Close-up of an orange marigold.

Credit: Angela Altomare
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Botanical name: Tagetes

Plant type: Flower

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Sandy, Loamy, Clay

Flower color: Orange, Yellow

Bloom time: Spring, Summer, Fall

No annual is more cheerful or easier to grow than marigolds. These flowers are the spendthrifts among annuals, showing a wealth of gold, copper, and brass into our summer and autumn gardens. The flower’s popularity probably derives in part from its ability to bloom brightly all summer long.

Marigolds have daisy-like or double, carnation-like flowerheads and are produced singly or in clusters.  Although there are some 50 species, some marigolds we know come from just three:

  • Tagetes erecta are the tallest, at three to five feet. They are sometimes known as African, or American, marigolds.
  • Bushy T. patula, or French marigolds, are somewhat smaller and more compact. Elegant and eye-catching, they have relatively demure flowers and usually grow from 6 inches to 2 feet tall.
  • The dainty T. tenuifolia are the signet, or rock-garden, marigolds that like hot, dry sites and make a wonderful edging. Their flowers are edible.

Marigolds have been sterotyped but they offer tremendous variety; some have fantastic aroma; all marigolds are good in containers and provide long-lasting cut flowers.

Marigold Pictures

Click the slideshow below to enjoy 7 lovely pictures sent in by our Almanac readers!


  • Marigolds need lots of sunshine.
  • Though they grow in almost any soil, marigolds thrive in moderately fertile, well-drained soil.
  • Sow them directly into the garden once the soil is warm, or start seeds indoors about a month to 6 weeks before the last spring-frost date.
  • The seeds germinate easily, but watch out for damping off if you start them inside.
  • Separate seedlings when they are about 2 inches tall. Plant them in flats of loose soil, or transplant them into the garden.
  • Space tall marigolds 2 to 3 feet apart; lower-growing ones about a foot apart.
  • If planting in containers, use a soil-based potting mix; during growing season, water freely and apply a balanced liquid fertilizer weekly.


  • Germination from large, easily handled seeds is rapid, and blooms should appear within a few weeks of sowing.
  • If the spent blossoms are deadheaded, the plants will continue to bloom profusely.
  • Do not fertilize marigolds. Too rich a diet stimulates lush foliage at the expense of flowers. Marigolds bloom better and more profusely in poor soil.
  • The densely double flowerheads of the African marigolds tend to rot in wet weather.


Farmers and gardeners have long known that marigolds make important companion plants all over the garden. Not only does the scent of the marigold (Tagetes spp.) repel animals and insects, but the underground workings of the marigold will repel nematodes (microscopic worms) and other pests for up to 3 years.

Marigolds themselves are hearty but may be prone to gray mold, bacterial leaf spot, powdery mildew, Alternaria leaf spot, damping off, and root rot.


  • In flower arrangements, strip off any leaves that might be under water in the vase; this will discourage the overly pungent odor.
  • Marigolds can be dried for long-lasting floral arrangements. Strip foliage from perfect blossoms and hang them upside down.

Cooking Notes

  • The bright petals of signet marigolds add color and a spicy tang to salads and other summer dishes.
  • The flower petals are sometimes cooked with rice to impart the color (but unfortunately not the flavor) of saffron.
  • 'Mexican Mint' (sometimes called Texas tarragon) is a study little herb that can be substituted for French tarragon in cooking. This species has been long used in Latin America for tea as well as seasoning.

Wit & Wisdom

  • In the late 1960s, Burpee president David Burpee launched an energetic campaign to have marigolds named the national flower, but in the end, roses won out.
  • For years, farmers have included the open-pollinated African marigold 'Crackerjack' in chicken feed to make egg yolks a darker yellow


And also my marigold is

By tobirama on April 15

And also my marigold is inside the teres. teres is like a balcony but it is rather found next to the living room. It is only being shined every morning but not in the afternoon. Should I place it outside or is it okay inside the teres. But the thing is it is only being shined by the sunlight every morning only. Thank You!!!

Do i have to dispose my

By tobirama on April 15

Do i have to dispose my marigold? Because I always wet the leaves? And is it okay to grow in hot climate like here in the philippines? Thank you.

If marigolds are left potted

By Anita Haven on April 13

If marigolds are left potted and never planted in the ground, will they keep year round if they are brought into the house when it gets cold?

Marigolds are considered

By Almanac Staff on April 15

Marigolds are considered annuals. You may have some luck in bringing your marigolds indoor, but in general, annuals grow and thrive for one season.
What you might try is saving the seeds and then planting them next year.

Thank you. Please disregard

By Anita Haven on April 15

Thank you. Please disregard my most recent email. Thanks.

Thanks to you for this

By biocarve on April 12

Thanks to you for this blog.Its really very helpful for me.
Buy flower seeds online

my marigold wont grow i

By John Beckings on April 9

my marigold wont grow i bought the best fertalizer(cow dumpings) and it wont sprout up what am i doing wrong!!!!! btw i live in arizona

Cow manure or any organic

By Almanac Staff on April 11

Cow manure or any organic matter mixed into soil is fine; ensure manure is aged or composted for 12 months before you apply to soil.
--Did the seeds get sowed too deep? You don't need to cover the seeds with soil. It's best off uncovered on top of soil. Or just poke a pencil in the ground, drop the seed in, and mist with water.
--Don't overwater or the seeds will rot. Allow the soil to dry somewhat between watering.
--Is there plenty of sun and warmth?
--You could try stratifying (cooling) the seeds for about 6 weeks in the refrigerator to improve odds.
Marigold should take 2 to 3 weeks to germinate.

Hey everyone. I am a clueless

By hippie_flower on April 4

Hey everyone. I am a clueless male to flowers, but need some advice on taking the best care of a French Marigold (Dwarf). My boss gave me and around 20 of the other managers at my job a small one and said whoever can keep them alive the longest will get $1000. I wouldn't normally take care of a flower but am very competitive and want to beat everybody else! I live in Florida currently but will be moving to Baltimore in 3 weeks and staying there for 5 months. I'm assuming different climates affect how you treat it? How much sun does it need? How much water do I give it daily/weekly? Are there certain fertilizers or other products I can give it to maintain and extend the lifespan? I appreciate any tips you can give, thanks!

