A Complete Guide for Growing Marigolds in Your Garden

Whether you are a beginner or someone who wants to grow beautiful flowers without hassle, marigold flowers make a solid option. These beautiful flowers are easy to grow and don’t demand much. Don’t know how to grow them? No worries. Our growing marigolds guide here can help.

Getting to Know about Marigolds

marigolds description

Before growing marigolds, it is a good idea to get to know more about the plant first. Here are some quick facts the plant.

Common name

The common name of this plant is marigold.

Botanical name

Marigolds’ botanical name is Tagetes spp.

Type of plant

Most marigolds are annuals and only a few are perennials.

Soil type and pH

Marigolds can grow in any soil type although moderately fertile soil is appreciated. As for pH, Marigolds grow best in soil with 6 to 7 pH.

Sun exposure

Marigolds thrive in full sun. So when growing marigolds, make sure they have their daily sun exposure.

Mature size

About 4 to 36 inches tall and about 6 to 18 inches wide.

Flower color

Orange, yellow, red, gold, white, and bicolor.

Hardiness zones

Annual in all zones.

Maintenance

Marigolds require minimal maintenance.

Types of Marigolds

Before growing marigolds in your garden, it is a good idea to know the types of marigolds first. This way, you will be better equipped to decide which type to grow in your garden and know what to expect from them.

There are various types of marigolds. The top 3 most commonly grown are French, African, and signet marigolds.

1. French Marigolds

French marigolds produce 2 inches wide double flower heads and they come in orange, yellow, and mahogany.

The first type is the French marigolds. These are the marigold flowers prized for their long and prolific blooms. French marigolds produce 2 inches wide double flower heads and they come in orange, yellow, and mahogany.

French marigolds tend to be short and bushy plants. That being said, this type of marigold can grow 5 to 18 inches tall.

2. African Marigolds

marigolds with large, pom-pom flowers

Have you ever seen marigolds with large, pom-pom flowers? Yes, those are African marigold flowers. If you are growing marigolds to decorate your garden with large flowers, this is the type you want.

Compared to other types of marigold flowers, the African type has larger flowers. The colors of the flowers are usually orange and yellow, albeit some flowers do come in red as well.

3. Signet Marigolds

Signets look quite different from bedding marigolds.

The last one is the signets. These are edible marigolds. Meaning, if you are growing marigolds of this type, you get not only ornaments for your garden but also something you can eat.

Signets look quite different from bedding marigolds. They produce lacy leaves and single, small, daisy-like flowers. The flowers come in orange and yellow. Recently, the color palette is expanded as hybrid marigolds are introduced.

Marigold Benefits

uses of marigolds

Are there any benefits of growing marigolds? The answer is yes, there are many benefits from doing so. In fact, marigold flowers are proven to be very beneficial if grown in or next to a vegetable garden. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Marigold flowers attract bees, other pollinators, and beneficial insects. The signet marigolds are the best option for this.
  • Marigold flowers repel unwanted visitors that can damage the plant in the vegetable garden such as tomato hornworms, cabbage worms, and whiteflies. If you want this benefit, choose the French marigolds.
  • Marigold flowers protect the vegetable garden from harmful nematodes that live in the soil. French marigolds are also the best option for this.
  • Marigold flowers have a scent that deer and rabbits don’t like.

Marigold Companion Plants

marigolds can be planted together with plants like tomatoes, pumpkins, asparagus, eggplants, lettuce, potatoes, squash, melons, beans, cucumbers, and onions.

Because of the benefits they bring, marigolds can be planted together with plants like tomatoes, pumpkins, asparagus, eggplants, lettuce, potatoes, squash, melons, beans, cucumbers, and onions.

Growing Marigolds

1. When to Plant

best time to plant marigolds

Before growing marigolds, it is a good idea to know the right time to plant. What you need to keep in mind is the right time can differ from one type to another.

For example, if you are planting the African marigold type, the right time to plant is in early spring. That is, once all danger of frost has passed. Starting the African marigold type early like this will give the plant more time to grow and mature.

If, on the other hand, you are planting either the French or signet types, the best time to plant is any time between spring and midsummer.

2. Where to Plant

best location to plant marigolds

Likewise, knowing where to plant before growing marigolds is a good idea too. In terms of soil, marigolds don’t demand much. The best place to plant marigolds is where they can receive full sun. Whether you are planting outdoors or indoors, full sun is a must if you want your marigolds to thrive.

That being said, some shade is not bad at all. If anything, under certain circumstances like during times of extreme heat, some shade will be beneficial.

3. Growing from Seed

how to grow marigolds from seed

Growing marigolds from seed is very easy. You can either start seeds indoors or sow the seeds directly outdoors. Which one should you choose? That’s up to you. Either way is fine.

If you are growing the plants indoors, start 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date. If you are growing the plants outdoors, start when the weather is warm.

4. How to Grow Marigolds in Pots

growing marigolds in pot

Is growing marigolds in a pot possible? Of course. Here’s how to:

  1. Get a pot that is at least 8 inches deep and wide. Place it in full sun.
  2. Fill the pots with a quality potting mix.
  3. Plant the marigold seeds directly into the readied pot. Gently press them into the pot’s surface.
  4. Water the seeds gently and keep the soil moist through the germination period
  5. Feed the plants every 1 to 2 weeks.

