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When To Plant Marigolds? [Inc. Seeds And Seedlings]

Marigolds bloom in the summer and live well until the fall. Are you planning to grow marigolds and wonder when the best time is to plant them? We did research on this subject and have the answers to your question.

You should plant and germinate marigold seeds indoors once the frost period ends, when the temperature is 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Seedlings are best planted once spring starts, and the weather is a little warmer.

Would you like to learn how to plant marigold seeds and seedlings? We have collected information on this topic and share it in this post. Continue reading to delve into the topic.

Seedlings of marigold flowers, seeds, garden tools and a green watering can on a wooden background, When To Plant Marigolds? [Inc. Seeds And Seedlings]

When Should You Plant Marigold Seeds and Seedlings?

Marigolds are annual plants that naturally die during winter. That is why it is ideal to plant marigolds from spring to summer and let them grow until the fall.

Close up of beautiful Marigold flower in the garden

There are several types of marigolds, and the two popular ones are French marigolds and African marigolds. These marigolds have a wide range of colors, from yellow-orange to red. Note that African marigolds grow slower. They are best planted after the frost ends.

Marigold seeds should be planted during spring once the frost period has passed. You can start planting marigold seeds indoors eight weeks before the final frost. The seeds should germinate in the soil for four to fourteen days, as long as the temperature is within 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Marigold seedlings need cool weather before planting, around 59 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and enough sunlight. The ideal time to plant them outdoors is after frost.

How To Plant Marigold Seeds And Seedlings?

Seeds of pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) isolated on white

Here is the procedure on how to plant marigold seeds and seedlings:

Sow

Pour a rich, well-drained soilless medium mix into a container or pot and sow the seeds. Spread the seeds on the surface and cover them with a thin layer of soil mix.

Germinate

Once marigold seeds germinate in five to seven days and reach 2 inches, take the seedlings and separate them from each other.

Transplant

Transplant marigold seedlings outdoors once the frost has passed. Choose a spot where the seedlings receive full sun.

Soil

Marigolds prefer well-drained, rich soil to thrive outdoors. Scatter the seeds on the soil bed and cover them with a thin soil layer.

Why Plant Marigolds With Tomatoes?

Raised garden bed planted with vegetables and flowers

Planting with a companion can have a positive impact on the plant's growth. There are reasons why the companion planting of marigolds with tomatoes is beneficial:

  • Marigolds attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. These insects will also visit surrounding plants, which is ideal for your tomatoes.
  • Having marigolds around your tomatoes gives a strong aroma that can keep hornworms away. Hornworms are known destroyers of tomatoes. Marigolds also attract wasps. Wasps are pollinators that lay eggs on hornworms, and once the wasp eggs hatch, they feed off the hornworms.
  • Marigolds keep snails and slugs away from tomatoes. The strong aroma of marigolds attracts these pests, and they will attack the flowers instead of the tomatoes.
  • Squirrels and deer don't like the scent of marigolds and will look for other food instead of eating your tomatoes.

Why Are My Marigolds Dying?

There are several reasons why your marigolds are dying:

Poor Watering

Overwatering causes distress to plants. The soil will be soggy or muddy, affecting the plant roots' condition. Your marigold's leaves will start to develop brown patches and will wilt.

Soggy soil also attracts fungus and other bacteria that can cause diseases in your plants. Ensure that you schedule watering your marigold to avoid overwatering.

Underwatering

Lack of sufficient water can kill your plant. The water will not reach the roots, and dry soil can affect the plant's growth. If the soil cannot absorb enough water, transplant the marigold into a new soil mix.

Over-Fertilizing

Plants need food to grow and thrive, but feeding your marigolds too much can also harm them. Consider what type of fertilizer you use to feed your marigold, and check the manufacturer's instructions on the feeding schedule.

Acid Soil

Marigolds require a pH level of soil from 6.0 to 7.5. A good soil mix and organic matter help to improve the proper pH balance and good soil drainage.

