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One of the best known of all garden flowers: the common marigold.

Plant details

Common name: English or pot marigold Botanic name: Calendula officinalis cvs

Description: Annual plant with pale green leaves, a bushy habit and single or double flowers. Tall and dwarf strains are available. Flower colours include yellow, gold, orange and bronze, as well as pastel shades.

Best climate: Most areas of Australia, except for the tropics.

Uses: flower garden mass display cut flower petals add colour to salads popular dye and herbal remedy through the ages, Marigolds repel pests such as nematodes

Good points: range of flower colours tall and dwarf forms available long flowering hardy easy to grow

Downside: Calendulas are susceptible to rust. Control methods include spraying with fungicide and removing badly affected plants.

Care: Marigolds like a sunny position in fertile, well-drained soil. Sow seed in autumn and spring for early season flowers. Water well, particularly during hot spells. Remove spent blooms to prolong the flower display.

Getting started: Seeds and seedlings are readily available at nurseries and garden centres.