers need constant sunlight and fresh air, so that growth is fast and, most importantly, that the plant grows healthy. But marigolds are quite unpretentious flowers, so they can be grown at home.
The main difficulty will be in finding a suitable place. You will have to experiment, because it is very important to ensure the flow of light, but so that there is not too much of it.
In addition, due to the essential oils in the composition of the flower, difficulties may arise with the specific pungent smell of marigolds. To some, this aroma will seem tasty and pleasant, but for the majority it will at first seem too intrusive and "beating". You can also solve this problem - either simply by getting used to the smell of the Aster family, or by airing the room more often.
To summarize, growing marigolds at home in pots is more than realistic, but with certain nuances. If the landlord is ready to put up with this, the lush growth and pleasant appearance of the aster flower will serve as a kind of reward for his efforts.
How to grow?
On the windowsill
In general, marigolds feel comfortable in pots. It is important to take a pot that is suitable in shape: it should be quite deep and wide, since marigolds take many roots during growth. So that the growth of flowers does not interfere with each other, space is required.
The flower should be placed on a windowsill, where direct sunlight is present for at least 4 hours a day. Window sills are best suited for windows facing the morning or evening Sun. In this case, the light will be more than enough for the active growth of the flower.
For growing at home on a windowsill, a low-growing variety is best suited. He is the most unpretentious. Also, it will not take up much space in the apartment, while tall varieties sometimes reach half a meter in height.
You can learn more about the varieties of marigolds, as well as see a photo of the plant in this article.
You can plant flowers in an apartment any month, but best of all at the end of January (when and how to plant marigolds?). True, you will have to arm yourself with additional artificial light, since in winter there is not enough natural light. But in early spring, the marigold will bloom its flowers. If you don't want to spend money on artificial light, it is better to plant in April - there will be enough natural light, and the flowers will bloom by the end of spring and early summer.
Keep in mind that the soil in pots at home is always less rich in nutrients and much drier. Therefore, flowers need to be watered regularly, and fertilized at least once every two weeks.
On the balcony
Perhaps, of all the options, it is the landing on the balcony that is best suited for these flowers (what are the rules for planting marigolds?). We have already said that the marigolds need air and light; so it is the balcony that ideally satisfies both of these needs for a flower. The more sunny the place you find, the more splendor and color the marigold will give you.
An additional plus will be the property of the flower - its tolerance to temperature changes. The aster plant is not only cold-resistant, but also tolerates heat. Therefore, they can be left on the balcony at any time of the year.
If you sow flowers in pots, then here, as at home, you will need deep and wide containers. But in general, it is recommended to plant flowers in balcony boxes, especially if they are deep: the space for launching roots is very important for marigolds. It is necessary to water the flowers taking into account the rains, so as not to moisten the soil too much; you should feed the plant with fertilizers every 2-3 weeks.
Low-growing varieties are also suitable for the balcony. - for example, "Gnome" - but you can experiment with higher colors. In all cases, the soil should be nutritious, well moistened and with neutral acidity.
In an apartment in winter
In winter conditions, there will be a lack of sunlight. Moreover, this can be observed even if the flower pot was placed in the sunniest place in the house. This can be corrected either by an additional artificial light source, or by planting flowers in the spring (March-April).
It should also be borne in mind that, despite the cold resistance of the plant, it is still not worth keeping it in the cold for more than two hours a day. Marigolds, like all plants, have a defense mechanism in response to a decrease in temperature - the overall growth of the plant slows down and the buds close. Usually the plant begins to bloom within 1.5-2 months after planting, but in winter conditions this period can increase to 3 months.
Before planting, you need to find pots or balcony boxes of the required size - deep and wide. The soil will either have to be bought in the store, or you will have to cook it yourself from peat, humus, turf and sand in a ratio of 2: 2: 2: 1.
- Before planting, the seeds must be held for a day in a weak solution of potassium permanganate for disinfection.
- Then the seeds need to be germinated; for this they are placed on a saucer, covered with a damp cloth and polyethylene on top. In this form, the seeds are for about three days.
- Sprouted seeds are planted in grooves with a distance of 1.5-2.5 cm from each other.
See tips for growing marigolds from seeds here.
Spray already ready crops should be from a spray bottle, in moderation; the optimal temperature for growth is 20-27 degrees Celsius. The substrate should always be moist, because at home, the soil dries out faster than the soil in flower beds and street seedlings.
Top dressing is optional, but if you want to get healthy and maximally lush flowers, it will still not hurt to water the soil with mineral fertilizers 2-3 times during the growing season. Finally, for a beautiful ball-shaped plant, marigolds need to be pruned during growth.
Marigolds rarely get sick due to their naturally high immunity. in the Aster family. But unpleasant incidents also happen:
- If you find white bloom on the stem of a flower - keep in mind that this is a sign of "vitamin hunger". If you do not take action in time, the leg will become covered with black spots and an irreversible process of decay will begin. To prevent such an outcome, keep the amount of incoming light, air and heat at an acceptable level for marigold, and also feed the plant with fertilizer at least 1-2 times.
- Spider mite - the main headache for all gardeners (how to deal with spider mites and other pests on marigolds?). It attacks most often young shoots. Typical signs indicating the appearance of a tick - the shoots have brightened, dried up, and a white bloom appeared on the leaves and stems, mixed with barely distinguishable black dots.
The main means of combating spider mites are special preparations: Actellik, Fufanon, Fitoverm and Akarinv. If, after processing according to the instructions, the effect turned out to be weak, you need to change the drug used, because the spider mite develops resistance.
- Viral diseases diverse. The most common symptom of the disease is discolored leaves, as well as dried and deformed shoots of the aster flower (why do marigolds dry?). If you have taken all possible measures to increase the plant's immunity (fertilizers, moisture, light, air and heat), but the characteristic color and dryness remain, this is almost certainly a viral disease.
Although viral diseases are different, most often the plant cannot be saved from most viruses. It is best to remove the flower with the root from the soil in order to prevent the spread of the disease to neighboring marigolds.
You can find out more about what diseases and pests affect marigolds and how to get rid of them here.
Marigolds are pleasant-looking plants. They are appreciated not only for their decorative functions, but also for their unpretentiousness and resistance to temperatures, natural immunity. Only have to put up with a pungent smell, but this is just a matter of habit. It is possible to plant flowers at home with great success if you monitor the remaining high humidity, sufficient light, warmth and ventilation.