- Grows 6–18 inches
- Comes in a mix of colors
- Best if planted in a spot with full sun exposure
Marigolds are easy to grow from seeds—even the smallest green thumbs can excel. And marigolds reward budding gardeners’ efforts with vibrant, showy flowers to be proud of.
You can reap these rewards in your own garden with little effort. Whether you grow them indoors from seeds or plant seedlings outdoors, marigolds are easy to grow and require little to no care.
There are at least 50 species of marigolds, but only four varieties of marigolds commonly appear in gardens:
Native to the Americas, Tagetes erecta is the tallest variety of marigold commonly planted in gardens, growing to be 20–39 inches tall. They thrive in hot, dry conditions.
Despite the name, this species is native to Mexico and Guatemala. Tagetes patula is small and more compact than Tagetes erecta and extends just 6–24 inches in height.
Growing 12–20 inches, Tagetes tenuifolia possess a different bloom than Tagetes erecta and Tagetes patula. The plant produces many small, compact floral heads. Their leaves smell of citrus and their flowers can add a lemony flavor to culinary dishes.
With vivid orange and yellow flowers, this species of marigold is tolerant of cold weather. Its flowers are edible and it grows 12–24 inches in height.
Bright, bold, bountiful blooms give marigolds their celebrity status. As annuals, marigolds bloom in summer months and into autumn, typically until the first frost of the year. There are six key characteristics that prove these golden beauties deserve a place in your gardens:
Marigolds are native to the western hemisphere and grow in the wild between the southwestern United States through Central and South America. Most marigolds thrive in warm, dry conditions, but marigolds can be grown successfully anywhere outdoors as long as the temperature remains above 40°F.
Most garden marigolds are annuals. And even though they are hardy, marigolds are not frost tolerant. They should not be sown or planted outdoors until all chance of frost has passed. If you live in a region with a late last frost date, you can begin nurturing marigold seeds indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost. Seedlings will be ready to plant once the soil is warm—above 40°F.
Starting your marigold seedlings indoors gives you an early start for the growing season. Growing marigolds by sowing seeds is cheaper than buying marigold plants from a nursery—and gives you the satisfaction of watching your marigolds mature into garden gold from their humble beginnings.
Start planting seeds six to eight weeks before the last frost. Here are the steps to take to get your seedlings started indoors:
To care for your marigold seedlings:
That’s all it takes to bring an explosion of glorious color to your garden in just six to eight weeks.
When caring for marigolds, less is more. Following a few simple care instructions will keep your marigolds happy and healthy all summer long:
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