I have a marigold plant in a

By Jessica Piper on March 29

I have a marigold plant in a pot. I give it lots of sun and lots of water, yet the smaller leaves near the top of the stem have started to turn brown and are curling in. Is my plant dying? What should I do?

Let the soil dry out before

By Almanac Staff on April 2

Let the soil dry out before you water again. Marigolds don't need much water. Also check for insect pests.

Last week I bought some

By Janice Jockisch on March 28

Last week I bought some marigolds for my sister. The ones still in the flats are fine, but the ones she planted in containers are turning black. What could be causing this and how do we fix it?

If the black spots are on the

By Almanac Staff on March 28

If the black spots are on the leaves, it could be leaf spot, a fungal disease often caused because of overwatering as well as getting water on the leaves. If it's not too bad, you can pick off the infected leaves. If it's serious, you'll probably have to discard the plants--and infected soil. Avoid overwatering. Take care to always water at the base of a plant and avoid getting the leaves wet. Mulching helps, too. Finally, make sure the plants are spaced so that there is plenty of air circulation.

I read marigold seeds should

By GloryB

I read marigold seeds should be stored in a cool, dry place. I placed last year's seeds in a plastic baggie and put in refrigerator. Started a few seeds indoors a couple weeks ago with no results. Have I ruined the seeds by refrigeration? Thank you.

No worries. It's fine to

By Almanac Staff

No worries. It's fine to store seeds in a cool basement or in the refrigerator. 

I let my marigolds completely

By Roxy K.

I let my marigolds completely die over the fall and want to regrow them. I live in Utah and am not sure how to
start. Can they still be regrown?

The marigold is an annual so

By Almanac Staff

The marigold is an annual so you'll want to plant new seeds and set in the ground once all danger of frost is past.

I'm new in growing marigolds.

By Lady Banker

I'm new in growing marigolds. How many seeds do I put in each pot so as to start a new plant?

Each and every seed can form

By Andrew jackson

Each and every seed can form a new plant but it is usual to put three or four in each pot. Then lady banker you have the hard job as Mother Nature to pinch out and discard the weakest slow growing from each pot to leave only one.

Thank you Mr. Jackson. Have a

By Lady Banker

Thank you Mr. Jackson. Have a great day.

how long does seeds take to

By tony cooper

how long does seeds take to sprout if seeing indoors under a lamp?

Hi Tony, Marigold seeds are

By Almanac Staff

Hi Tony,
Marigold seeds are quick to germinate. You should see some growth in 3 to 4 days.
Good luck!

I am a beginning gardener and

By Vernae Floyd

I am a beginning gardener and I am staring a box garden with, kale, spinach, and romaine. Can I plant marigolds next to the greens to ward away pest?

Marigolds can be helpful but

By Almanac Staff

Marigolds can be helpful but let's not overpromise; they really most effective when they are planted in large quantities as a cover crop -- and only proven to manage nematodes (worms in the soil that feed on plants), not most insects.
Aphids are the most common insect on vegetables. Consider adding plants that attract beneficial insects that eat aphids. Plant cosmos, parsley, and dill.
Slugs like lettuce. Circle them with crushed up eggshells on the ground around the plants' base.
Keep an eye out for small insects and spray an insecticidal soap on all sides of the leaves as soon as you spot them.
Also, use good soil with lots of organic matter.
Finally, just water your plants at the base, not on the leaves, as dampness attracts disease.
Hope this gets you started!

Thank you so much! Will try

By Vernae Floyd

Thank you so much! Will try the parsley. I live in the USVI. I brought a packet of strawberry seeds (Alpine). I read that strawberries are cold weather plants. Do they stand a chance in containers or box garden in tropical weather? Currently nights are abut 75 degrees, day time about 85 to 88 degrees.


By G.Kukreja


I live in Tampa, Florida and

By J. Ellison

I live in Tampa, Florida and I have some seeds. These are my 3 yr olds favorite flower. I was wondering if I should wait to plant them or if I can do it now? This is going to be the first plant I have tried to take care of so any additional advice helps. Thank you.

In Florida you can plant

By Almanac Staff

In Florida you can plant seeds now. Marigolds are very easy to grow. Try planting them in pots. That way you can move the pots so that they get as much sun as possible and if you get a cold spell you can move them into a protected area.
Good luck!

Plant the marigold seeds in

By Chris McNeely

Plant the marigold seeds in late spring or early summer.

I live in north dakota and it

By sara knaus

I live in north dakota and it is fall in this area waiting on winter to arrive but need to prepare my plants for the change. I am wondering if i need to completely pull my marigolds out of the soil to prepare to replant them next year or do i just leave them be and deal with them next year?

It's good practice too clean

By Almanac Staff

It's good practice too clean the garden in the fall. Look for seed pods on your marigold plants before you toss them on the compost pile. The seeds are easy to store and you can sow them next spring in the garden.

I have marigolds that are 54

By bbyrum14

I have marigolds that are 54 inches tall. I have been harvesting the seeds. I have never seen marigolds get this tall. the blooms are sometimes 5" in width or greater. Is this normal? I am sure that I have the American variety. I planted them from seeds that I harvested a few years back.

The "African Marigold" can

By Almanac Staff

The "African Marigold" can get up to 3 feet tall! It may need staking. It's the "French Marigold" which is the petite size that many people know.  Despite the name, both come from Mexico.

I have found my Marigolds to

By Jessica Shippee

I have found my Marigolds to have grown quite tall! They are on stems about 36-46" overall. The problem is, a good windy storm and they topple or just weaken and will not stay upgright anymore. I will find them crashed and burned on the ground or the entire grouping leaning to one side.

A. Can I add something to the fertilizer to strengthen the stem or

B. Can I cut them back about halfway (though they are blooming beautifully) and maybe hope they will bud earlier on the stem?

At this point in the season,

By Almanac Staff

At this point in the season, we would cut back up to one-third of the plant. Then fertilize lightly with a balanced plant food. It may take a week or two for the marigolds to recover but they should be fine. Next year, if you grow marigolds, you really want to pinch or cut back the new buds and foliage tips when they are 6 to 78 inches tall. This encourages branching to create a bushier plant that won't topple in the wind.

Can marigold plants be pulled

By Dr Ted

Can marigold plants be pulled and hung upside down then replanted the following year or do I have to wait and try to collect seed stock for next season?

