Question From: B. Gerlach - Dana Point, California, United States
Q: Hi Nancy, we live in Southern California and at this time of year the high is 75-80 degrees, with the overnight low now 58-60 degrees, which is cold for us. We regularly dead head our marigolds in the back yard. Recently however after looking beautiful all spring and summer, the marigold flowers are not blooming as big, i.e., flowers are smaller, and it seems a lot of the buds are barely opening. We do not see any bugs or insects. Is this normal and due to the cooler/cold weather? This is our first season with marigolds. Also, we have noticed some gardens in our neighborhood with marigold flowers that look like carnations. We replaced a few of ours and without realizing it at first we also have a few of these. Most of our marigolds have I guess you would call flower pedals, as opposed to the sturdier, carnation type look. We also noticed these carnation looking ones don't require as much deadheading as the marigolds with more of a flower pedal type look. Do you have any idea the breed of these carnation looking marigolds or what they are called? We would like to replant next spring with these. Thank you very much.
A: There are hundreds of varieties of marigolds and some do better on the east coast and midwest and others do better in the south. Still others are bred for gardening in California. I live in Michigan and am not familiar with California varieties. I would Google marigold to identify what type you like and then go to your local independent garden center to find a match. Also, take photos of your neighbor's flowers with you. Here's an article that might be helpful. http://www.pacifichorticulture.org/articles/the-marigold-of-california/ Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy