How to Grow Marigolds from Seed\r\n\r\nMarigolds are abundant. There are 56 species and four types of Marigolds. They seem to grow everywhere, and wherever they are, there is a profusion of showy bright colors.\r\nMarigold Are Annuals\r\nMarigolds are a glorious orange summer plant. They can be grown from Seed and do not like the winter.\r\n\r\nLook for all the information you need \u2013 which should be on your seed pack.\r\nThey Need Care\r\nDepending on what country you're living in, they are a bit delicate, and they might give you a hard time if you try to plant the Seed directly into your garden for growth, as they might find it too cold there and perish before they get started.\u00a0\r\nA Gentle Hand Will Be Rewarded\r\nMaybe you'd prefer to take no chances. Instead, grow the seeds inside until they start to get a bit sturdier and then plant them in pots and put them outside until they are even more robust and then, if you like, you can plant them directly into your garden for a good show and spread, or keep them in the pots for the summer.\r\nMarigolds are Beautiful Plants and Don't Disappoint.\r\nClose up of beautiful Marigold flower (Tagetes erecta, Mexican, Aztec or African marigold) in the garden\r\n\r\nBecause there are many different types of Marigolds, you should compare how many days your number of frost-free compares with the number of days the plant needs to reach maturity. T.tenuifolia usually flowers in about 60 days \u2013 depending on the variety.\u00a0\r\nTaking about 60 - 100 days to bloom from Seed,\r\nif your Marigold takes about 100 or so days or more to bloom, and if your growing season has 190 days in total, this means that you will potentially get to enjoy your flower for about three months. Now that\u2019s a good deal!\r\nTheir Blooms last About 140 days.\r\nHowever, let\u2019s go back to your growing season for a moment and decide that if it only has an average of 104 days, you probably won\u2019t get to enjoy the blooms at all if you sow outdoors. At best, you might get some buds.\r\nMarigolds take about 60 days to Germinate (show First Signs of Growth)\r\nThus, in cases like these, it's always best to cultivate your patience and sow these pretty plants indoors until they are strong enough to be replanted outside. It's worth taking a little extra care and being rewarded by a terrific show of beautiful orange blooms.\r\n\r\nMarigolds are tender blossoms, and it's all too easy to lose some of them in the colder weather. But before we get to that, remember they don\u2019t need much light to germinate; so, if they haven't sprouted within 60 days, they're getting too much light, and their seeds are planted too high. These plants smell of Spring and Summer, and we shouldn't risk exposing them to colder weather.\u00a0\u00a0\r\nSow Outside\r\nIf you decide to sow the seeds outside, it is more direct than starting them indoors. It seems more manageable because there are fewer steps involved, fewer materials required, and you should be able to avoid the risk of transplant shock.\r\nWhen You Should Sow Outside\r\nThat's why, if you are going to insist on sowing them into your garden, then please have the patience to wait until your very last days of the late frosts are gone, and, about a week later, you can embark on the sowing of the seedlings. You must then plant them in a place in your garden where they will be in full sun.\u00a0\r\nPrecautions with Outside Soil\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\r\nWhen you plant outside from Seedlings, there are other precautions to be considered, such as, when considering where to plant your marigolds, be aware that these plants need to grow in soil that drains well.\r\nGood Drainage\r\nThese plants need good drainage. Therefore, if you\u2019re dealing with heavy clay, mix in some compost to help with drainage. Otherwise, you should sow these needy seeds in raised beds.\r\nHow to Sow Outside\r\nFor best results, wet the soil lightly with a gentle spray from the hose before sowing. We like to do these several hours before sowing our seeds; so that the earth is moist but not soggy at planting time.\u00a0\r\n\r\nThe right way of handling this would be to scrape back some of the soil so that you can use it later for covering the seeds. The next step is to level out the soil and then pat it gently to firm it up.\r\nThis is Hands-On\r\nCarefully shake out just a few seeds into the palm of your dry hand. The seeds are light and airy, and that should be easy to do! Now place groups of three or four seeds on the prepared soil and space them about six to twelve inches apart \u2013 depending on the maturing of the chosen variety.\r\nStay Alert\r\nTake the seeds, gently press them into the soil, and cover them lightly with the soil you pushed to the side. Now they should be buried about \u00bd inch deep. Next, pat and smooth soil gently and lightly water with a watering can. Continue to water lightly and gently (sprinkle don\u2019t flood) every day until the seedings begins to emerge once you start to catch sight of them, gradually back off from the watering so that the established plants receive about one inch per week.\u00a0\u00a0\r\nWhy Start Indoors\r\nYou might think that sowing seeds directly into the garden outside might not be the best option?