You can save seeds from this

By Almanac Staff

You can save seeds from this year's plants. Wait until the flower heads are brown and dried. Pinch the ends with your thumb and index finger of each hand, then pull apart and the seeds will slide out without any problem. The seeds are thin, black, and pointy.
Store the seeds in a cool and dry place and replant next year.
In some climates, you can just sow the seed in the ground now wherever you'd like them to grow next year.

About 18 years ago I noticed

By Bobby Joe

About 18 years ago I noticed one marigold plant in my yard grew to 24 inches while all the rest were about 12. Every year since I have continued this linear generation and now my plants are all over 30 inches and very bushy. They seem to be late bloomers, the bulk of the flowers coming in Sept. and Oct. Some years they will bloom well past Thanksgiving if we had no frost yet. I have always wondered if this strain has any commercial value if grown on a large scale. The stems are red, no doubt full of quercetin, and the orange flowers might be good for chicken feed. Any ideas ?

Hi Bobby Joe, I came across

By Arvin Singh

Hi Bobby Joe, I came across your posting and want to ask if you still have some seeds from your late blooming marigold plant (flowers in Sept & October)? Or if you have some of these plants in your garden, please let some flowers dry really well on the plants before you pick them.... so you can send some to me. I am interested in Marigolds - all varieties and want to study your variety further and see if I plant them in Western Washington, I get the same results. I will pay for postage, plus some and send you my mailing address.

Thanks\ Arvin

It sounds as if you have a

By Almanac Staff

It sounds as if you have a niche market. Perhaps test it out at a local farmers' market and see how it goes. You could call your local cooperative extension (usually run by a university with research staff) to see if they have any recommendations.

My marigolds are great and

By Arizona

My marigolds are great and bushy and green up top, but the stems are dying. What could be the problem? I don't see any bugs and I haven't used any fertilizer.

Stem rot can cause stems to

By Almanac Staff

Stem rot can cause stems to wilt and die. Make sure that you have good drainage and ventilation around the plants.

My marigolds were blooming

By Debi Pyle

My marigolds were blooming beautifully now all the sudden the buds are dying before they open.Turning black and drying out.Why would that happen?

Are you growing the marigolds

By Almanac Staff

Are you growing the marigolds in pots? If you do they may be root/pot bound and need to be replanted in bigger pots. Make sure you keep the soil moist and also give the plants some fertilizer.

My marigolds survived the

By Christine Vigue

My marigolds survived the winter outside in a pot and came back in the spring. They were covered with buds in June, but the buds never opened. Why??? They get a lot of sun.

Did the buds dry up or did

By Almanac Staff

Did the buds dry up or did they fall off? Did you maybe get an insect pest that ate the buds? It's hard to tell why your buds didn't open. It could also be weather related (a dramatic change from cold to very hot, or a period of wet rainy weather).

I'm wanting to plant a

By Kayla Palmer

I'm wanting to plant a mixture or marigold and other insect repelling plants around my house. My question is we live on low land and mainly year around have moist black top soil...since it lists marigolds for mainly dry climate will I be basically wasting my money trying to plants marigolds?

There is a "Marsh Marigold"

By Almanac Staff

There is a "Marsh Marigold" (Caltha palustris) that grows better in moist soil -- in zones: 2-7.

This will be my first time

By Charu

This will be my first time planting marigold in container ,bought from nursery,lots of buds r there,but leaves turn brown,what should I do?

Brown leaves can be minor or

By Almanac Staff

Brown leaves can be minor or major. Are the leaves dry and crumbly? If so, the plants are just getting baked on a patio and the sun is just too intense. Conversely, leaves can get brown when it's too cold.  
If the leaves are brown AND the plant is wilting, you may have white mold. Do you see any white material on the stem or at the base of the plant? If so, this is serious. It either developed post-purchase or at the nursery. This problem happens when plants are watered from overhead instead of at soil line and also when plants are spaced too closely together and don't get enough air circulation. Bring a sample to the nursury or to your local county extension office.

We've purchased seeds to

By Hilarie Coate

We've purchased seeds to plant so we can have fresh marigolds for Nov 2, Day of the Dead. Here in Mendocino we have a cool foggy climate, have we waited to long to plant the seeds?

My marigold has two leaves

By lywingsing

My marigold has two leaves that each have dried spots on their edges. The spots feel crunchy like dried, dead leaves and are a bit gray/silver and also somewat transparent(i can see my finger if i put it on the underside). It hasn't bloomed yet, only two leaves are affected, and is about 5.5 inches tall. I also grow it in a plastic container(poked holes all over to increase drainage and circulation). hopefully, it will overcome the problem! but i would like suggestions anyway

The plant is probably getting

By Almanac Staff

The plant is probably getting cooked on your deck or wherever they are. Also, make sure your container is large enough. Small containers (such as the ones the plants are sold in) can't store enough water to get through hot day. Large pots also insulate roots better. You could place this pot in another planter to provide some insulation for the root system. 

Also, where does the

By lywingsing

Also, where does the insect-replling odor come from? The marigold's leaves, flowers? a scientific explanation would be nice, but a to-the-point one is ok

Here is information about

By Almanac Staff

Here is information about marigolds and why they deter some pests:

I have been saving the dead

By Jan Carr

I have been saving the dead heads from my marigolds for years and have had average success in planting them in pots in the spring. This year, however, none of the seeds germinated in any of the pots in which I planted them. I know the seeds were from last year's crop. My concerns are: how much soil do you put on the seeds--just barely covered, an inch, how much? Will seeds from two or three previous years germinate? How wet should you keep the soil be during the germinating process-damp or well watered.

let the seeds dry out

By tony-lee

let the seeds dry out completely first and then plant out the seeds from the marigolds in a middle size pot and use multi purpose compost

hi jan, just a light sprinkle

By tony-lee

hi jan,
just a light sprinkle of soil do not put to much on

I do the same with all my

By t.woodgate

I do the same with all my plants that seed. But I introduce new seed every so often. Every 3 years with marigolds. Never have any problems.

Tell me. The. Pesticides for.

By Vittal

Tell me. The. Pesticides for. Marigold

What is the problem that you

By Almanac Staff

What is the problem that you are having? When using pesticides, you want to target the specific pest. Frankly, marigolds do not often need pesticides.

