Are you ready to grow your own bouquet of distilled sunshine? Thanks to their yellow, orange, and maroon-red flowers, few flowers can embody the colors of summer as well as marigolds. Learn how to grow marigolds from dried flowers.
Planting a new batch of marigolds is one of the most popular spring projects for a flower gardener across the country. These are fun and aromatic flowers, and it is pretty easy to grow marigolds from seeds!
If you are ready to give it a try, just follow the steps below.
How to Grow Marigold Plants from Dried Flowers, Step by Step
As a general rule, marigolds prefer warm and dry weather, so consider this to be a spring and summer project.
Before you can enjoy the beautiful marigold, it doesn’t hurt to know a little bit about the plant itself. Marigold is considered a semi-hardy annual by the USDA. However, if you keep them indoors, at temperatures above 40 F, your marigold plant may live to see a second or third year.
Otherwise, just come back to this guide and repeat the process with a new batch of flowers!
Choose your Marigold
Depending on your local conditions and personal preferences, you can choose between:
- African marigolds. Sometimes also known as American marigolds, these draught-resistant flowers will thrive if they get enough sun and heat. In the Southern United States, it can grow up to 4 feet tall during its second year. It also produces the largest flowers
- French marigolds. Smaller and a bit shy, a French marigold will prefer to spread outwards rather than up. It requires a little bit more humidity than its American counterpart.
- Signet marigolds. The tiniest of the family, these rarely grow beyond feet tall. However, they require similar weather as the American or African marigold. They produce a larger amount of tiny flowers, which makes them easier to replant.
Check the Calendar
Before deciding to plant marigolds, consult a local planting calendar and look up the date of the last frost.
Make sure you have everything ready (including the flower you will harvest) by that date.
Choose the right planting site
If you want to grow marigolds outdoors, locate a spot that will be under the full sun (for at least 8 hours a day). For signet marigolds, find a cool dry section of your yard. All varieties will require well-drauned soil.
If you want to plant the seed indoors, the planter must be at least 6 inches deep.
For both indoor and outdoor marigolds, make sure the location is well ventilated, where the air circulates a lot.
Prepare the soil
Make sure the soil where you will plant the marigolds has all the nutrients necessary.
Loosen the soil around the planting area and remove any rocks that may be six inches deep or less.
Add compost at least two days before planting. Alternatively, add a slow-release flowering fertilizer the day before planting.
Harvest the dried flower
Locate a marigold flower that is beginning to dry up. You can recognize it by the edges of the petals: they will begin to look brown and look papery.
Fold a paper envelope immediately below this flower. The idea is to create a small funnel with the opening facing up.
With a pair of gardening shears, snip off the flower right below your paper envelope.
Selecting the seeds
Unwrap this funnel in a workbench or kitchen counter. Make sure there are no drafts around.
Then, carefully remove each petal from the flower you collected. The idea is to break the flower apart without damaging the seeds inside.
Collect each individual seed with a pair of tweezers. Keep them dry.
Planting the seeds
Return to your pre-tilled soil with your seeds.
Poke a small hole for each seed, ¼ of an inch deep. For American and signet marigolds, space each hole at least 1 inch apart. For french marigolds, leave two inches of distance instead.
Drop each seed inside the hole and then cover it with a little bit of soil.
Add a little bit of flower on top of each mound. The soil must be moist up to an inch below the surface, but not wet.
Selecting the best plants
If the weather stays warm, you should see marigold shoots after 7 to 10 days.
However, after about 2 weeks, you should be able to see which sprouts are growing the largest.
Thin out your row to ensure each plant will have enough space to develop its roots. French marigolds should end up 12 inches away from its closest neighbour. Signet marigolds may only need 8 inches of space
Care for the marigolds
It will take your marigolds about 8 weeks to begin blooming. During this time, water them only when needed and make sure to let the soil dry out a bit in between waterings.
African and signat marigolds are not just drought-resistant, they are in fact moisture-averse. If growing outdoors and it rains, make sure the soil is well-drained. Otherwise, root rot may threaten your marigolds.
If possible, water them by the base, not the top of the plant.
Check for spider mites and aphids regularly. The signs may include:
- Clusters of small, light green or white hairy bugs beneath the leaves
- Wilted shoots, stems or leaves
- Yellow or blackened leaves
- Black soot around leaves
- Bleached leaves
- Webbing around leaves and young shoots
If you spot any of these, spray the marigolds with insecticidal soap.
Finally, if you are growing potted marigolds indoors, you can extend their life a little more into the fall and winter. In that case, try deadheading the plant once every two weeks to encourage new blooms to grow.
Being able to grow a set of marigolds from seeds is what sets apart a devoted flower gardener from a simple flower admirer. This plant will need a lot of suns and drained soil. Harvesting the seeds from dry marigold flowers requires some fine motor skills, but it pays off immensely!