What Do Marigolds Look Like?

Marigolds are easy-to-grow flowers that will provide blooms throughout the growing season. They tolerate full sunlight and dry soil conditions while naturally repelling deer and rabbits from browsing on them.

Soggy soil may lead to root rot or mildew problems for plants, while pinching off early flower buds will help ensure that these bloom again later on in summer and into fall.


Marigolds are gorgeous annual flowers. Used widely as bedding plants in garden centers and cottage gardens alike, as well as vegetable and flower gardens. Marigolds make great companion plants for vegetables, roses and zinnias as well. Marigolds typically don’t suffer from pest or disease issues such as aphids and spider mites which may need spraying off with water or using horticultural soap to get rid of. Slug bait or traps usually take care of this unwanted problem too!

Marigolds can become susceptible to fungal diseases in humid conditions, including powdery mildew. To avoid this happening, avoid getting water on their leaves, keep weeds under control and plant in well-drained soil.

Marigold flowers may vary slightly in appearance from carnations flowers, yet all share similar features. Their petals are arranged in ray and disc florets that come in various shades – most commonly yellow and orange – while being surrounded by fuzzy, ruffled leaves known as petioles that give these cheerful blooms their trademark cheery colors as well as strong aromas that help deter pests from eating other plants.

Marigold seeds can be easily harvested once their flowerheads fade, as their seeds are long, two-toned and light in color. If you wish to save seeds for next year’s plantings, allow the flowerheads to completely dry on the plant before breaking them open to reveal the seeds within.

Another effective method for gathering fresh marigold seeds is to pinch off old flowers and let them wither on their own. When the flowerheads start to wither away, remove them from the plant and spread them out over several weeks so they dry completely before collecting and storing.

If you plan on planting marigolds in the ground, opt for varieties bred to control root-knot nematodes like Nema Control or Golden Guardian that will protect other plants from these damaging pests and are easy to cultivate in almost any garden setting.


Marigolds, unlike some annuals, tend not to spread. Keep your plants under control by pinching off spent flower heads as they fade; this allows the plant to focus its energy into producing new blossoms and extend its blooming period. Marigolds are heavy feeders; regularly fertilizing with liquid or granular plant food will ensure that these colorful beauties keep producing flowers well into fall and winter.

Like other warm-weather annuals, marigolds thrive in sunny spots and warmer climates. They don’t have any particular soil needs or restrictions and can tolerate drought conditions well, though their growth may become less vigorous if temperatures reach extreme temperatures.

Marigolds require full sunlight in order to flourish and produce flowers, so if they’re not producing many blooms it may be due to not receiving enough direct light. If this is the case for your marigolds consider moving them closer to sunlight or installing some sort of shade cover for them.

If your marigolds appear brown and mushy, this could be a telltale sign that they’re suffering from root or stem rot caused by too much moisture; to stop this problem from occurring again, let the soil dry out between watering sessions to allow soil drying out completely.

Marigolds tend to be quite resistant to pests, though they still can attract them. Slugs, snails and aphids are some of the more commonly found garden pests that may damage marigolds; caterpillars in particular often target their seed pods which can become difficult and time consuming to remove from plants. Rust and powdery mildew may appear occasionally but usually doesn’t kill off entire marigold plants.

Plant tagetes marigolds as an extra measure of protection around tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables to deter whitefly and other harmful insects. Marigolds also work well as companion plants for roses and berries to ward off aphids, thrips and other damaging pests.


Marigold seeds resemble their flower source with their pointy, pointed appearance. They appear as small black and white slivers with darkened ends to indicate harvest readiness; these achenes contain seeds from marigold plants.

Marigold flowers should have faded and begun turning brown before collecting their seeds; this will maximize germination rates. However, before harvesting your seeds it’s a good idea to test their viability; place some in water – if they sink then they are good but any that float should be discarded immediately.

After collecting seeds, they must be cleaned and dried prior to planting them. To accomplish this, select a seed head that has become withered and dry; remove any petals or leaves at its base; cut it several inches down its stem without disturbing its seeds; do this now as fragile seeds easily rot if exposed to humidity or dampness.

Once the seeds have dried out, they can either be planted immediately or stored for use the following year. Marigold seeds can often be purchased in packs at plant nurseries or garden centers and make one of the easiest annuals to start from seed and thrive across multiple climates.

French marigolds (Tagetes patula) are one of the most widely planted types of marigold, typically reaching heights between six to two feet tall. Characterized by thin petals that curve inward, French marigolds typically come in many shades; popular varieties include “Marietta” (yellow with mahogany centers), Bolero (gold with red tips) and Flame (an orange/burgundy bicolor). Other varieties such as African marigolds (Tagetes erecta) feature dense double blooms which could potentially rot in damp summer conditions.


Marigolds are easy-to-grow annuals that thrive in nearly any soil type, from extremely hot climates to heavy clay soil. Once established, these annuals bloom from midsummer until frost arrives – but beware: like many flowering plants, marigolds can succumb to fungal disease under damp conditions. To minimize fungal issues with your Marigolds and keep soil dry by controlling weed growth; add compost or amendments like grit and sand as necessary in heavy clay soil environments.

Start marigold seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last expected frost date and they should germinate rapidly, usually within a day or so, then transplant into your garden once their second set of leaves have formed. Thin out seedlings according to these guidelines: French or Signet varieties should be spaced 8 inches apart while African varieties should be spaced 10-12 inches apart.

Mulching can conserve water and keep weeds at bay while saving space in your garden, but be mindful not to apply too deeply; marigolds need air circulation around their roots to avoid root rot and other complications. For added color in your garden, try hybrid series such as Super Hero(tm) series compact hybrids which reach 10-14 inches tall with fully double flowers of mahogany-red and gold hues; another winner of 2019 All-America Selection awards are the Big Duck(tm) hybrids which grow 12-16 inches tall with heat tolerant flowers all season long mounded garden habit with flowers blooming all season long; these two series won 2019 All-America Selection awards with flowers blooming year-round!

Antigua(tm)’ series marigolds are timeless classics with large blooms atop tall plants that produce pom-pom-like blooms akin to pom-poms, known as ‘Antigua(tm).’ Available in golden yellow through golden orange, scarlet red and primrose hues; 2018 AAS winner ‘Spry’ features maroon outer petals and gold center; also 2-inch mini flowers for containers are all part of this series! Whatever variety you select, just be sure they’re all planted in full sun as otherwise shady spots will lead to leggy and less blooming plants!

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