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Are Marigolds Perennials or Annuals? The Truth is Out!

Are Marigolds Perennials or Annuals? The Truth is Out!

Marigolds belong to the family Asteraceae, according to Academia.edu. They are easy to grow.

These flowers are often used for borders and companion plants in the garden. They may have tiny petite-sized flowers the size of a quarter. However, the blooms of other marigolds can be as big as a saucer.

Marigolds range in color from deep orange, or red, to bright yellow. Some marigold blooms sport a brown fringe on the edge of the flower petal. In comparison, other blooms are a single vibrant color.

Marigold plants are easy to take care of and grow. But none like icy weather; they will die once the first frost settles on your gardens.

Are marigolds perennials?

 

Are Marigolds Perennials or Annuals? 

Marigolds are considered annuals. When planted in a moderate climate, they can self-seed and behave like perennials. Only three of the 50 species of marigold dominate the commercial market. If you want marigold varieties outside of these three species, you will need to grow them from seed yourself.

Are Marigolds Perennials or Annuals?
Are Marigolds Perennials or Annuals?

 

The Most Common Varieties of Marigolds

The African, French, and Signet varieties are the three most common marigold varieties. Their blooms are golden yellow, butter yellow, and orange.

The African, French, and Signet marigolds (left, down, right) are the 3 most common marigold varieties
The African, French, and Signet marigolds (left, down, right) are the 3 most common marigold varieties

Some varieties have a darker fringe along the edges of the petals.

Marigolds are native to South and North America, and African marigolds are annual. The Tagetes erecta, and Mountain Marigold are perennials.

Out of the 50 varieties of marigolds, the Tagetes erecta and Mountain Marigold are perennials
Out of the 50 varieties of marigolds, the Tagetes erecta and Mountain Marigold are perennials

However, like other marigolds, they too reseed, so they are likely annuals whose behavior is misunderstood.

 

Are Marigolds Perennials in Florida

If you grow marigolds outside of southern Florida, they may grow all year long as if they were perennials. Many plants will grow year-round in warm latitudes.

However, if you get frost, snow, and ice where you live, your potted marigolds will need to come inside. Also, any marigolds you have outside will die once they are hit by frost. They can take cool days and nights, but frost or ice will kill them.

If you want a marigold plant to live into the winter months, place it in a warm sunny place and keep it watered and fertilized as you usually would.

When Do Marigolds Bloom

The marigold plant will bloom from late spring until fall when it is planted in an ideal spot. In warmer climates, they can grow through the winter months.

Marigolds will grow year-round in a sunny south-facing window or greenhouse. They will not be as lively but will grow right on.

When the last frost is gone, you can move them outdoors where it is sunny. Or, you can plant them in your garden, and you will have blooms earlier than if you plant seed.

Where to Plant Marigolds

Marigolds can be seeded outdoors once there’s no threat of frost. They can also be planted indoors and planted in pots or gardens.

You can plant the marigold seeds outside once the threat of frost has passed
You can plant the marigold seeds outside once the threat of frost has passed

Hardy plants and marigolds can be directly seeded in your garden and can be left there until hit with frost. At that time, you can gather any remaining flowers and save the seed from them for next year.

Marigolds are great companion plants in vegetable gardens and can be grown beside your tomatoes and other garden veggies to ward off insects.

Whether you plant your marigolds in pots or in the garden, they love the sun. Therefore, they need to be planted where they get a plentiful amount of sun.

They’ll grow spindly and not give you as many blooms if you grow they receive too much shade.

Marigolds love to grow in sunny areas and will grow spindly if they receive too much shade
Marigolds love to grow in sunny areas and will grow spindly if they receive too much shade

 

Pinch your Marigold Blooms to Promote Growth

Dead blooms take energy from a plant and need to be removed. You will accomplish two things daily if you take the time to remove droopy flowers.

First, you will have a bloom to dry for seed, and secondly, your plant will be encouraged to grow more flowers.

How to Gather Seeds from my Marigolds

Remove the flower head from the plant with a sharp knife of scissors.

Place the seed pods on a tray, waxed paper, or a plate and let them dry in the open air for about a week.

After collecting the seeds from the marigold flower head, place them on a tray, waxed paper,  or paper plate to let them air dry for 1 week
After collecting the seeds from the marigold flower head, place them on a tray, waxed paper, or paper plate to let them air dry for 1 week

Once the seeds are dry, remove any pods or husks left clinging to the seeds. Adequately dried marigold seeds will snap like a matchstick. If yours are not that brittle when you store them, they may mold during storage, which can ruin your seed.

