Yes, we are talking about the world famous Tagetes. Everyone around the world loves Marigold. 🙂 The beautiful yellow – orange flowers just make your day bright and vibrant.
Marigolds often crop up on there own making them at times fall into the weed category. My garden has had repetitive intrusions by marigold in numerous pots. Yet I love them a lot. 😀 😀
Marigolds are very easy to grow and maintain. They can be propagated from seeds or you can buy a small plant from the nursery.
They are available in both annual and perennial varieties is what Wikipedia says though I have seen only annual ones. So you can grow different colors/species/variety every year.
We here in India, use them a lot in garlands and for decoration.
I have read that they have many culinary uses as well. No personal experience though.
Insects and pests get attracted a lot to these bright flowers. I understand that you may see this as a drawback but it is also one of the greatest advantage of this plant. You can use this plant in your vegetable garden as a trap crop. It means if you place this plant in your vegetable garden, there is a high possibility that the pests will attack this plant and your vegetables would be safe. 🙂
Also, Butterflies get attracted to them a lot.
Make sure your plant receives ample sunlight and compost. Since these are annuals you can add generous of compost while potting and once after 2-3 months should be sufficient. Add more compost only when there is a pest attack.
Now that we know flowers help attract bees, butterflies and birds; let’s get a bit more specific about what kind of flowers. We also discussed about single petaled flowers being better than the double petaled ones.
The next thing is to incorporate as many colors as possible. Its true that colorful flowers attract bees and butterflies more than the usual white flowers.
Also add as many different variety of flowers as possible. Fruit vegetables are a great option too.
Prefer both Bunch flowers like Ixora and Pentas as well as individual flowers like hibiscus.
The first time I heard the word Indigenous (with reference to plants) I knew for sure they were referring to the genus of plants originating in India!! Well, I did realize that I should refer a dictionary and not come up with my own interpretations!!
So what is Indigenous? Indigenous means originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native.(To me, who stay’s in India, the misinterpretation and correct interpretation didn’t really make a difference though 😉 )
So, Why should we go for Indigenous plants?
Because only and only indigenous plants help you attract the fauna!! By fauna, I mean, the birds, bees and other insects!
So how do we identify these native plants?
The simplest and most useful trick I use here in India – I check if there is a name for the plant in local language. If the local language has a name for the plant it definitely is a local/native/indigenous plant.
If I know only the English and/or Botanical name of the plant, I know its not indigenous to India or my State!
Gardener’s Confession: Yes, I do have a few plants that are not indigenous, but a majority of them are Indigenous!! 🙂 😉 🙂