Merry marigolds

2015-09-09 06:00
Their many different shapes and size blooms can be found in shades of orange, yellow, red and bi-coloured.

Their many different shapes and size blooms can be found in shades of orange, yellow, red and bi-coloured.

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MARIGOLDS are firm favourites in gardens in South Africa and in the current water shortage situation, they need very little water to survive and grow.

The first documented use of marigold, as a herb, dates back to a manuscript written in 1552. More recently, they are cultivated for use in dyes, medicines and ceremonies in India and Pakistan and are used to decorate altars, honour gods and goddesses as well as decorate special guests.

According to the Language of Flowers, marigolds represent grief, which probably relates to their use at funerals. It is said that if a gravestone is covered in these flowers the family is protected from negativity.

Luckily, marigolds are not only revered for religious ceremonies and ancient medicinal practices. Just like all bedding plants, marigolds are an indispensable addition to your garden, bringing warmth with their rich colours and needing very little fussing over to be adequately cared for.

Their many different shapes and size blooms can be found in shades of orange, yellow, red and bi-coloured.

The modern hybrids are very uniform in growth and stay compact, making them superb plants for a mixed border, a rockery or in areas where splashes of bold colour are needed

Marigolds generally thrive with minimal care and once established, only need watering during dry spells. Plant marigolds in full sun in a well composted bed. To keep the plant blooming (up to four months at a time), deadhead regularly. Feed every six weeks with a balanced fertiliser, but donand#039;t forget that they are a water-wise choice, so once they have settled in after transplanting, water infrequently.

If your vegetable garden is plagued by insects and pests, marigolds are a wonderful natural deterrent. Itand#039;s their strongly pungent foliage that drives insects away and their roots seem to repel eelworm. Slugs however, seem to have a voracious appetite for marigolds, which of course means that your vegetables get left alone.

On another high note, bees and butterflies also find their gorgeously coloured blooms irresistible, so if you are planning a butterfly garden, marigolds are must.

For more go to www.lifeisagar den.co.za - Bedding Plant Growers Association

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