Marigold Starfire Mix
Starfire Mix marigolds, along with their relatives of the Tagetes genus, are annual plants native to Mexico and Central America, popular for their delicate, tiny, single, golden-to-orange flowers, lacy foliage and dwarf habit. There are many reasons why marigolds are used widely as an old-fashioned bedding plant: They are hardy and easy to grow – a leading companion plant that repels pests, and their flowers and leaves have a superb citrusy flavour. Beyond being a common decorative plant, one of the most striking uses for the plant is in ‘Day of the Dead’ celebrations in Mexico, where they are called Flores de Muerto.
| Height: 30 cm
Width: 30 cm
| Height: 20 cm
Width: 20 cm
|Tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, cucumbers, melons.
|Apr to Jun
|5 to 15 days
|5 cm apart, at a depth of 0.5 cm
|10 cm apart
|Full sun to partial shade
|Well-drained, light and moist soil
|Regular, heavy watering
|Pinch the tops of the plants to encourage bushier plants and deadhead spent blooms to prolong flowering. Water well in dry heat, but allow the soil to dry between waterings.
|Attracts bees and butterflies.
|Repels whiteflies, nematodes and mosquitoes
|Harvest marigold flowers as they open in late morning for garlands, cut flowers and edible uses. Marigolds are easy to dry and store for later use. Spread the flowers on a screen to dry in a well-ventilated, shady location and store in glass jars.
| Medicinal properties: They are used as a remedy for snakebites and bruises in Central and South America.
How to eat: Marigolds are eaten as petals or leaves, raw or blanched, fresh or dry, sweet or savoury, in salads, cakes and teas. They also add a rich colour to stews, sauces and soups, including classic marigold cheese soup in the U.S.