Tagetes erecta. Plant Sugar and Spice marigold seeds for medium tall plants with dark green, feathery foliage and very upright growth. Atop each 40cm (16") tall plant grows a large, exquisite, fully double flower with creamy white petals. The carnation-like flowers really are stunning and up to 5cm (2") wide. They look fabulous in containers or direct in the flower bed. Be sure to remove all spent flowers and more will appear. Sugar and Spice marigold is the result of extensive selective breeding, and grows vigorously. Expect bushier, more upright growth, with more stunning creamy white flowers than any other variety.
Marigolds are annual flowers that are easy to grow from seed and resilient. They can be grown in the garden, in containers, and they play a role in Companion Planting. Some even have edible flowers! Learn how to grow Marigolds from seed, and they will earn a place in your garden every year.
Tagetes patula, T. erecta, & T. tennuifolia
Season & Zone
Exposure: Full sun
Sow indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost, or direct sow 2 weeks before last frost. If starting indoors, just cover the seeds with vermiculite and provide a soil temperature of 21-25°C (70-75°F). Seeds should sprout in 4-14 days at that temperature.
Marigolds are somewhat prone to damping off. As a precaution, just cover the small seeds with vermiculite, water from below, and provide ventilation in the room. Space plants in the garden 30-45cm (12-18″) apart. Dwarf varieties can be spaced 15cm (6″) apart.
Pinch the growing tips to encourage branching. This prevents tall, spindly plants. Dead head regularly throughout the growing season.
French Marigolds (Tagetes patula) produce chemicals that kill soil nematodes and repel whitefly. Avoid planting them near beans. Mexican Marigolds (T. minuta) have the same effect, and may repel rabbits.
More on Companion Planting.