\r\n\r\nHowever, many people disagree with this; so here are some reasons why you\u2019d probably prefer, instead, to very gently start your marigolds indoors:\r\n\r\n\u2022 A short growing season.\r\n\r\n\u2022 You want blooms early in the summer.\r\n\r\n\u2022 Your area is susceptible to late killing frosts.\r\n\r\n\u2022 To grow a slower maturing variety, such as most T. erect cultivars.\r\n\r\nStarting your seeds indoors means you should plan to sow them about six to weeks before your average last frost date.\r\n\r\nTry to allow your marigolds about six to eight weeks of growth before setting them out. This will give them a jump start, and you\u2019ll enjoy the blooms earlier than if you tried to sow them directly into your garden.\r\n\r\nThe seedlings will be ready to transplant into the place you've arranged for them in your garden at the beginning of your local warm season. Then, the earlier maturing varieties will bloom soon after transplanting them.\r\nHow to Start Indoors\r\nStarting marigold seeds indoors can be reasonably straightforward. However, it does require a few materials and supplies to get you started.\r\n\r\nIf it\u2019s a while since you did this, you might want to re-acquaint yourself with the basic rules.\r\nA Few Tips on How to Grow Marigolds from Seed\r\n\u2022 Use some sterilized potting soil or try the earth free preparatory mix.\r\n\r\n\u2022 It would be best if you planted 2-3 seeds per plastic start-up cell tray.\r\n\r\n\u2022 When the different seedlings have grown to be about 2 inches tall, thin out all the growths except the strongest plant in each cell.\r\n\r\n\u2022 Water daily with a spray bottle to prevent waterlogging and alleviate the risk of damping off.\r\n\r\n\u2022 If using the light from a south-facing window instead of growing lights, turn your trays daily to help straighten out seedlings, which will tend to lean toward the light.\r\nStarting Off\r\nBecause seedlings usually lean towards the light, they can grow in a very crooked way. Place them close to a sunny window and turn the plant trays daily so that they grow straight.\u00a0\r\n\r\nAbout a week before you transplant seedlings, start toughening them up by placing them outdoors each day to start getting them acclimatized to more challenging growing conditions.\r\n\r\nIt's essential to place them outside in a shaded location where they are protected from the wind.\r\nProtect Before Transplant\r\nDuring that week, gradually increase their exposure to sun and wind by about an hour each day until they\u2019re outdoors for the entire day and placed in the location where you intend to plant them.\r\nPlant Your Transplants\r\nNext, plant your transplants in a full sun location with well-draining soil, and water them in.\r\n\r\nMany people like to do their transplanting on an overcast or cloudy day or even in the evening.\r\nLook After Them and You!\r\nThis is so that the transplants don\u2019t have much heat stress to deal with while acclimatizing themselves. It\u2019s also kind to the person doing the planting as it protects them from the sun!\r\nRecommended Cultivars\r\nSet out below are some recommended cultivars. They are recommended because they are fast maturing \u2013 faster-growing French type marigolds:\u00a0 T. patula. Queen Sophia\r\n\r\n\u2018Queen Sophia\u2019 is what you would describe as an All-America Selections Winner with very fiery looking petals that are large and quite beautiful.\r\n\r\nThese petals of this French type of Marigold are dark orange with bright yellow edges. It has a double bloom that measures about two to three inches across.\r\n\r\nThese stunning plants grow 10-12 inches tall and have a spread of about eight inches.\r\n\r\nThese attractive \u2018Queen Sophia\u2019 plants will grow fully in 60 days. Look for \u2018Queen Sophia\u2019 seeds in a selection of package sizes in your gardening store or one of your local nurseries.\r\nStrawberry Blonde\r\nMarigolds are naturally limited to shades of yellow, red, and orange. Therefore, seeing this unique pink-colored cultivar such as \u2018Strawberry Blonde\u2019 is as truly exciting as rewarding! What a thrill!\r\n\r\nThe blossoms of this variety start red and then transform into a lovely pinkish-yellow hue. The plants themselves reach a height of 8-10 inches tall with a 6-8 inch spread at maturity. Look for \u2018Strawberry Blond\u2019 in packs of 50 seeds.\r\nDurango\r\nDo you know those times when no matter how hard you try, you just cannot decide? Why not go for a mix? Try the 'Durango' mix that comes in a delightful blend of yellow and burgundy colors in addition to some appealing patterns with double blooms that are reaching two to 2 \u00bd inches across.\r\n\r\n\u2018Durango Mix\u2019 Plants grow to10-12 inches in height and usually reach a 9-inch spread.\u00a0 Flowers in the \u2018Durango\u2019 mix get to full growth in 50-60 days.\r\n\r\nLook for the \u2018Durango\u2019 mix and various other \u2018Durango\u2019 colors in packs of 1000 seed at your local nurseries or gardening stores.\r\nYou've Grown Marigolds.\r\nThese transplants respond well to being watered daily for the first week. When the plants are established, please give them a good soaking (don\u2019t drown them) weekly. Water them only at the ground level, and avoid spraying the flowers directly with water. This will keep your blooms looking fresh instead of soggy and wilted.