4. Growing marigolds indoors

how to grow marigolds indoor

Growing marigold plants indoors is the same as growing them on pots. The difference is you move the pots inside. Here are some tips for growing the marigolds indoors:

  • Marigolds require full sun to thrive. To meet their daily sun exposure need, place the pots in a south-facing window. This will ensure optimal sun exposure. Make sure that your marigolds spend at least 6 hours in direct sunlight.
  • Planting indoors means that you need to water marigolds often. Why? Well, because the soil in the containers usually dries out faster. That being said, water as needed and don’t over-water.
  • Water your plants from the bottom. This prevents soggy conditions, which if left untreated, can lead to various problems like powdery mildew or root rot.

5. How to Plant Marigolds

planting marigolds

  • You can grow French marigolds from seed easily. African marigolds take a long time to flower. So if you want quick results, we recommend purchasing them as young plants rather than starting from seed.
  • Moisten the soil. Then, sow marigold seeds about 1 inch apart from each other. Make sure that the seeds are sown no more than 1 inch deep.
  • While the seedlings are still small, thin them out. For French and signet marigolds, space each seedling 8 to 10 inches apart. For the larger African marigolds, space each seedling 10 to 12 inches apart.
  • If you are planting transplants, water each plant thoroughly after they are planted in the garden.
  • If you are planting in containers, use a soil-based potting mix. Again, make sure to space marigolds properly. Marigolds that are grown in containers can become crowded.

6. How to Grow Marigolds

tips to grow marigold

Growing marigolds is easy since once established, the plants require low maintenance. Not only that, but they are notably pest-free, too. If anything, these wonderful plants are often grown to keep pests away.

Marigold flowers can bloom almost non-stop and do so the entire summer until frost. If you want your marigolds to flower non-stop, make sure to keep your marigold plants deadheaded.

Soil

In many ways, including when it comes to soil, marigolds are not demanding plants. Any good garden soil should allow them to grow optimally.

That is, as long as the soil is not too acidic. For best growth, maintain the soil pH above 6.0. Marigolds don’t need humus-rich soil, either. If anything, they grow better when planted in leaner soil.

Light

Marigolds grow best when planted in full sun. So if you want the healthiest plants and gorgeous flowers, make sure to find a location where your marigolds can fulfill their daily need for sun exposure.

Water

The first few weeks of growing marigolds will require you to do regular watering. During these times, never leave your marigolds in dry soil for more than a few days. If the weather is particularly sunny and hot, water the plants every day.

Once they have established a good root system, your marigolds will be more drought-tolerant. That doesn’t mean you could leave the plants alone to dry and expect the best results, of course. Marigolds bloom best when they are given weekly water.

Temperature and humidity

Marigolds can tolerate a wide range of temperatures just fine. However, they might get powdery mildew in humid or damp summers. To prevent this from happening, plant your marigolds in full sun where the air circulation is good.

Fertilizer

More often than not, marigolds don’t require supplement fertilizer. That is, unless your soil is very poor. If you want to keep your marigolds in flower, the best thing to do is to deadhead them regularly.

Marigold Care: Deadheading and Pests/Diseases

1. How to Deadhead Marigolds

cutting deadhead marigolds

One of the few things you must do when growing marigolds is deadheading. Why is deadheading so important? It is important because it encourages the plant to produce more blooms. This, in turn, extends the plant’s flowering season.

Now the question is, how do you do it? Here’s how:

When a blossom begins to go bad, cut or pinch its stem back to the nearest set of leaves.

That’s all. Very easy, right? Doing that will encourage the plant to produce new flowers.

2. Pest/Diseases

marigolds pests

Pests or diseases are rarely a problem when growing marigolds. That being said, the plants are not immune to these two. Pests like aphids and spider mites, for example, can infect them. To remove these pests, apply an insecticidal soap to the plant for a week or two.

Diseases like powdery mildew can also be a problem but it happens only when the conditions are too wet. As long as you plant marigolds in well-drained soil, not watering the leaves and keep weeds down, powdery mildew shouldn’t be a problem.

Commonly Asked Questions about Growing Marigolds

marigolds faqs

Are marigolds edible?

Yes, but not all marigold flowers are edible. The edible marigold flowers are the signets. So if you are growing marigolds not just for ornament but also something you can eat, choose the signet marigolds.

Are marigolds perennials?

When you are growing marigolds, it is important to know whether the plants are annuals or perennials. So, are marigolds perennials, or are they annuals? The answer is both. . Most marigold flowers are annuals but some are perennials.

Marigold plants self-seed, which gives the illusion of them being a perennial. In reality, the plants are just coming back from seed.

When do marigolds bloom?

Marigold flowers bloom in summer.

Do marigold flowers bloom year-round?

They don’t bloom year-round. That said, if taken care of properly, some marigold varieties can bloom for a few months. Yes, those marigolds will put on the best show the entire summer and into fall.

Marigolds are easy to grow and don’t demand much. You can even say these flowers are virtually fool-proof. Even if you are a beginner gardener, you can show off your marigold flowers and be proud of them.

How do you reseed marigolds?

If you want to reseed marigolds, wait for the plant to start to dry out. When the base of the plant turns brown and the petals are brown, you can harvest its seeds.

Do marigolds spread?

Yes, they do. Marigolds grow rapidly and some varieties of marigolds are self-seeding.  These plants will drop their seeds and spread throughout the garden or yard where they are planted. You can limit marigolds’ ability to self-seed by remove dead flowers before blooms go to seed.

Marigold flowers are a common choice to grow in the garden for many. It is not surprising. After all, growing marigolds is easy even if you are a beginner gardener. The plants don’t demand much, either. Meaning, you can have a beautiful garden without any hassle. Undoubtedly a welcome addition to any garden.

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