I've grown 40 Marigolds over

By Blaghh

I've grown 40 Marigolds over 5 years. I have grown them from seeds, bought saplings from market, etc. And I found out that Marigolds tend to attract Slugs quite unusually. I've tried everything to get rid of these slugs without killing them. But eventually I had to spray salt on the leaves of my Marigold.... Next morning you see a slimy trail leading to a dead slug.

my teacher gave me these

By Qing Yu

my teacher gave me these plant-able cups to plant dwarf marigolds in. I used one to plant four...and they grew, but then my mom came over and tore them apart, saying that they would grow better that way. but I took a close look at the plants and I could see torn roots...and she insisted to put in fertilizer. Was she right to do so?

It depends on the size. When

By Almanac Staff

It depends on the size. When sprouts are a few inches tall, you thin them by pulling up the weaker, overcrowded ones, to allow space for the remaining ones to grow. However, once they are grow, we do not recommend tearing them apart. When we plant in pots or cups (versus the ground), we use a "soilless potting mix" not garden soil. If it was soil, we would simply mix in organic matter such as compost, but container mix isn't soil so you do want to add in some fertilizer. Ask your garden center. Water them regularly as pots or cups tend to dry out more quickly than soil.

My marigold plant leaves are


My marigold plant leaves are drying even before flowering.
Can you suggest me the remedy?

Are your marigolds near a

By Almanac Staff

Are your marigolds near a window or on a patio? Usually this happens because the sun is too direct and the marigolds are beng cooked. Try placing in a different area where they get sun but they're not being burned.

I planted my marigolds in

By Stephanie Cormier

I planted my marigolds in April. They are in a pot as I do not have a garden. They grew quite nicely over 1 foot tall but it is now july 4th and they have yet to produce a flower. What am I doing wrong?

Marigolds need a LOT of sun

By Almanac Staff

Marigolds need a LOT of sun to bloom. Also, do not fertilize marigolds. Too rich a diet stimulates lush foliage at the expense of flowers.

I bought some 10 cent

By allip

I bought some 10 cent grew in a few places, but those have gone wild-doubling every week

Is it a good idea to pinch

By Heirjo

Is it a good idea to pinch out the first flowerhead of a French Marigold plant to encourage the plant to bush out and produce even more flowers? My husband bought several and planted them in our garden but I don't want to pinch out the flowerheads just in case I'd be doing the wrong thing.

Yes, you are correct. Pinch

By Almanac Staff

Yes, you are correct. Pinch off the first flowers of the marigold plant before they open. This will encourage more flowers.

My Marigolds get full sun,

By Robert VIno

My Marigolds get full sun, nice, but average soil, have had lots of water but good drainage and have been planted 4 weeks but not even the buds present when we planted have bloomed as the plants have not grown a bit and might be starting to die. Suspended animation. I did add crushed brick on top about 10 years ago and have not had a good crop since. Did I destroy the PH or something? Last year we redid the top with cedar bark. We love marigolds and am very disappointed.

Marigolds really aren't fussy

By Almanac Staff

Marigolds really aren't fussy about soil and, in fact, can thrive in poor soil as long as there is good drainage (which you say they have). It's fine to use cedar bark as a mulch on the soil surface. It doesn't dramatically change the pH (nor does crushed brick). We don't, however, recommend incorporating wood/bark chips into the soil itself or in cultivated soil and seed beds as it can create a nitrogen deficiency and decrease soil oxygen levels.
Do you have high heat this year? That is often a reason for lack of bloom. If so, we'd recommend 2 to 3 inches of organic mulch to keep in the moisture.
Otherwise, do you see any wilting of the foliage, discolored spots, or a coating of mildew? This indicates one of several fungal infections. Take a sample to your local cooperative extension for a diagnosis.

It was mid 80s yesterday and

By twisted cat

It was mid 80s yesterday and I planted my marigolds from farmers market that morn at 3 that afternoon. I heavily watered them but now after reading others questions, am afraid I did it wrong. First flower I ever planted in a bed

Keep the plants watered and

By Almanac Staff

Keep the plants watered and provide a bit of shade if it is very hot during the day. Your marigolds should be OK.

Every year i plant them &

By Auntie Ei

Every year i plant them & every year i kill them. 20 dyeing already. Help! Head goes brown then leaves only 3" high.

Read the planting and caring

By Almanac Staff

Read the planting and caring advice above. Make sure your marigolds get sun and water when the soil gets dry. Marigold don't need much care and are pretty easy to grow. Remember to deadhead the spent flowers.

Surprise May Frost

By Anonymous

The nursery I buy my pre-bloomed flowers at doesn't sell flowers until they are safe to plant here in northern NJ. But the weather is getting unpredictable. I know in the Fall they won't die with just one night of frost but it's Spring and we haven't been in the 30s in over a week. I have Antigua Marigolds, Valentine Lace Begonias, Snowland Daisies, Verbatems and Agratums in pots in my garden. I left the Pansies outside but the low is for 38 and AOL weather is warning of a POSSIBLE frost. My nursery said they should still be fin but I brought them inside. The heat is on but they stabilize it around 65 at my condo. Did I do the right thing to bring them in?

first time planting mariglods

By Anonymous

This year will be my first time planting maraigolds and other flowers in a garden. I have tried many times planting inside but have always killed them. I have read the other post and understand some of what's being said. I'm just unsure of when to transplant to outside I'm in Wyoming. I'm also unsure if the deadheading when would I do that?

Transplant when there is no

By Almanac Staff

Transplant when there is no more risk of frost and the soil has warmed up a bit.

Deadhead the flowers after they have blossomed and starting to fade. You can wait a little longer and let the flower go to seed. Then pinch of the seed head and save the seeds for next season.


By Anonymous

My seedlings are coming up nicely in planters.How long before I see flowers?

Marigolds take about 45 to 50

By Almanac Staff

Marigolds take about 45 to 50 days to flower after you plant seeds.

Fetilize or not

By Anonymous

Under your planting tips section, you say to fertilize weekly, but under the care section you say don't fertilize. Thoroughly confused here! So if you don't mind, which is correct.

Marigolds do not need a lot

By Almanac Staff

Marigolds do not need a lot of fertilizer if they are growing in good soil. Fertilize only in the spring when you transplant the seedlings. Too much fertilizer will produce lots of foliage and just a few blossoms.

marigold pests

By Anonymous

What could be eating my marigolds? A few plants have no leaves left!