Infestation

Pests and insects such as aphids feed off the plant's sap, which causes wilting and death. You can use insecticides on marigolds to kill those pests and insects.

Click here to see this insecticide on Amazon.

Lack Of Sunlight

Sunlight is necessary for plants to grow. Marigolds love the sun. Ensure the plant is placed in an open area to receive enough warmth directly from the sun.

Diseases

Diseases are common when the soil is bad, and bacteria develop. The bacteria attack the root system, and the plant will die if not treated. Good soil, enough water, proper feeding, and spraying insecticides help keep the plant healthy and strong.

Winter

Marigolds die over winter, and the only way to save them is to harvest the seeds before the end of the fall season and plant them during the growing season.

How To Save Dying Marigold Over Winter?

Since marigolds are annual plants and die at the end of the fall season, you need to cut the plant to the ground to save it or pull the roots out completely. Here are the steps to take if you want to save marigolds over winter:

Sunlight

Ensure that marigolds get enough sunlight daily before the fall ends. This step is to help the plant absorb and store enough energy to produce healthy seeds.

Water

Water the marigolds enough to penetrate the soil and reach the roots. Plants need enough moisture during the fall season.

Mulching

Mulch the soil around the marigold's main stem to prevent rotting.

Pruning

Prune the wilting flowers and leaves of the plant. Remove any damaged parts to develop new growth before the winter starts.

Harvest

Harvest the seeds for your planting after the frost. Ensure that the cuttings of seeds are done correctly.

How To Harvest Marigold Seeds?

Woman wearing traditional cone hat collects orange Marigold flowers in beautiful garden

You should harvest marigold seeds once the petals become dry and the bloom base turns brown. Marigolds are edible, and you can add flowers and leaves to salad dishes. You can keep them and save them for snacks after harvesting seeds. Here are the tools you need:

  • Baskets or containers
  • Pen or pencil
  • Marigold plant
  • Paper towel
  • Paper envelope

Here are the steps for harvesting marigolds:

  • Lay the paper towel down on a clean surface. Hold the bloom base and pull off the petals and leaves. The long rods inside called achenes have seeds attached to them.
  • The seed is the darker end of the achenes. Pull the seed out from each bloom from its base. Discard the bloom base and keep the achene. Do not pinch to release the inner seed portion. Separate and spread out the achenes on the paper towel.
  • Allow the seeds to dry thoroughly, uncovered, and away from direct light for one week. Drying the seeds is essential to prevent them from developing mold.
  • Store the seeds in a paper envelope during the winter. This step is necessary to keep the seeds dry. Placing them in plastic will retain moisture and make the seeds go bad. Put a label on the envelope so that you know what's inside it. Use separate envelopes if you have more seeds to dry.
  • Once the frost ends, plant your marigold seeds in the garden or a container and place them under direct sunlight.

What Are The Best Fertilizers For Marigolds?

Here are our recommended fertilizers for marigolds:

JR Peters Blossom Booster

The formulation was designed to boost bright colors and produce more flowers on all outdoor and indoor plants, such as marigolds, begonias, impatiens, and geraniums.

Click here to check out Blossom Booster on Amazon.

Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food

Osmocote contains 15-9-12 NPK, which are the proper nutrients for your plants and can feed up to six months. It does not burn plants.

Click here to check out Smart-Release Plant Food On Amazon.

Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Plant Food

Miracle-Gro is safe to use for all plants and doesn't burn. It's ideal for feeding flowers, trees, vegetables, houseplants, and shrubs.

Click here to check out Miracle-Gro on Amazon.

Summary

Harvesting marigold seeds and planting them takes time, hard work, and consideration. Following the advice in this post will help you grow beautiful marigolds.

If you found this post helpful, check out these articles for more gardening tips:

Are Marigolds Drought Tolerant [& Should They Be Watered Daily]?

Do Marigolds Attract Bees & Butterflies [Yes! Tips For Planting In Your Yard]

Should I Deadhead Marigolds [Which Marigolds Do Not Need Deadheading]?