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Tagetes patula, French Marigold - Tiger Eyes, dwarf double

£0.95

This is a dwarf double cultivar of Tiger Eyes, deep maroon-mahogany flowers with tufted bright orange centres. 

Secretions from the roots of growing plants have an insecticidal effect on the soil, effective against nematodes and to some extent against keeled slugs. These secretions are produced about 3 - 4 months after sowing.

The whole plant contains substances that are toxic to cockroaches. The growing plant repels whitefly and can be grown near tomatoes to keep that crop free of the insect.

A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers. It is used to colour foods and textiles.

A very ornamental plant. A good butterfly plant. Removing dead flowers before the seed is formed will extend the flowering season. The bruised leaves emit a refreshing pungent smell. 

The French marigold is often used as a companion plant, especially for growing amongst tomatoes and potatoes where it helps to repel pests.

Requires a well-drained moderately fertile soil in a sunny position. Grows well in heavy clay soils and in sandy soils.

Sow March in a greenhouse. Only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frosts.

Edible uses:

The flowers are used in refreshing drinks.

The leaves are used as a food flavouring. The essential oil is used as a food flavouring, though it is inferior to the oil obtained from T. minuta.

The dried flowers are an adulterant of saffron(Crocus sativus), used for colouring foods yellow.

http://practicalplants.org/wiki/Tagetes_patula

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