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How to Save Marigold Seeds to Plant Next Year

Helena Ricketts loves gardening and sharing the things that she has learned about it with her readers.

Seeds collected from my 2021 garden.

Seeds collected from my 2021 garden.

Why I Save Marigold Seeds

People save their marigold flower seeds for many reasons. My reasoning behind it is that I plant a lot of this beautiful flower in my food garden every year to reap the benefits that marigolds provide to the other plants.

They attract pollinators like bees to the garden. Once the bees are finished collecting marigold pollen they will move on to other flowering plants like cucumbers or squash. This helps ensure that your plants that are dependent on this type of pollination produce the fruits and vegetables that you want in your garden.

Their smell is not as sweet as other flowers. In fact, marigolds have a scent that is quite bitter and unpleasant. It isn't strong but it is there. Planting marigolds next to your tender vegetable plants will help keep pests away that can otherwise harm your plants.

Marigolds generally do not grow unmanageably large. Although marigolds do come in many different sizes, most of these plants grow between 18" and 2' tall so they can be placed anywhere and look great.

The colors are stunning. They come in many different colors including the yellow and red varieties that I enjoy in my garden every year.

How to Collect Marigold Seed

The Easiest Way to Collect Marigold Seeds

Collecting seed from a marigold plant is very similar to what you do when you "dead head" it to increase the number of blooms that the plant produces. In fact, as you dead head your plant, save the seed and by the end of the growing season you will have thousands of marigold seeds in your stash.

You want to look for wilted, dried up, ugly brown looking flowers. You will know they are ready to go when the dried flower either takes very little effort to be removed or just falls off when you touch it with your hand.

Hold the flower in your hand over something like a plate that will help you collect the seed as it falls. Carefully pinch off the dried petals from the top and set them to the side.

I always roll the pod between my thumb and finger to loosen the seeds inside.

If you look at the top of the pod, you will see the tops of the seeds sticking out a bit like little hairs. You can pinch those seed tops and gently pull. The result will be a cluster of seeds coming out of the dried flower.

What do marigold seeds look like?

What do marigold seeds look like?

How to Store Your Marigold Seed

You will want to store your seeds in a dry environment until you are ready to plant them next year.

Some people use plastic sandwich baggies and that is ok as long as you know for sure that the seeds are completely dried out. Any moisture at all can cause the seeds to mold or rot in the bag.

Mason jars are another option that a lot of people use. I have also used this option in the past until I discovered the paper envelopes that I use now.

I like to use paper coin envelopes to store all of the seed that I collect from my garden each year. The seeds can "breathe" inside the paper. They are protected from light and it will help them stay healthy until it is time to plant. They also look cute and whimsical in my seed storage basket.

Paper Coin Envelopes that I Store My Seeds In

Options for Planting Your Saved Marigold Seeds

There are a couple of different ways that I have planted my marigold seed that I collected from the previous year's flowers. They are both easy and satisfying. There is just something about raising flowers in the garden from seed to seed collection that year.

One way I like to kick start my garden is by starting my marigold seeds indoors along side my tomato and pepper plants. A few seeds in each starter pot, put them under the grow lights and in a few weeks you will have plants that are the same size as the ones in the six cell packs that you can purchase at your local big box or home improvement store. Plant them in your garden when the threat of frost has passed.

Another way to grow your marigolds from the seed you collected is to direct seed them into the dirt where you want them after all threat of frost has passed in your area. Just scatter the seed in the dirt where you want the flowers to grow and in a few weeks, you will have quite a few marigold plants.

One word of caution with that method though. Do it on a day that there is little to no breeze. These seeds are very lightweight and the wind can pick them up very easily as you are scattering them.

Yellow marigolds... and weeds in my garden.

Yellow marigolds... and weeds in my garden.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on October 02, 2021:

Thanks for the read.