How to Grow Marigolds : Marigold Flower Information

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 how to grow marigold plants in containers from seeds, flowers and cuttings. Also know the complete information on marigold flowers including types, varieties, pictures, flower colors, growing instructions and care tips. Continue reading below detailed information on how to grow marigolds in pots starting from seeds and marigold flowers.

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 marigold flowers are bright yellow, orange and gold in color, representing passion, optimism and success. These flowers are associated with the sun, the warmth of the rising sun. The red marigold color represents prosperity and a long life. All types of marigold have the same meaning.

The Scientific name of marigold is Calendula officinalis of Calenduleae family. The name marigold is similar to Mary's gold, a plant native to Europe, Calendula officinalis. In India it is called as Genda Phool (गेंदा, गेंदे का फूल) and Sayapatri Phool (सयपत्री) in Nepal, means hundred-leafed flower, referring to its many florets per head. The other names of marigold are Caltha, Gols bloom, Gold bloom, Holligold, Marybud, etc.

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.

The marigold is a powerful insect repelling plant. Marigolds, specially the Mexican marigold can keep away bugs, beetles, thrips, hornworms, whiteflies and wild rabbits. However, marigolds attracts spider mites and snails.

Squirrels and chickens love marigold flowers. It is said that chickens who eat marigolds lay eggs with bright yellow yolks.

The marigold Calendula officinalis flowers is used for many treatments in the form of healing herbal ointments, teas and tinctures.

Marigold Flower Information


My garden displays orange and yellow marigolds 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 Marigold propagated from seeds in a pot
Picture of Orange Marigold
in a pot propagated from seeds

Yellow marigolds growing in a pot
Picture of Yellow Marigold
Growing in a pot

Tagetes patula French Marigold Flower
Picture of
Tagetes patula French Marigold

Varieties and Types of Marigolds

Marigolds are annual plants and come in different sizes and colors, yellow and orange being the most common (look at the marigold pictures). Marigold plant is not a perennial plant, but they grow for several months. The marigolds are self-seeding annuals, they will grow again in the next season if the dead blooms drop on the ground.

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.

How To Plant, Grow and 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. It just takes about 6-8 weeks to flower after you plant the seeds.

Position: Where To Plant Marigolds

Marigolds love lot of sunshine, so plant them in full sun. Partial sun is also good. Marigolds in shades can have an adverse effect on flowering.

Soil For Growing Marigolds

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

Propagating Marigolds From Seeds

Marigolds are easily propagated from 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.

Planting Marigold from Seeds or Dead Flower

  1. How to plant marigold seeds: 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 pod 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. Marigold 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.

Mulching Marigold Plants

  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.

Watering Marigold Plants

  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.

Fertilizers For Marigolds

  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.

Pruning Marigold Plants

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.

Staking

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 of Marigold Plants

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.

Marigold Seeds
Marigold Seeds


How To Harvest and Marigold Seeds

It is easy to collect marigold seeds and preserve them for using in the next season. Let the flowers remain on the stem so that they fully mature and begin to dry. Harvest the flowers when the petals get dried and the base (the lower part of the flower) is turning brown but still green. Remove leaves and open the pods, take out the seeds and save in a ziploc bag, store in a dry place. Preserve the seeds for the next year.

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How To Prolong Marigold Blooms

You can increase the number of marigold flowers and the length of blooming period by regularly removing the spent blossoms.

Reasons For No Blooms

Some times, you may have healthy marigold plants, but no or very few flowers. The main reason for this is the absense of sun light the plant receives. The marigold plant will produce foliage but few blooms if planted in shade. Also feeding your marigold plant with a fertilizer high in nitrogen will produce lot of foliage and less blooms.

8 comments

PK February 29, 2016 7:53 AM

My garden is full of marigold flowers. Can I keep some flowers to grow new plants?
Reply

P. Mehta February 29, 2016 8:13 AM

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.
Reply

Ritu Sharma July 21, 2016 12:24 AM

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

P. Mehta July 21, 2016 1:52 AM

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

Steven September 29, 2016 4:16 AM

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.
Reply

Unknown October 09, 2016 7:24 AM

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

Anonymous June 14, 2017 1:20 PM

My pot doesn't have a drainage hole. So I don't know how much water you need to put into this pot. I'm 13 and my mom says it doesn't need a drainage hole but I think it has to have a drainage holes for it to live out its life fully.
Reply

P. Mehta June 14, 2017 1:50 PM

Pots for marigold plants and for all other plants must have drainage holes ay the bottom to drain out excess water, otherwise the roots will rot and the plant will die. You should transplant the plant in a pot with drainage holes.
Reply