Citrus Gem Marigolds
citrus gem marigolds
days to maturity: 60 days
plant spacing: 3 plants per square foot
sunlight requirements: 8-14 hours
look out for: spider mites
harvest notes: harvest 1-2” long tips with stem, flowers & leaves
Hundreds of petite flowers cover neat, low mounds of lacy foliage with a citrusy scent. This edible flower species is one of our favorites because of its long-blooming beauty for beds, borders and containers where it attracts beneficial insects such as hoverflies, bees and butterflies with its showy flowers. Leaves of the plant are edible and are used as flavorful salad greens and garnish. Also known as signet marigold or citrus lace, we grow this adorable plant through the farming season for local chefs and bartenders. Its especially popular in restaurant gardens because if you were to buy this as a crop from a specialty produce vendor you'd pay more than 33 cents per dinky little leaf! Use the edible flowers to dress up salads and desserts or cooked in egg or rice dishes. Flavor is floral with hints of citrus and spice, and slightly bitter. We like to harvest whole little branches for chefs instead of single flowers, because the stem & flowers are flavorful too and when they’re all combined with a few buds too its super cute. All marigold varieties including this one are said to help deter pests because of their pungent aroma. While there is little evidence to prove that this companion planting technique works theres no harm in including marigolds in your veggie garden regardless, since they’re edible, beautiful and potentially pest deterrent.