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Types of Tagetes

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  • Types of Tagetes

    I've been sorting my Tagetes seeds and learnt something I thought I'd share!

    Tagetes are Marigolds (not the English Calendula marigolds) but the African and French ones commonly found in summer bedding. Despite their names they originate in Mexico (nothing is simple).

    Tagetes erecta are African marigolds, the tall ones - up to 3'.

    Tagetes patula are French marigolds. Some are dwarf (8") but can be 2' high. "Patula" means "spreading".

    African and French marigolds were all that I knew. Of course, there are more types, including:-

    Tagetes lucida aka "Sweet Mace" with sweet scented flowers. Is sold as a tarragon substitute.

    Tagetes minuta = Mexican marigold.aka Huacatay/ Mexican black mint. More at https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...ion_99289.html

    Tagetes tenuifolia = Striped Mexican marigold and Signet marigold. "Tenuifolia" means "slender leaved".

    By chance I have seeds of all of these types but they have been low on my sowing list - especially the African ones which seem to stiff and formal for my random garden. They're also Half Hardy annuals and they're always overlooked! Having sorted out these seeds now, I feel duty bound to sow them in 2020 - "give seeds a chance".

    Does anyone have any growing advice or favourites, please?
    Last edited by veggiechicken; 20-10-2019, 09:50 PM.

  • #2
    Just checked my seed packet mine are, 'Marigold (French) Tiger Eyes' I sow them the same time as my toms planting them in the GH border any spares go in the garden amongst my veg.

    One year I grew mixed Marigolds and some grew nearly to the GH roof

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    • #3
      The only ones I grow are the single varieties of Tagetes patula, like Dainty Marietta and her sisters Red, Disco and of course there's always the Naughty one
      They keep the whitefly out of the greenhouse and look cheerful Seeds are cheap but they often self seed in the greenhouse warmth.

      A Chinese family took on a weedy plot earlier this year and they planted half of it with tall Marigolds, they look lovely (like African types) but they said the marigolds would kill the couch grass roots. I was dubious, but I'm keeping an eye on it...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Thelma Sanders View Post

        A Chinese family took on a weedy plot earlier this year and they planted half of it with tall Marigolds, they look lovely (like African types) but they said the marigolds would kill the couch grass roots. I was dubious, but I'm keeping an eye on it...
        I found many references to the power of Tagetes roots to control couch grass - and for the scent to repel whitefly. Sounds like a must-grow plant for everyone!

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        • #5
          I don't like the smell of tagetes but I do love African marigolds, I can't remember the variety, I save the seed and leave them in envelopes. If they get rid of couch grass then even better, I will have to fill my plot with them

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          • #6
            Tagetes tenuifolia 'Lemon Gem'...masses of yellow flowers all summer long on small plants, does really well in small pots, foliage smells like lemon, attracted loads of hoverflies, ladybirds and parasitic wasps into the greenhouse. There are red and orange varieties too, I think.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Thelma Sanders View Post
              The only ones I grow are the single varieties of Tagetes patula, like Dainty Marietta and her sisters Red, Disco and of course there's always the Naughty one
              They keep the whitefly out of the greenhouse and look cheerful Seeds are cheap but they often self seed in the greenhouse warmth.

              A Chinese family took on a weedy plot earlier this year and they planted half of it with tall Marigolds, they look lovely (like African types) but they said the marigolds would kill the couch grass roots. I was dubious, but I'm keeping an eye on it...
              Good lord! really? please keep me posted. Also, I'm told that Marestail is used in Chinese traditional medicine, so if they ever want any, I'm happy to trade... ;-)

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              • #8
                I have marigolds (orange and yellow ones). No idea what sort as I planted the seeds years ago and now they self seed every year to the extent that I pull hundreds up. I just like the bright cheerful colours. If they can help in the fight against couch grass I'm tempted to put them all around the edges of the allotment. I wish they would control bindweed too!

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                • #9
                  ^^^ Are they English marigolds/calendula or Tagetes?

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                  • #10
                    Calendula prolifera is good for hens & chicks I’ve grown Mexican or African marigolds once but they were to big & wide,in the space I’ve got I prefer the compact French marigolds,loads of them everywhere amongst other plants all mixed together,good as a trap crop for slugs.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by veggiechicken View Post
                      ^^^ Are they English marigolds/calendula or Tagetes?
                      Good question
                      Click image for larger version

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                      Please tell me they are actually marigolds of some kind.

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                      • #12
                        They're English marigolds/Calendula not one of the Tagetes.

                        Confusing innit?

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                        • #13
                          I understand the difference between English (calendula) and the others (tagetes) but I've never understood the difference between French, African and whatever else. (I did know they were all from the new world despite the names.)

                          I believe that it's only calendula petals that you can put in salads, but I still don't know which tagetes is the best for deterring pests from my chilli plants.

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                          • #14
                            VC your post is six months too late for me. I sowed tagetes this year for the polytunnel Beds expecting neat little plants thinking I was really getting the hang of the companion planting thingy. They grew four feet tall and frightened me a bit. I had to hack them back a couple of times to let the tomatoes grow and I could hardly pull them out at the end.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by muck lover View Post
                              VC your post is six months too late for me. I sowed tagetes this year for the polytunnel Beds expecting neat little plants thinking I was really getting the hang of the companion planting thingy. They grew four feet tall and frightened me a bit. I had to hack them back a couple of times to let the tomatoes grow and I could hardly pull them out at the end.
                              Snap, see post #2 in the thread half mine were fine then the rest were like yours almost to the GH roof.

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