The Q&A Archives: Planting African marigolds.

Question: I'm a beginner gardener in the process of trying to plant some african marigolds on my front lawn. Is it okay to plant them within their pot or should I take them out and separate them; should I add fertilizer? Also, I have a lot of clay soil; can they be planted in this type of soil?

Answer: Although African marigolds are tolerant of most soil types, you'll get the best performance from them if you amend your clay soil prior to planting. Choose a sunny spot for your new plants, then spread 3-4" of organic matter over the planting bed and dig it in to a depth of 6-8". Use compost, aged manure, or even peat moss. Dig it in thoroughly, then level the area, take the plants out of their pots and plant them directly in the prepared garden bed. Do separate them! African marigolds will grow quite large over the summer season. Plant each plant at least one-foot apart. Don't fertilize at planting time. They may not need to be fed at all, but if you want to fertilize, use a liquid fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro.

Best wishes with your marigolds!

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