Consider wood chucks. I left

By Hattie

Consider wood chucks. I left some tall marigolds on my deck ,
walked to the garden to plant other items,and returned to discover marigold stumps. A fat woodchuck lived here at the time.

You probably have slugs or

By Almanac Staff

You probably have slugs or snails in your garden that eat the marigolds. Put some crushed egg shells or sand around the plants to discourage them.

Sand and egg shells are a

By Seamus Gallen

Sand and egg shells are a standard recipe for snails and slugs, but they are almost useless. Over many years, I have found only two things that work. Pellets and "harvesting" the pests by hand at night. But, it's only a problem while the seedlings are small. Once they develop, the pests will leave them alone.

Self-Seeding Marigold Bed?

By Anonymous

We moved into a rental last summer, and it has a long raised marigold bed. Our landlords said they just let the marigolds die and re-seed on their own each year, and that they perform no maintenance. However, since marigolds are annuals, I should be able to pull all the old dead foliage from last year without compromising the seeds, right? The dead stuff looks ugly hanging out in the flower bed, but I don't want to screw up their marigolds!

Marigolds are annuals but can

By Almanac Staff

Marigolds are annuals but can also reseed in warmer climates. However, you can still pull the dead plants. If they reseeded, their seeds already fell. Or, you can look at the marigold seed heads and see if you can save them and direct seed.
Note: sometimes birds eat the seeds or they blow away or conditions aren't right for reseeding.
Normally, if you don't want to leave it to chance, you would gather the seeds once the pods have dried and save them; they easily grow by direct sowing next year.
At this point, we'd pull the plants and then plant new seeds. Frankly, marigolds are one of the easiest and cheapest seeds to grow. That's why they are a common flower for children to grow. Follow our planting information on this page.


By Anonymous

Planted 10 marigolds on my garden, they receive full sun, but the temperature at night is 50s. Tampa fl. should I have waited?

In central Florida, marigolds

By Almanac Staff

In central Florida, marigolds are best planted March through August. The night time temperature shouldn't go below 60 degrees. See how it goes! Their growth may just be a bit slowed.


By Anonymous

Hi I had Marigolds in a part of my garden last year and they seemed fine grew to about a 1/2m but did not flower as I expected!!but this season most of of my Marigolds have grown to over 2m tall and have not flowered..when they were about a meter tall I cut the tops off hoping they would spread and flower..but the just grew taller,we water in the afternoon and first thing in the morning before sunup.The soil is slightly clay and they get the sun most of the day!!!This years plants are from last years seeds!!! I am totaly confused!!!!


By Anonymous

Maybe you are putting too much work into them? I choose them because they are so easy. Is your soil over fertilized? Is there good drainage? I'm in upstate ny. Mine did not bloom last year until july-ish.

marigold bloom

By Almanac Staff

Depending on the timing of when you cut the tops off, you may have pruned off any flower buds that were developing. Flowers develop usually as the plant is close to mature height. Shearing 1/3 of the taller marigolds can be done, if needed, usually in midsummer after bloom has diminished somewhat and the plants are looking a bit scraggly. Dwarf marigolds do not need to be sheared--just deadheaded. If you are not getting any blooms, it may be possible that they are receiving too much nitrogen, which encourages leaves and stems rather than flowers. The soil should be well-drained, but marigolds like soil of average to poor quality as to fertility. Also, planting them out too early may slow flowering if the weather is cool. They like warmth--but very hot summers can also affect blooming.


By Anonymous

I have a question i just bought some marigolds at home depot about 12 or so and i was wondering when is the time to plant them as i live in Pflugerville tx just north of austin tx and if i do plant them now can they with stand temps in the mid 30's thanks ryan

Wait a couple of weeks to

By Almanac Staff

Wait a couple of weeks to plant outdoors. The soil needs to warm up a bit and you don't want to risk frost damage.

Marigold - Dried leaves at base

By Anonymous

I have planted 4 African marigold plants with orange blooms in a row in a planter box after buying the plants from a nursery. The plants thrived very well for slightly more than a week. The plants are receiving lots of sun and are shielded largely from the rain but I have been watering them once a day. Temperatures can go up to 32 celcius (as I live in a tropical country). Over the last 2 days, 2 of the plants' leaves are drying up from the bottom part of the plant. Are the plants burnt by the sun and should I water more? Strangely, another planter box of yellow marigolds which are placed in the same area of my garden under the same conditions are thriving well and show no similar signs. Please help - need advice to save my orange marigolds. Many thanks.

Saving African Marigolds

By Almanac Staff

Our sources indicate that that this plant thrives under hot, dry it could be that by watering once per day, you're drowning them. (Few plants require water everyday.) If the soil is saturated now, you might be able to save them if you remove them and replant them in dry soil. Presumably the plants will be loaded with moisture, so you wouldn't need to water again for a couple or a few days. Make sure that the new (or old) soil is well-draining; one way of doing that is to include some sand or other material that does not absorb water (not peat, for example). These plants thrive in drought areas and xeriscape gardens; that means that they require very little water. Think drops . . . like a rare rain shower.
If it's too late to save these, you could think about replacing them with new plants. It's an additional expense, but with their fragrance and attraction to butterflies, they are a wonderful plant. Good luck!

Marigolds and nothing is happening

By Anonymous

planted a few punnets of marigold in a sunny position and after 3 weeks no growth is to be seen, location is Melbourne (Aust) a temperate climate its springtime here and everything else is going hell for leather

Withering Yellow Marigold Flowers

By Anonymous

I bought some merigold plants from local nurseries last week which I immediately transplanted them into my larger pot.

A week later, the golden flower of my merigold started to show sign of withering away. The flowers got some dark spots and loses strength, turned floppy and drooping down.

What went wrong?

Marigolds are hearty plants.

By Almanac Staff

Marigolds are hearty plants. The dark spots and wilting suggest, however, that they may have a bacterial disease. If so, infected plants need to be removed. To get a diagnosis, we suggest that you bring a sample back to the local nurseries. To avoid bacterial disease, soil must be sterile and disease-free; overhead watering should be avoided.


By Anonymous

To avoid diseases, water the Marigolds in the morning.

Mexican marigolds (Mexican "tarragon")

By Anonymous

This summer, I discovered this robust substitute for French tarragon! I bought a large pot of it, and planted it in the garden. I love it, and have dried a lot of it.

