Grow gorgeous marigolds from seed
- 27 vibrant marigold varieties
- Thrive in a variety of soils and conditions
- Fragrant blooms attract native pollinators and beneficial insects
- Dry beautifully in gorgeous hues of deep orange, golden yellow, lemon yellow, and cherry red
the history of marigolds
Native to North and South America, marigolds hold so much significance in many cultures. Marigolds are an important part of Dia de Los Muertos celebrations across the world—the flowers are placed at altars to honor and celebrate loved ones who have passed. Ironically, cultivated marigolds are either French, African, or Signet. French and Signet cultivars are more compact plants, usually not growing over a foot, but African marigolds may grow as tall as four feet, depending on the variety! Eden Brothers has selected the best heirloom and open-pollinated African and French varieties based on variables of production, disease resistance, and drought tolerance.
Marigold seeds can be direct seeded after the last frost. These heat-loving annuals bloom best with full sun in well-draining, fertile soil, but marigolds will happily make a home anywhere and are drought tolerant once established. Choose a planting site and cast marigold seed, then use a rake to lightly cover the seeds. Be careful not to heap too much soil over the seeds, as marigolds need light to germinate. Water the soil well, and wait. Once the seedlings sprout and have begun to grow true leaves, thin the seedlings to nine-inch spacing.
planting your own marigold seeds
Start marigold seeds indoors two months before the last spring frost. Transplant seedlings out after all danger of frost has passed, and space plants at nine inches. Plant African marigold varieties outside as early as possible to allow the plants to fully mature before the first killing frost. French marigolds have a longer planting window, as the plants mature more quickly.
Keep an eye on the weather—marigolds are drought tolerant but will need a drink if it hasn’t rained considerably in more than two weeks. Deadhead spent flowers to keep your marigold plants producing beautiful blooms all season long. Fertilizing marigolds isn’t really necessary—these hardy plants put on a show regardless!
Marigolds are fabulous for dried flowers. Harvest the stems, or pop off the heads, and allow to dry in a cool, dark place for two to three weeks. Flowers will retain their vibrant colors if kept out of direct sunlight.
pest repellant marigolds
Because of their innate ability to repel common pests like cabbage worms and deer, plant marigolds near your susceptible crops, and their strong scent will deter pests while attracting beneficial insects, including aphid-eating ladybugs.
Don’t be overwhelmed by all the vibrant marigold varieties to choose from—settle for a few of each! Be sure to snag a couple of tall African marigolds as border plants, and pick a few French marigolds for your container garden. For more information about planting, growing, and harvesting marigold seeds, see the Marigold Seeds Planting Guide.