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How To Grow Marigolds From Seed To Bloom

Marigolds are low maintenance, drought-tolerant, and easy to grow. This article will help you learn how to grow Marigolds from seed to bloom. 

Orange and Yellow Marigolds blooming

Planting annual flowers each year is an excellent way to keep your yard looking great and create curb appeal. One of the best things about marigolds is how easy they are to grow. They do not require much care or attention because they are heat tolerant and can survive in dry soil for a time.

Because Marigolds have such vibrant colors of orange and yellow tones, they are one of my all-time favorite annual flowers so I plant them in my front yard every year.

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Table of Contents

Why Plant Flowers from Seed?

If you are dressing up your flower beds with annual flowers each Spring, you will need a lot of flowers. You can either buy them in flats or plant your own from seed. The price of a flat of annual flowers is a real budget stretcher which is why I grow my own.

I always enjoy growing marigolds from seed.  There is a certain pleasure derived from growing plants from seed and knowing you did all the work to make those pretty flowers grace your yard.

An elderly neighbor taught me how to grow flowers from seed more years ago than I care to admit. Her favorites were petunias. She taught me to love the beauty and variety of planting annual flowers. Remembering her and our shared love for flowers makes my heart smile.

Growing Flowers from Seed

I use the milk jug method to grow my flower seeds early so they will be ready to go into the ground in early Spring. You don’t need extra indoor space or special heat lamps or lighting to use the milk jug method.

How To Plant Marigold Seeds Indoors

You will be happy to know that it is relatively easy to learn how to grow marigolds from seed indoors. Growing marigold seeds indoors can be done in a sunny window. Sow your seeds shallow in the dirt and water gently until you see them sprout.

Once the sprouts are at least an inch tall, you can separate them in the soil a better distance apart. Keep watering them and leave them in your sunny window until time to plant in the ground.

You will plant them in the ground outside when the weather and ground are warm enough in the spring and all possibility of frost has past.

Read How To Use Milk Jugs For Winter Seed Sowing for the tutorial or watch the video below.

A bed of deep orange Marigold annual flowers

Why Plant Marigolds

Marigolds are easy to grow, drought-tolerant, and very low maintenance. Seeds sprout in days and can be started indoors for a winter head start or directly into the ground in the spring.

The bold vibrant colors create fabulous curb appeal in deep orange and yellow with maroon shades. I like to plant Red Salvia with Dwarf Marigolds in front for flower bed borders. 

How to grow marigolds from seed to bloom. How to grow marigolds. Marigold flowers blooming in the yard. Photo of a rack and hoe in freshly prepared dirt for flower planting

How To Plant Marigolds From Seed

Prepare The Soil

This is where you get some exercise! I use a good old-fashioned hoe and a garden rake to prepare the soil. If you happen to own a tiller then Yay! You know what to do!

The garden rake has wide enough tines to remove big lumps of anything you don’t want in your flower bed. The hoe of course is so you can loosen the soil nice and deep which will allow the roots to grow more healthy. Using a hoe burns lots of calories!

Butterflies are attracted to Marigolds

If flower roots have to fight their way through rocks, roots, or hard soil, they will stay shallow which will make the plants need water more often and be more susceptible to wilting.

Marigold seeds in a persons hand

How To Sew Seeds Into The Soil

What do marigold seeds look like?

Marigold seeds look like tiny little sticks. They are long and two-toned in color, dark and light. You can harvest your own seeds for next year’s flower beds from this year’s Marigolds. 

Gently sprinkle the seeds across the area you have prepared. You are sprinkling the seeds on top of the soil, not planting them into holes.

When sowing seeds on top of the soil, it is okay to have them close together. Once they sprout and have good structure, you can space them out at that time if you desire.

After you have sprinkled your desired amount of seeds across the prepared soil, gently cover with dirt by sprinkling a light layer of dirt on top of the seeds.

Flower seeds are planted so near the surface of the dirt that they are almost not even covered with dirt. (It’s like sprinkling flour onto a surface that you are kneading raw dough on.) Just barely cover the seeds with dirt. Now, gently pat down the dirt on top of the seeds.

Water carefully so as not to dislodge the seeds. Use the sprayer nozzle with light water so as not to dislodge the seeds until they sprout. They will generally sprout in 5-7 days or whatever time the package directions state. 

How to grow marigolds from seed to bloom. How to grow marigolds. Marigold flowers blooming in the yard
Lay out the seedlings on the ground the way you want them to grow.intelligentdomestications.com

How To Plant Marigold Seedlings

If you have grown your seeds in containers in later winter or early Spring, you will be planting seedlings! Plan the pattern in which you want your flowers to grow.

I lay mine out in offset rows so they will create a more full flower bed when grown. They will look like they are not going to make it during this process because they are like fish out of water but once the seedlings are in the ground and water, they will perk back up.

Water them immediately when finished with the planting. They are delicate at this stage so be gentle with the watering.

Caring for Marigolds

Marigolds in need of dead heading.intelligentdomestications.com

How To Deadhead Marigolds

Remove the spent blooms all throughout the blooming season. This process is known as deadheading. You can use your garden shears or just pinch them off with your fingers. Deadheading the spent blooms will allow the flowers to keep blooming throughout the summer. 

Because the Marigold plant is drought tolerant they may not need watering every single day. However, that doesn’t mean you should never water them. Here in the deep south where the heat and humidity keep us indoors, I water my flower beds about every other day or every three days if we have had rain.

Watch my Facebook video below for how to deadhead marigolds.