How to Grow Marigolds : How To Care For Marigolds

Marigold is a herbaceous plant, meaning it has thin stems without much wood and it grows fast, even in pots and produces flowers in a short period of time, adding color to the garden.

Growing marigolds in pots is quite easy. Find below details on marigolds including types, varieties, pictures, flower colors, growing instructions, care and tips. Continue reading for details on how to grow marigolds in pots starting from seeds.

Marigolds are beautiful, strong fragrant flowers that are seen most commonly in the gardens. These are very easy to grow annual plants, which are widely grown throughout the world.

The flowers are used in making garlands and bracelets (mala and gajra) and in India, the marigold flowers known as Genda Phool are offered to Gods in temples and for decoration in weddings and festivals.

Tips For Growing Marigolds in Pots

My garden displays orange and yellow marigold blooms from summer to almost winter, providing a colorful display of flowers. I am growing these flowers for many years now, they are very easy to take care of without any problems.
Orange marigolds growing in a pot
Orange marigolds

Orange Marigold propagated from seeds in a pot
Orange Marigold in a pot propagated from seeds

Yellow marigolds growing in a pot
Yellow marigolds

Tagetes patula French Marigold Flower
Tagetes patula French Marigold Flower

Varieties and Types of Marigolds

Marigolds are annual plants and come in different sizes and colors, yellow and orange being the most common.

There are many marigold varieties growing at different heights. Some of the major Marigold varieties and how tall they grow are listed below:
  1. Tagetes erecta (African or American Marigolds): These marigolds are tall, erect-growing plants, grow to three to five feet in height producing large globe-shaped yellow or orange flowers, up to 5 inches diameter. This variety takes longer to produce flowers than the French type.
  2. Tagetes patula) (French Marigolds): These marigolds grow 5 to 18 inches tall producing small red, orange, yellow or red - orange striped bicolor flowers of size up to 2 inch diameter.
  3. Tagetes tenuifolia (Signet Marigolds): The signet Marigolds produce single-flowered marigold grow up to 12 inch high, producing small richly colored yellow to orange colored edible flowers. The flowers can be used in salads, pasta and other dishes to get a lemony flavor.
  4. Triploid hybrids (Mule Marigolds): These marigolds are the hybrids of African and French marigolds. They grow from 12 to 18 inches high.  This type of marigolds are unable to produce seed, so they also know as mule marigolds.
Of all the marigold varieties, French marigolds and African marigolds are widely cultivated.

Taking Care For Marigolds

Marigolds do not need much care once they are established and produce a display of colorful blooms in your garden for long time. Follow the following tips to get your marigolds bloom for several months.

Position: Where To Plant Marigolds

Marigolds need lot of sunshine, so plant them in full sun. Partial sun is also good.


Marigolds are not fussy about soil, but grow well in moderately fertile well-drained soil. Mix cow manure or compost (how to make compost) and some river sand in the soil and mix well.

Propagating Marigolds : Planting Marigold Seeds in Pots

Marigolds are easily propagated by seeds. You can buy marigold seed or seedlings from the garden shop. Alternatively, you can pluck a mature flower from your friend's garden and start the plant as mentioned below.

Sowing from Marigold Seed or Dead Flower

  1. The first step for growing marigolds from seed is to sow the seeds.
  2. Sow the seeds directly in the soil. I start seeds in a seed growing tray or small pot at the end of spring. Just sprinkle the seeds and cover with a thin layer of soil and water well. If sowing with a dead flower, just chop off the leaves and open the bottom bud and spread it in the pot and cover with soil and water. Place in a warm place and keep damp.
  3. In cooler places, cover the tray with a plastic wrap and place it in a warm spot, such as the top of the refrigerator.
  4. Marigold seeds will germinate in 1-2 weeks. Once the marigold seedlings appear, remove the plastic wrap and move the tray in a bright place.
  5. Seedlings are easy to handle. Separate seedlings when they are about 2 inches tall and plant them in beds or pots.
  6. Space tall marigolds 1 to 2 feet apart and lower height type about half to one foot apart.
  7. Slugs and snails love these small seedlings, they will eat up all of the seedlings if not taken care of. Put some mulch around the seedlings so that they cannot reach to them. I usually cover the seedlings with small pots during night.


  1. Use a 2 inch layer of organic material such as sugarcane mulch on the soil around the stem of the plant. This helps to retain moisture in the soil.
  2. Mulching also protects the young tiny plants from slugs, snails, grasshoppers and frost.


  1. If planted in pots, marigold plants need daily watering, but do not need regular watering if growing in ground. Water the plants deeply until the water comes out of the drainage hole.  Allow the soil to dry between watering.
  2. Do not sprinkle water on the flowers and foliage.
  3. Always water the plants in the morning so that the water fallen on the foliage can dry up.


  1. Marigolds do not require fertilizers if planted in a rich soil.
  2. I generally feed my marigolds with a liquid fertilizer high in potassium.
  3. Excess fertilizing will encourage increased growth of foliage but less number of flowers.


No pruning is needed for marigold plants. You only need to remove dead flowers to encourage blooming. Actually they will bloom more profusely if you remove the dead flowers frequently.


I put a small stick and tie the stem by a soft polythene to protect the plant from strong winds. For taller variety of marigolds, staking is essential.

Pests and Diseases

Marigolds are relatively free of problems of insects and diseases. In very hot weather, spider mites, bacterial leaf spot, powdery mildew, leaf spot and root rot can be problem. I  never had any problem with my 25-30 marigold plants in pots which I plant each year.

How To Make Marigold Seeds

Cut a few dead flowers (with the bottom green buds) and keep them for the next year.

How To Prolong Blooms

You can increase the number of flowers and the length of  blooming by regularly removing the spent blossoms.
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  1. My garden is full of marigold flowers. Can I keep some flowers to grow new plants?

    1. yes, you can keep the flowers for growing new plants. Select a good larger plant ant let it mature on the tree before you pick it up. Store the flower in a paper bag. To use its seeds for propagation, trim the leaves and cut the lower portion and mix it in the soil.

  2. My marigold plant has maturedbut can't see any buds coming ...that was hybrid Marigold....pls suggest what should I do?

  3. Wait for some time, buds wll appear. Try feeding with a liquid fertiliser high in potassium.

  4. you must select applicable location for your garden with smart water sources. The garden ought to have smart quality soil. the foremost necessary issue for flower gardens is choosing the plants.The garden will be planted in your yard, balcony or window.

  5. Will U pl tell how to rake care & fertilize curry leaf plant


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