Introduction to growing Marigolds in pots
Marigold plants are easygoing plants that bloom reliably, even in direct sunlight, punishing heat and poor to average soil. Though they are beautiful in the ground, growing Marigolds in containers is a surefire way to enjoy this delightful plant. These flowers are easy to grow from seeds or seedlings. Marigold care is very simple some can survive even if neglected. Marigolds are easy to grow. Marigolds are a versatile flower. Marigolds enjoy full sun and hot days and grow well in dry or moist soil. This hardiness is one of the reasons that they are used as bedding plants and container plants. In this article we also discussed below topics;
- Growing Marigolds in pots
- Growing Marigolds from seed in containers/pots
- Growing Marigold from Deadheads
- Type of soil is best for Marigold plants
- Growing Marigold from cuttings
- Growing Marigold from layering
- Marigold indoor plant care
- How to plant Marigold indoors
A step by step guide to growing Marigolds in pots/containers
Prepare a pot or container for growing Marigolds
First, fill a container up to within an inch from the top with any good quality commercial potting soil. Any sturdy container with a drainage hole in the bottom will work very well, as Marigolds quickly rot in wet soil. Don’t use regular garden soil in the container, as garden soil will become so compacted in the container that water won’t reach the roots of the Marigolds. Garden soil may also have bacteria, insects, and weed seeds.
Collecting Marigold seeds
Gather the dead seed heads from the Marigold plants by cutting them from the plant by using pruning shears or scissors. Spread the seed heads on a drying tray and then set the tray in a shady area that has good ventilation. And allow the seed heads to dry completely before removing the seeds. This may take anywhere from 7 to 10 days. Then, move the seed heads from the drying tray to a flat work surface. Firmly grip the dried petals of the seed heads and hold the bottom with another hand. Pull the petals out of the dried receptacle and the parts that look like tiny black carrots are the seeds. Separate the seeds from the rest of the flower parts.
Sowing Marigold seeds and encouraging germination
Marigold seeds are sown by thoroughly moistening the medium, sprinkling the seeds across the surface of the medium, and then lightly covering the seeds with a thin layer of medium and gently misting the surface. The germinating medium should remain evenly moist but not wet until the Marigold seeds germinate. Keeping the container and medium at 70Fand in bright but not direct sunlight encourages germination. Marigold seed germination will occur within 5 to 10 days.
How to plant Marigold seeds indoors
Starting Marigold seedlings indoors gives you an early start for the growing season. Growing Marigolds by sowing seeds is cheaper than buying Marigold plants from a nursery and gives you the satisfaction of watching Marigolds mature into garden gold from their humble beginnings.
Start planting seeds 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost. Here are the steps to take to get your Marigold seedlings started indoors;
- First, fill containers or growing trays halfway with damp, soilless potting mix. Then, plant the Marigold seeds about 1/8 inch deep. Cover with a light covering of soil and planting the seeds any more shallow will not let the roots establish a deep root system. Planting too deep might keep the Marigold seeds from germinating.
- Sprinkle Marigold seeds on top of the potting mix and cover with another thin layer of potting mix. Cover containers or trays with plastic wrap and put them in a warm place. Therefore, no special lighting is necessary.
- Check the seeds for germination after 3 days. Once seedlings appear, remove plastic wrap and move the plants to a location where they will receive at least 5 hours of sunlight each day.
- Move plants to their own pots once the seedlings have 2 sets of leaves. Keep them indoors in a location where they will receive at least 5 hours of sunlight each day until the last frost has passed. Then you can move the plants outdoors to the garden.
- Plant your Marigolds 1 to 3 feet apart from one another in an area that receives sunlight all day long.
Caring for Marigolds growing in Pots
In case if you miss this: Growing Hibiscus Plants in Pots from Cuttings, Seeds.
Don’t crowd potted Marigold plants, as healthy Marigolds need plenty of air circulation. One Marigold is enough for a 6-inch pot, but you can grow 2 or 3 in a 12-inch pot and five or more small plants in a large container with a diameter of 18 inches. Be sure the selected container has a drainage hole in the bottom. Use good quality and lightweight potting mix. A handful of sand, perlite, and vermiculite improve drainage.
Place the pot where the Marigold is exposed to at least 6 hours of sunlight. Water the Marigold plants when the top 1 to 2 inches of soil is dry. Water deeply, and then let the soil dry before watering again. Never allow the soil to remain soggy, as wet conditions invite root rot and moisture-related diseases. Pinch the tips of newly planted Marigold plants once or twice to encourage bushy plants. Deadhead the Marigold plants regularly to trigger new blooms. Then, apply a water-soluble fertilizer every month, but don’t over-fertilize. Too much fertilizer or overly rich soil can produce weak Marigold plants with few blooms.
Propagate Marigolds from Cuttings
Yes, we can grow Marigold plants directly from its cuttings. In fact, Marigold plants grown from cuttings are healthier than the seedlings.
- First, prepare to root medium by filling a small pot with equal amounts of sand, peat, and perlite. Or you can also use fine gravel to root the cuttings. Pour an inch of the rooting hormone into the plastic cup.
