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October's Birthflower: The Marvelous Marigold

04
Tuesday October 4th 2016

Photo via http://ow.ly/cZUj304R523

It makes a lot of sense that the birth flower of October is the marigold. A gathering of orange or yellow marigolds only adds more brilliant color to this vibrant season. This week, I'm making this post an all-out celebration of the marvelous marigold!

The Story of Marigolds

Marigolds are a welcome sight in gardens throughout the world. These blooms date back to the 16th century and are native to Mexico, South America, and the southwestern portion of our country. These durable annuals flourish in the sunlight, which is how they earned the nickname "herb of the sun."

The Appearance of Marigolds

When you think of a marigold, you probably picture a bloom with yellow or orange petals. But there are some marigolds that are burgundy, mahogany, gold, or white. Also, there are striped varieties that add even more color to your garden or window box. Depending on which variety you choose, you could get a marigold that grows to a height of just six inches or one that shoots up to three feet tall!

Caring for Your Marigolds

Marigolds grow best when they receive full sunlight. Also, you should plant them in a spot that has well-draining soil. As with most flowers, you should water your marigolds at the base. Water droplets sitting on a flower's petals can lead to mold growth. There is no need to put fertilizer on these blooms: Fertilizer can cause a marigold's foliage to grow too fast and overwhelm the petals of the flower. These low-maintenance flowers bloom through the summer months right up until the first frost.

Marigolds: The Decorative and Practical Flower

It's not hard to see why so many of us love to include a collection of cheerful marigolds in our garden. I always have a mixture of yellow and orange marigolds at one end of my garden so I can continue to enjoy it into the fall season. But these flowers also serve a practical purpose in many gardens. The scent of a marigold repels lots of insects and can keep deer from munching on your vegetables.

Did You Know?

  • There is an old Welsh belief that if a marigold doesn't open up in the morning, it's a sign that there will be storms later on in the day.
  • Marigolds, a symbol of passion, are often incorporated into wedding ceremonies.
  • Some people believe that you can remove a wart by rubbing a marigold on it.
  • Chickens that eat a feed mixture that contains marigolds lay eggs with dark yellow yolks.
  • Aztecs believed that marigolds were full of magical and healing powers.
  • For years, marigolds were one of the most popular flowers to place on a person's grave. This has led to a profusion of marigolds in many cemeteries in Mexico.
  • Signet marigolds are edible and can be put into salads, desserts, and breads.

If you have a friend with a birthday this month, try surprising them with a pot of marigolds. I hope you get to see these flowers in every color this fall!

Posted by Ava Rose in General
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