Edible Marigolds

Native to North America, marigolds are grown all over the world. They've been used in religious ceremonies by the Aztecs, spread by Spanish and Portuguese explorers, made into dyes, garlands and garnishes in India and Pakistan and nicknamed "Mary's gold" in Europe in reference of the Virgin Mary. 

Easy to grow, it's no wonder why and how they spread around the world. Once established, marigolds will bloom summer through fall. Plant now and enjoy rich color, plus the flowers and buds are edible! 

Incorporating marigolds into your feasts can lend a range of flavors from spicy to bitter, tangy to peppery. Our selection from Sebastopol-based Sweetwater Nursery come organically grown in a range of colors and sizes.

Read on to learn what varieties you'll find in the nursery. And hurry in, they're going fast! 


'Lemon Gem' Marigold

Widely considered as one of the best tasting marigold varieties. 'Lemon Gem' is an old-fashioned Signet type. It's finely cut foliage forms 8-10" mounds covered with single yellow blooms all season. Does best in the sunshine.


'Little Hero Flame' 

A lovely compact French marigold with a dwarf growth habit. Plant in sun and enjoy fragrant flowers and scented foliage. Heat and frost tolerant - what more could you want?!

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'Little Hero Mix'

A French marigold mix of fire yellow and orange. Enjoy bold colored flowers that are great for cutting with dark green fragrant leaves. Easy to grow, plant in sun to part sun.


'Chica Gold' 

Boasts early blooming large, fully double crested flowers with superior uniformity. This dwarf variety does great in containers in sun. 


'Bonanaza Bee'

Here's a mouthful - Compact, bushy, upright, dwarf crested French marigold! This beauty grows 10-12" tall with large 2-3" blooms. Space each plant 6-10" apart in full sun. Don't worry - they can take the heat! 

Stay tuned - we will have more edible flowers on their way! 

Are You "Deadheading?"

To extend your summer blooms through fall, keep on deadheading! Here's a bit of advice from Shawna, CCNPro and head of our Custom Container Department. If you haven't met Shawna, stop in and say hello! And definitely don't miss her custom designs on our container patio or her free upcoming demos

It’s summertime…the time to kickback and enjoy your garden. All the spring planting you've done has been in full bloom, right? Well if they aren’t, then you need to deadhead! 

Yes, deadheading will convince many plants not to go to seed but continue to bloom through fall. If left alone, a flowering plant will put forth a bloom. The blossom would then be fertilized and subsequently set seed. In this complete reproductive task, the plant expends its energy and nutrients to set seed instead of producing more of those beautiful flowers we all love to enjoy!

For single flowers, including Gaillardia, Coreopsis, Echinacea and Zinnias, prune the flower and stem down to the base of the plant. For those on "spikes" including Salvia, Veronica and Angiozanthus, wait until flowers are wilted and cut down to the crown. 

Below are a few annuals and perennials that will benefit from deadheading:

  • Achillea sp. (Yarrow)

    • Remove brown and faded flowers by cutting right above the flower stem where another branching flower mass shoots off the side.

  • Adenophora bulleyana (Bulley’s Ladybells)

  • Alcea rosea (Hollyhock)

  • Alstroemaria (Peruvian Lilly)

    • Pull the entire stem, do not cut.

  • Angelonia (Angelonia)

  • Anigozanthos (Kangaroo Paws)

  • Argyranthemum (Marguerite Daisy)

  • Armeria maritima (Thrift)

  • Aster sp. (Aster)

    • Pinch or snip the faded bloom along with the stem to the next leaf, stem or bloom down. Leave a few wilted flowers if you'd like the plant to self-sow.

  • Aquillegia caerulea (Columbine)

  • Buddleia davidii (Butterfly Bush)

  • Centranthus ruber (Valerian)

  • Chrysanthemum x supberba (Shasta Daisy)

  • Cosmos bipinnatus (Cosmos)

  • Consolida ambigua (Larkspur)

  • Coreopsis grandiflora (Coreopsis)

    • Cut back each flower stem to the crown (center) of the plant.

  • Delphinium sp. (Delphinium)

  • Dianthus caryophullus (Pinks)

  • Diascia (Twinspur)

    • Can be sheared.

  • Echinacea (Coneflower)

  • Felicia amelloides (Blue Marguerite)

  • Gaillardia (Blanket flower)

  • Gaura lindheimeri (Gaura)

  • Helenium autumnale (Sneezeweed)

  • Heliotropium arborescens (Heliotrope)

  • Hemerocalis (Daylilly)

  • Lavandula (Lavender)

    • Snip each stem of lavender at the crown of the plant.

  • Monarda didyma (Bee Balm)

  • Nemesia

    • Can be sheared.

  • Nepeta (Catmint)

  • Pelargonium sp.

  • Penstemon (Penstemon gloxiniodes)

  • Phlox paniculata (Border Phlox)

    • Cut off individual spent flower clusters as soon as the flowers begin to wither, then prune the entire flower spike once all buds have bloomed.

  • Rudbeckia hirta (Gloriosa Daisy)

  • Scabiosa atropurpurea (Pincushion Flower)

  • Rose

    • Cut down approximately 1/3 of the stem to outward-facing leaflet

  • Salvia sp. (Sage)

  • Tagetes erecta (Marigold)

  • Veronica spicata (Speedwell)

  • Zinnia angustifolia (Zinnia)

After you’ve deadheaded don’t forget to fertilize! Shawna recommends MaxSea Bloom Plant Food and has been truly happy with the results. It’s easy to use, cast the pellets around the beds, water in and reap the benefits healthy plants all year long! Find it and more in the Garden Shop!