The Q&A Archives: Why Marigolds?

Question: My daughter is doing an experiment on global warming and wants to use plants to see the difference in air temperature when plants are exposed to carbon dioxide. I had already contacted Burpee about tropical plants, but they said they don't sell tropical plant seeds because they take too long to grow. I thought that tropical plants would be best for her project. They suggested she use marigolds? Could you give us a reason why marigolds would be the best choice as far as her experiment is concerned?

Answer: They may have suggested marigolds for several reasons: the seeds are easy to find and inexpensive, the germination rate is generally excellent and very fast, they are easy to start from seed and they grow quickly so that results should become apparent fairly soon. It also adapts well to pot culture. Garden marigolds (Tagetes) are decended from a wild Mexican species so in fact they are originally from a warmer climate.

If you would prefer a foliage plant with a more tropical "look" rather than a common flowering plant, you might try coleus which originates from the islands of the South Pacific. It too is a reasonable choice in keeping with the points above although it is a bit more difficult to germinate because it requires a warm soil temperature and is a bit slower growing.

I hope her experiment goes well.

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by mcash70 and is called "Moss on a log"