You may recall way last winter when we discussed seed orders, that I was excited about trialing “Zenith” Triploid marigolds, which were touted as “Day-neutral, early flowering, 2-3″ flowers, do not produce seed, and therefore needing little deadheading, and exhibit great weather tolerance.” The photo above shows them soon after they were planted at the edge of the Deck Garden amid some finishing tulip foliage. They grew very well from seed with nearly 100% germination and produced blooms quickly and often. Here’s the same patch. They filled in nicely after the tulip foliage disappeared, and have bloomed steadily despite 100 degree heat, daily rains, and then a spell without rain. This photo was taken last evening.
They are really fine as a marigold variety, although the flowers are not 2-3″ across. BUT they DO produce seed if not deadheaded just as other marigolds do. I plan to do a test to see if the seeds actually germinate. They certainly look viable. My impression is that they are slightly more ugly when they fade than the “Durango” marigolds of similar color, but maybe I am slightly prejudiced. I do love the “Durango” series, which DO have 2-3″ flowers.
So, my report is that the “Zenith” are okay, but for the extra price ($3.25 for 100 seeds wholesale versus “Durango” $5.20 for 1 million seeds) they are not that special. They require deadheading just as frequently as all of the other marigold varieties that I grow. Did you trial anything new and exciting this year? Did it live up to expectations? Curious gardeners want to know!