 

Grow Marigolds — Perennial Marigold Care

 

Soil

Marigolds grow best in well-draining loamy soil, according to Clemson University. A peat-based medium works as well.

The ideal is a 5.8 -6.5 pH.

 

Light

Full sun is ideal. Marigolds are native to South America, Mexico, and Central America.

As marigolds are natives of South and Central America, they thrive in areas receiving full sun
As marigolds are natives of South and Central America, they thrive in areas receiving full sun

 

Water

Water when the soil’s top inch is dry (2.5cm). You can use your index finger to check the soil’s moisture level.

Water your marigolds when the soil's top inch is dry
Water your marigolds when the soil’s top inch is dry

 

Temperature

The ideal temperature range is between 60-65°F (15.6-18.3°C), according to Auburn University.

 

Location

They grow best in dry, sunny conditions.

 

Planting

When planting Marigolds into the soil, make sure to use mulch. Mulch ensures that weeds are not growing and competing for nutrients.

Make sure you use mulch when you plant your marigolds to ensure weeds aren't competing with them for nutrients
Make sure you use mulch when you plant your marigolds to ensure weeds aren’t competing with them for nutrients

 

Fertilizer

Fertilize using an NPK ratio of  20-10-20 or 15-0-15 once a week. This will ensure dark green foliage and healthy blossoms.

 

Pruning

Deadheading can be used to increase blooming. Gardeners use this method to get marigolds to flower again.

 

Propagation

These plants can either germinate from seeds and be planted directly or be sown inside. Alternatively, you can grow them from cuttings.

 

Pests

Marigolds are great for keeping pests away.

The University of Florida states that marigolds are great for keeping plant-parasitic-nematodes away.

 

Types of Marigolds

 

French Marigold (Tagetes patula)

These bushy plants from Mexico produce orange, red, and yellow flowers. They are annuals. These plants bloom all summer long, according to NC State Extension.

The French Marigold (Tagetes Patula) are bushy plants in Mexico that produce yellow, orange, and red blooms
The French Marigold (Tagetes Patula) are bushy plants in Mexico that produce yellow, orange, and red blooms

 

Mexican Marigold (Tagetes lemmoni)

Mexican marigolds are perennials that grow up to 6 ft tall. They produce yellow blooms and aromatic leaves if you believe UC Master Gardeners.

Mexican Marigold (Tagetes lemmoni) blooms are known to be perennials and have yellow blooms and aromatic leaves
Mexican Marigold (Tagetes lemmoni) blooms are known to be perennials and have yellow blooms and aromatic leaves

 

Signet Marigolds (Tagetes tenuifolia, Tagetes signata)

Tagetes marigolds are fast-growing yellow to orange flowers. They are annuals.

The University of Vermont states that its foliage contains oil glands. They produce a distinctive smell when crushed.

Signet marigolds (Tagetes tenuifolia or Tagetes signata) are fast-growing annuals whose leaves are known to produce a distinctive smell when crushed
Signet marigolds (Tagetes tenuifolia or Tagetes signata) are fast-growing annuals whose leaves are known to produce a distinctive smell when crushed

 

How to Save Marigold Seeds

Be sure that the seed is completely dry, then store it in an envelope or Ziploc bag, label it and place the marigold seed in a tightly sealed glass jar.

Place the jar in a cool dark place, and your seed will be there for you when it is time to plant.

If you save your marigold seeds and plant them early, you will have plants ready to go in the ground after the last chance of frost.

So, in late winter, please take a few of your marigold seeds out and start them in a pot of soil in a place that gets six to eight hours of sun a day.

Marigolds can be seeded directly into your garden or planters, too. So, if you collect your seed from your existing marigold plants, you should be able to grow marigolds wherever you want, inside, outside, in pots, planters, and gardens.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Marigolds Being Perennials

 

How long can I keep the marigold seed that I save?

Marigold seeds are found in the seed pod and can be dried and stored for planting next season or the one after that. How you store your seed is important. If your marigold seeds are kept cool and dry, they will keep for a year or two.

 

How much space does a marigold need to grow?

Depending on the variety, a marigold can grow from six inches to three feet in width and from six inches to four feet in height. When choosing the plant type to grow, consider the space where you’ll grow them before proceeding.


Author Bio

Daniel Iseli

Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.