With winter approaching, I hate to say goodbye to this beautiful plant. I've considered potting it up and bringing it indoors to over-winter under fluorescent lights. I've read that Mexican marigold will die back during cold outdoor weather, then send up new growth in the spring. If I bring it indoors, will it continue to thrive, or will this just kill it?

Beth, in Atlanta

In southern regions the

By Almanac Staff

In southern regions the marigold plant is perennial and grows year round. If you bring the plant indoors and give it plenty of light it should do well. If you leave it outdoors it will die back and sprout again in the spring.

Large Potted Marigold

By Anonymous

I just purchased a beautiful large rust colored marigold potted plant. It is so thick I can't tell if it's getting enough water. The blooms were gorgeous when I got it. Now they seem to be fading and somewhat dry. I need a happy medium schedule for watering. I was afraid I was over-watering, now I'm afraid I have under-watered. How often should I water, and should I soak it and then let it dry out completely? I live in Phoenix, AZ and it is still quite hot here.

Deadheading is a must with

By Anonymous

Deadheading is a must with marigolds. When the blooms start to wither, turn brown and become spent, immediatly pluck that bloom off. it will encourage new growth.


By Anonymous

Try completely saturating the root-ball every day if there isn’t rain.

Water thoroughly once a week

By Sarah Perreault

Water thoroughly once a week if it has not rained at least an inch that week. Water deeply when dry (vs. shallow and often).

Over Watered??

By Anonymous

I have 3 marigold pots on back patio. Live in KS - been over 105 temps July, June & now into Aug. Been watering a lot EVERY day... the marigolds are starting to really brown, die... am I overwatering?

Possibly overwatering. Water

By Almanac Staff

Possibly overwatering. Water thoroughly once a week if it has not rained at least an inch that week. Water deeply when dry (vs. shallow and often). Those temps can be hot for containers. If you can, put the marigold pot into another planter to provide some insulation for the root system. Also, check for spider mites who like hot, dry weather.

Transplanting and reblooming?

By Anonymous

I am growing Marigolds for my wedding. Initially, we planted them in pots, but they are getting root bound. Tomorrow, we are going to transplant them into our garden bed which is full sun. The plants are in full bloom. I plan to deadhead before we plant. Any idea how long it will take to start seeing new blooms? Our wedding is 6 weeks away, in late September.

When you deadhead marigolds,

By Almanac Staff

When you deadhead marigolds, remove each fading flower and its individual stem. Do this after you transplant. As long as the flower is pinched as it passes its peak, the flower will keep blooming through the season. You need to deadhead when it's their time, not your time, but if you deadhead at different times, you should see continue blooms at different times, too.

Divide Marigolds?

By anonymous

My marigolds have gone wild and are wide and beautiful, but the plants are choking out everything else. Can they be divided without killing them? If so, how??

Marigolds are annuals. You

By Almanac Staff

Marigolds are annuals. You can try to divide them but your success in transplanting them is only going to get you so far. Remember: If you uproot them, they will have to settle into a new spot and that takes time. There may not be enough time in the season.
The same goes for moving them indoors. You may have some luck in bringing your marigolds indoor, but in general, annuals grow and thrive for one year.
What you might try is clipping the flowers and drying the seeds and saving them for next year. THAT could have promise for next year—and you are, in effect, transplanting.
We hope this helps.

end of season marigolds

By Anonymous

I planted marigolds for the first time this year.
do I have to up root them now when they dry and replant next year?

end-of-season marigolds

By Almanac Staff

It depends on where you are. In southern regions the marigold plant is perennial and grows year round. (It's a native of Mexico.) If you bring the plant indoors and give it plenty of light it should do well. If you leave it outdoors it will die back and sprout again in the spring.
In northern regions, it is treated as an annual, meaning you would reseed it every year. Try saving this year's plant seeds and using those!

Marigolds gone wild

By Anonymous

Yes it did help. I might as well try since I have to do something since they are choking my perrenials. Never thought they would spread so much. Thank you.

Brown spots on leave inhibiting growth.

By Anonymous

Our yellow marigold plants have done very well since we planted them 5-6-weeks ago, but now are showing signs of mold/fungus(?) that is spreading from one plant to the other. Is there something we can do to stop this?

Marigold -controlling fungal molds

By Anonymous

Yes. Spray fungicide, Dithane M45 (one gram dissolved in one liter of water) thrice at an interval of 10 to 15 days.

If your marigolds have white

By Almanac Staff

If your marigolds have white mold, that is a fungal disease that can occur late in the season due to overhead watering or heavy rain. Bring a sample to your cooperative extension or local garden center, however, to get a diagnosis. To control the spread, you could try using protective spraying with Fore, Zineb, or Captan. But you may need to pull them out and dispose of them. In the future, be sure to water the soil not the plant or use drip irrigation. Also, if it's mold, be sure to clean up everything--even a faded bloom--at the end of the season. It's also a good idea to change the location of the marigold.

Marigold conservation

By Anonymous

Is there any way to keep our marigold plant alive? Suppose I keep the potted plant indoors and fertilize and water/keep heat lamp, will it stay alive or is it doomed? (my daughter gave it to me for mothers day, a squirrel broke it in half so I helped it grow roots and made 2 plants, but I really want to keep it!! Ideas?

Marigold conservation

By Almanac Staff

When you move the marigold indoors place it in a sunny south-facing window or under a grow light. Marigolds don't need much fertilizer. Save some of the marigold seeds to start next spring for more plants.

cutting heads off marigolds

By Anonymous

this is the first year i have planted marigolds and had them stay alive. i was told to cut the heads off the marigolds when they start to wilt. i was wondering how far down the stem i am supposed to cut them.

Yes, you should deadhead

By Almanac Staff

Yes, you should deadhead marigolds to keep them blooming. It's fairly easy. Just pinch off the fading blooms with your fingers, removing the seedpods that may have formed behind the bloom (not just the petals). For marigolds, we like to remove both the flower and its individual stem. It's a chore to deadhead, but worth the results.

Inexperienced gardener

By Anonymous

Hello, All! I am very new to gardening and trying to learn as much as I can in a short amount of time. I am planning to plant some hosta along a walkway and was wondering if marigolds would make a good companion plant. The area in which I'm planting gets about half sun, half shade, which I think is great for the hosta, but I'm not sure how well the marigolds will do because I see they require full sun. My objective with the marigolds is for color and to keep the worms from eating holes in the hosta. I am in NC, and it is pretty hot. Can I plant in July or wait until the fall? Lots of questions, but any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.

