TAGETES

TAGETES

The Tagetes genus includes 50 species native to North America, Mexico, and South America. They belong to the Asteraceae (composite) family. They are erect, annual or perennial, herbaceous plants, of small or medium dimensions. They produce heads with yellow or orange petals that can take on shades of brick red. Their corollas can be simple, as that of the daisy, or double, as that of the carnation. Their flowers, if gathered and put in water, last very long. Their leaves have a pungent odor. Tagetes are ideal for borders and flower compositions in planters. There are hundreds of cultivars derived from a few natural species on sale, namely: Tagetes erecta, also known as “marigold”, a medium-large plant that reaches 30-100 cm and that has leaves which give off an acrid odor; Tagetes patula,also known as Indian carnation, of medium-small or dwarf size, no taller than 15 cm; Tagetes lucida, a medium-small species native to Mexico; Tagetes tenuifolia, that produces small flowers all summer long. All varieties of tagetes need to be exposed to full sunand are very resistant to high temperatures, however, they do not tolerate frost. As far as soil is concerned, they do not have particular needs. The compost for repotting may be made up of 70% organic compost and 30% inert material taking into account that a good drainage of excess water must always be guaranteed. Irrigation is very important because tagetes, although resistant to brief spells of drought and summer heat, require moist soils and must be watered daily. They must be fed once a month, with a soluble ternary fertilizer added to the irrigation water. As far as disease is concerned, Tagetes are quite resistant and are only rarely attacked by aphids. When this occurs, the problem can be solved with an aphicide.

pianta da fiore tagete