Growing marigolds from seed is a great way to provide your garden with colourful decoration. Not only are marigolds pretty to look at but they are also beneficial to grow as they are known to deter common pests.
You can expect amazing blooms from late spring up until early autumn depending on when you sow your marigolds.
- 1. Fill a pot with peat-free compost and fill until 2 inches deep.
- 2. Sprinkle the marigold seeds evenly over the compost, making sure they aren’t too close together.
- 3. Apply a thin layer of compost over the seeds ensuring they are completely covered.
- 4. Firm compost down and water through.
- 5. Place in a bag or propagator on a warm windowsill until germinated. If the weather is warm and consistent throughout the night, they can be left in the greenhouse to germinate.
If you are wanting a more detailed explanation of growing marigolds from seed, Dave gives an excellent demonstration in the video below.
Marigolds are sunshine-loving flowers that benefit from well-drained and fertile soil. You can grow smaller varieties in borders and pots (make sure that the pots have drainage) and taller varieties in larger pots and more spacious borders. Taller varieties of marigold can become fragile in harsh weather, so make sure to grow them in a sheltered location. This will prevent the flower head from snapping or becoming damaged.
Marigolds are a great companion plant; they are commonly grown with tomatoes to protect the plants from root-knot nematodes. As marigolds deter pests and attract pollinators, they are a great addition to your greenhouse and garden.
There are multiple ways that you can encourage marigolds to produce bigger blooms and one of those is by pinching them out like sweet peas. If you pinch off the top layer of the stem/leaves this promotes bushier growth and a higher quantity of flowers.
You can also make the blooms last longer by deadheading the flowers. This is where you cut off the dead flower head, which encourages more flowers to grow.
Make sure to water the flowers throughout dry spells and if you’re growing them in pots they will need to be watered more consistently. This is due to the compost retaining less moisture compared to being planted in the ground. Along with watering to encourage growth and plentiful flowers make sure to feed your marigolds with SeaFeed Xtra.
Did you know that there are over 50 varieties of marigold? They all vary in size, colour, and fragrance. Marigolds have two main types of flowers and that is Tagetes, which feature African and French marigolds, and Calendula, which is commonly known for pot flowers.
If you are planting marigolds in your garden as a pest deterrent, French marigolds will be the most effective due to their high levels of fragrance.
There are various edible varieties of marigolds, however, the most popular varieties to consume are Calendula (pot marigolds), French marigolds and African marigolds. Marigolds make a great addition to salads and desserts as they add a citrusy flavour. Make sure to always consult your seed packet when checking to see if the flowers are edible.
Shelter is very important when growing bigger varieties of marigolds as the flower heads collect water, which can lead to rotting. So, make sure to provide shelter for them if necessary. Marigolds can be susceptible to root rot if they aren’t situated in an area with drainage, so make sure to plant them in pots/ areas with sufficient drainage.