For hostas, consider

By Almanac Staff

For hostas, consider companion plants that also enjoy part-shade. For spring, consider planting early blooming bulbs to join your emerging hosta leaves, such as tulips, daffodils, and forget-me-nots. For summer months, consider bright annuals such as impatiens, begonia, and coleus. We love bright red impatiens peeking through the green hosta leaves!

I planted Marigolds mid-June

By Anonymous

I planted Marigolds mid-June in clay-like soil. I keep it moist. They are not getting any taller, but they have plenty of buds. However, the bud gets a small flower which immediately gets hard and I take it off.

Marigolds are a good choice

By Almanac Staff

Marigolds are a good choice for clay soils. If the leaves and plant look fairly normal (not dried out or filled with holes, etc), there are a few reasons why your marigold lacks good blooms: High summer heat, too much fertilizer, or a plant bug. For heat, you can mulch and wait for temps to moderate. Stop fertilizing. And look for green/brown insects; if you find them, you'll need to start a spraying program.

Will I wreck marigolds if I prune them?

By Anonymous

I want to prevent them from getting leggy and flopping over.

Marigolds shouldn't be

By Almanac Staff

Marigolds shouldn't be pruned, only deadheaded. If they are leggy, you can bury the legs in soil but only up to the foliage. Leggy plants aren't an issue. If a leggy stem falls over, the plant will grow roots and send up more stems and flowers.

Planted marigolds from seed they are really green

By Anonymous

However! Not one bud from any to form a flower. All I have is a LOT of greenery, healthy, but that's not exactly what I was aiming for! Any advice. Weather has been extremely hot & I'm thinking that must have something to do with these otherwise thriving/healthy plants! grown these for yrs but always purchased them when they were in bloom!!!

You are correct. Lack of

By Almanac Staff

You are correct. Lack of bloom is usually due to high summer heat. If this is the case, add some organic mulch to lower the soil temperature and wait for temps to moderate.

Somethings messing with them

By Anonymous

I live in Fargo ND and have planted merigolds for years, but this year something is taking the flowers off the plant. They are all over the ground. No sign of anything eating them..What is it?

If the flowers are on the

By Almanac Staff

If the flowers are on the ground: probably birds! We've heard of starlings (blackbirds) and robins tearing off marigold petals. Otherwise, if your marigolds were just being eaten, we'd say slugs. Of course, the birds may be looking for slugs! Try sprinkling red pepper to deter the birds.

seeds not germinating.

By Anonymous

we planted marigold seeds in our front yard in Early June. It's about 4 weeks almost, but there are no leaves or any sign of it. We planted them 10-12 inches apart as directed on the packet. What could have possibly grown wrong? These are french marigolds. I watered them regularly. I am doing this the first time and I have no experience of growing plants in past. Please help.

Marigold plants with no flowers

By Anonymous

I just commented on my own NO FLOWER BUDS. Healthy, green foliage, but no flowers in sight! I AM an avid gardener and have a "green-thumb"...but this is the first time this has occured and I DON'T SEEM to be th only one!!! Could it be the seeds maybe too old & sold anyway? I have no idea....does anyone?

For marigolds, the juvenile

By Almanac Staff

For marigolds, the juvenile stage often lasts a few weeks. During this stage--until maturity--the plants will not bloom. Otherwise, the usual reason for lack of bloom is temperature problems due to high summer heat. If this is the case, add some organic mulch to lower the soil temperature and wait for temps to moderate.

not flowering

By Anonymous

I planted directly outside in late May and have large beautiful plants but no flowers??? They are in a sunny, well-drained area. Some that I had planted last year actually came back (to my suprise) and are flowering beautifully. Since I just spread the seeds not knowing how much would come up ~ is it possible I have them too close together? They do look like one row of bushes not separate plants. Thanks for any help you can offer =)

As long as you planted by the

By Almanac Staff

As long as you planted by the package directions, the usual reason for lack of bloom is temperature problems due to high summer heat. If this is the case, add some organic mulch to lower the soil temperature and wait for temps to moderate.

If the plant is receiving

By Almanac Staff

If the plant is receiving plenty of sun and a good routine of water, it may just take a little more patience!

Thank you for your interest in the Old Farmer's Almanac and our Web site.

something is eating them

By Anonymous

I've always used marigolds around tomatoe pants with good success but this year its as if something has totally defoliated most of my marigolds. I have mostly sticks and few flowers on some. I see no sign of bugs or animals any ideas?

We aren't sure. There are not

By Almanac Staff

We aren't sure. There are not many critters that will eat a marigold plant, so it could be a grasshopper or the spider mite..

Thank you for your interest in the Old Farmer's Almanac and our Web site.

wide vs high

By Anonymous

How to force marigold to grow more wide?
Mine are growing well but very tall.

Make sure the marigolds are

By Almanac Staff

Make sure the marigolds are planted in a sunny area.

As far as size goes, it could just depend on the species of marigold plant that you have. For example, you may have the Bushy T. patula species, which is smaller and more compact while the Tagetes erecta species is often taller.

Thank you for your interest in the Old Farmer's Almanac and our Web site.

types of marigolds

By Anonymous

I'm looking for the short stem veriety with orange flowers, can you please help

The main type is the C.

By Almanac Staff

The main type is the C. officinalis (the Common Pot Marigold). It has short stems bearing orange, yellow, cream, or white flowers that are 2-3 inches across.


By Anonymous

The sun burned my merigold how do i revive it

Marigolds grow best in full

By Almanac Staff

Marigolds grow best in full sun and usually don’t mind hot summer weather. Just make sure to water the plants. Check for spent or dead blossoms and cut them off with a pair of scissors. This promotes new blooms and helps prevent the plant from looking sun damaged or dried up.

Thank you for your interest in the Old Farmer's Almanac and our Web site.

Do Marigolds deter squash beetles

By Anonymous

I am trying to get marigolds to grow with my squash, Melons and cucumbers in hopes that they may deter squash bugs. Do any of you have any experiance with this? I did have trouble with small ants eating the flower buds on my eggplants. I planted chives with the eggplants and the ants disapeared.

