The fiesta plant is a cultivar of Calendula officinalis. The full name of the cultivar is "Fiesta Gitana." Commonly called the pot marigold, this annual flower serves as a bedding plant for home gardeners to add seasonal color to the landscape. "Fiesta" is a dwarf variety of Calendula that blooms earlier in the summer than many other cultivars. The plant features brightly colored yellow and orange flowers.
Pot marigolds are annuals. These cool-weather plants live for one year only and are frequently planted in warm climates in late summer for fall and winter color. In cooler and temperate climates, they are planted in spring and last until the first hard frost. In general, fiestas grow best in the garden when planted in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zones 7 through 11, according to the University of Florida. They can grow in the other, colder zones if planted in containers and protected from killing frosts.
Place your fiesta plant where it will receive a full day's worth of sunlight. These flowers bloom best when exposed to plenty of hot sun. In fact, pot marigolds tolerate hot conditions very well, reports Kansas State University, making these plants a good choice for hot, exposed landscapes that may suffer from occasional droughts.
Soil and Water
These flowers grow well in many different types of soil, including acidic, clay or sandy soils, notes the University of Florida. Pot marigolds prefer continually moist soil, but in a location that drains well, as overly wet or soggy soil can lead to root rot. Water when the top layer of soil feels dry to the touch. Err on the side of under-watering, since these flowers can tolerate dry conditions.
Deadheading (removing spent blooms) is important to keep the plant blooming continuously. The clipped flowers are edible and can be used in salads, soups or for medical uses, according to Kansas State University. If you are going to eat or otherwise use the flower petals, remove the flower when it is completely open. Otherwise, pluck off the flowers when they begin to wilt to encourage reblooming. Do not let the flowers go to seed, as this is messy and wastes the plant's energy.
Pot marigolds, including the fiesta plant, attract common garden insect pests including aphids, thrips, beetles and whitefly. Remove small amounts of beetles by hand. Knock off minor insect infestations with a strong stream of water. If you are not going to consume the flowers, you can use an insecticide to control heavy insect infestations.