For squash: Borage deters

By Almanac Staff

We'd pick nasturtium to deter squash bugs (and beetles). And dill may repel squash bugs that kill the vines. Scatter dill leaves generously on your squash plants. Marigolds do deter beetles. Borage deters the worms. See more on our Companion Plant pages:

Limp Marigold Leaves

By Anonymous

I've always planted marigolds with taller plants in the back of them. I'm prone to the yellow smaller varieties. So far mine are doing great, except I just noticed one of them is limp looking. The blooms are still fine and pretty, but what in the world happened to that one plant out of six. Could a dog have urinated on it? Is there anything I can possibly do to save it. It's a little late to replant one in that spot and also I'd be stuck with others I have no need for. Please help! Bewildered!!

It could be any number of

By Almanac Staff

It could be any number of things from a poor transplant (it happens) to bugs to fungus. Check for bugs and, if you see them, insecticidal soap over and under leaves.

Marigolds and Deer

By Anonymous

We live in an area where there are a lot of deer. We've been told that marigolds will repell deer and other wild animals. Is that true? We've plated other "deer-proof" plants only to have them eaten. We really don't want to provide the deer with yet another tasty salad.

margiold and deer

By Anonymous

I planted marigolds as well, hoping deer would not eat them, however, I see them starting to disappear. I have planted spike plants and dianthus flowers and they have been left untouched and are thriving.

Deer-proof plants

By Almanac Staff

There's no such thing as a "deer-proof" plant but they are more likely to stay away from poisonous plants, strongly flavored plants, and plants with hairy or furry leaves. Put strong-smelling plants that deer don't like on the outside of your garden and smaller plants that need more protection on inside.
Deer steer clear of ageratum, begonias, chrysanthemums, columbines, coreopsis, cosmos, foxglove, iris, lavender, monarda, purple coneflower, rudbeckia, salvia, Shasta daisies, verbena, vinca, yarrow, zinnias. See a list with more deer-resistant plants here:
And see more about ways to deter deer on our Pest Pages here:

they keep dying

By Anonymous

i planted some marigolds and they came up but now they just keep withering and dying and i keep watering them so i no its not that and there in full sun like there supposed to be so what am i doing wrong- im growing them indoors first

Marigold Advise

By Anonymous

Marigolds are easy to grow, but from indoors to out they do need to harden off in in a bright spot outside before planted in the sun, for only a few days will work, I plant about 300 by seed indoors every year and have learned by mistakes! Back off on the water and them them dry out, the roots may have become water logged, they like to dry out before a good watering, hope this helps! Good Luck and Happy Flower Season!

We can only say that

By Almanac Staff

We can only say that marigolds don't like to be wet or cold at all. We're not sure where you live. If you're from northern areas, you don't want to put in the ground until mid to late May to be on the safe side. Also, they don't like a lot of watering nor do they need fertilizer. Just use mulch and compost. Then, don't water marigolds until the soil dries out. Hope this helps.


By Anonymous

I live on Vancouver Island. Every year when I plant my vegetables and flowers I put a ring of crushed egg shells around them. slugs hate them,they also hate coffee grounds try this you might be suprised how it works.

Planted marigolds too early

By Anonymous

I guess I planted my marigolds too early. (I'm here in Canada on Vancouver Island) I noticed they were being eaten by slugs, so go slug pellets. But they still seem like they are not thriving as they usually do. Is there something I can give them to make them healthy again.

They should recover. Just try

By Almanac Staff

They should recover. Just try pinching them back to keep them healthy.

Marigold Seeds

By Anonymous

Can the seeds from the spent Marigold flowers be germinated to use the same season or do they have to dry for a year before planting?


By Anonymous

I have been able to sprinkle the deadheads around & have them grow in the same season.

marigold seeds

By Almanac Staff

If the marigold seeds are mature enough and the seeds are completely dried out, I don't see why it wouldn't work. We've never tried to replant within the same year. Let us know how it goes!

Marigold Seeds

By Anonymous

I planted the seeds from this year's dead-headed flowers, and it worked! It took 8 days for them to germinate, and another week for them to form true leaves.


By Anonymous

do you think it's possible to use other liquids besides water an for them to survive

watering marigolds

By Almanac Staff

Not sure. We've only used water! Tap or distilled water (which is purified) is recommended for marigolds. They don't need much. If you are trying to conserve water, see our article on a water-wise garden:


By aneleh

For some reason I've never been able to grow marigolds because the one pest that LOVES them are earwigs. They start munching on them right after they've been planted.

Marigolds and earwigs

By Almanac Staff

Earwigs love marigolds. Some thoughts: 1. Spread diatomaceous earth where they crawl in late spring about a week apart. 2. Mix a quart of insecticide soap with 1 tablespoon (isopropyl) alcohol and spray the areas every 2 to 3 weeks. 3. Put out rolled up newspaper to trap them, then check daily and submerge into soapy water.


By Anonymous

I want to know when to water the plant for it won't die out as soon as possible.I want it to live on for a long time.

watering marigolds

By Almanac Staff

Water marigold plants thoroughly when they are first planted and then during period of high heat and drought. Spread 1 to 2 inches of any organic material over the soil between marigold plants to help retain moisture.

Marigold seeds

By Phillip Elliott

For the last 5 years I have kept many seeds from the marigold plants I grow. I have 3 tall kinds but don't remember the varity, two of the types are luminacent, one an orange and the other a yellow. I have picked and dried them and get enough to fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of dried seeds. What I do is take and toss them about in my gardens and come up what may. I just thin them out whre I want to plant crops. This the second year now I have had NO aphids and other bad bugs in the garden. I roto-till the plants into the soil in the fall so it seems to be working. They are very beautiful still. This year I kept more seeds than in the past.

Marigold seeds

By James Stevens 2

Each summer dropped Marigold seeds sprout in my flower bed and the leaves do not look like Marigold plants and the blooms are horrible looking. What is wrong with them?

Your original marigolds may

By Himmer Kathleen J

Your original marigolds may have been hybrids. Their seed does not always grow true to the original plant.

Companion Plants

By Lynetta Billiot

This Spring for the first time ever, I followed your advice and put Marigolds among my tomato plants. Guess what ! I suppose this worked because in years past we have been over run with tomato worms that ate our plants vigorously and this year we have had NONE at all (worms that is) but have had a bountiful crop of tomatos. Thanks for all the tips. I will pay more attention in future to what you tell us and will use your wisdom for my own good.

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