- Cut 4-inch-long stem sections from softwood, measuring from the stem tips. Use sharp scissors and choose stems that have not yet flowered. Softwood stems are very soft and immature current-year growth that is not woody.
- Then, remove all leaves from the lower half of the cuttings. Leave a couple of leaves at the top to continue producing a natural substance that helps in root formation.
- Insert a pencil at a depth of 2 inches to create planting holes in the rooting medium. Dip the base of each cutting into the rooting hormone and plant then immediately in individual planting holes.
- Firm the soil around the cuttings and water well. Put the entire pot in the plastic bag. Stick a chopstick in the rooting medium to keep the bag from collapsing and close the top with a rubber band to create a greenhouse effect.
- Put the pot in a warm, bright area out of direct sunlight. Open the bag every 3 to 4 days and water enough to keep the rooting medium moist. Close bag after watering and it generally takes a few weeks for cuttings to root.
- Transfer rooted cuttings to a medium-sized container filled with well-draining soil. Let the Marigold plants become established before transplanting to a permanent spot in the garden.
Plant Marigolds from Deadheads
An easy-to-grow plant, Marigold plants thrive in sunny locations with loose, moist, well-drained soil. If you have Marigolds growing in a container or in the garden, don’t throw away the deadheaded blossoms. First, gather the seeds and replant them.
- Leave the faded blossoms on the Marigold plant. When the blossoms turn brown and papery, it’s time to harvest the Marigold seeds.
- Hold a container, such as a paper envelope or plastic cup, under the faded Marigold blossom. Snip the blossom off the Marigold plant and let it drop into the container.
- Choose a planting site that receives full sun. Till the garden soil to a depth of about 6 inches and remove any rocks, weeds, or other debris. Spread about 1- to 2-inch layer of well-rotted compost or manure over the bed and mix it into the soil.
- Break apart the seed head and sow individual seeds 1 inch apart over the soil’s surface and cover with ¼ inch soil, vermiculite, or perlite. Press the soil down lightly.
- Sprinkle water gently over the soil to avoid uncovering the Marigold seeds. Maintain the soil moist to the touch but not soggy. When the Marigolds sprout and then keep the soil moist to an inch below the surface.
Water the Marigold plants
Water Marigold plants well immediately after planting them in the garden, both to settle the soil and to hydrate the roots. Keep the soil around the roots moist but not soggy until the Marigold plants are established. This usually takes about 10 to 12 days. Water the Marigold plants deeply, allowing water to run freely through the drainage hole, then water again when the soil feels fairly dry.
Fertilizer for container-grown Marigolds
Fertilizer is very important for container-grown Marigolds, as the plants are unable to draw nutrients from the ground. Feed Marigold plants every week, using a water-soluble fertilizer mixed according to the directions on the package. If the package directions suggest a monthly feeding, dilute the solution by one quarter, which will be suitable for weekly feedings. Alternatively, use a timed-release fertilizer applied to the plant according to the package recommendations.
Insects and diseases affect Marigolds growing in pots
Marigold plants have few disease and pest problems if they are properly grown. Occasionally soggy soil or pest insects will induce one of several fungal infections, signaled by discolored spots, a coating of mildew on the foliage. The defense is to keep down weeds and to plant Marigold where drainage is good. Mites and aphids sometimes infest Marigold plants. Usually, a spray of water or insecticidal soap, repeated every other day for a week or two, will solve the disease problem.
Gardening tips for Marigold harvesting
Marigold flowers are plucked when they have attained full size and plucking of flowers should be done in cool hours of the day. The field must be irrigated before plucking so that flowers keep well for a longer period after harvest. Plucked Marigold flowers are collected in polythene bags or bamboo baskets for carrying to markets.
Commonly asked questions about growing Marigold in pots or outdoors
You should not miss the Growing Indoor Flowering Plants for Dummies.
How tall do Marigolds grow?
They are wider than they are tall. Elegant and eye-catching, they usually grow from 6 inches to 2 feet tall.
How much water does a Marigold need per day?
Established Marigolds in garden beds require a good soak once each week. Give them enough water so that the soil is moist to a depth of about 6 to 8 inches. If the weather is unusually hot or windy, they’ll require extra water. Water Marigolds in pots when the top about 1 to 2 inches of soil is dry.
How long does it take for a Marigold to grow?
You can start Marigold seeds indoors, but they germinate so easily outside that there’s really no advantage. Marigolds sprout within days in warm weather and plants bloom in 8 weeks.
Why are my Marigold plants dying?
Because the fungus attacks the roots, plant growth is stunted as well, and the Marigold may eventually die. To prevent root, stem and crown rot in Marigolds, avoid overwatering so excess moisture doesn’t build up. And make sure that the soil has proper drainage as well.
Why Marigold leaves turn yellow?
When you have Marigolds with yellow leaves, your plants may be infected with a disease known as aster yellows. Aster yellows are caused by a small organism known as a phytoplasma. As they do so, they get some of the phytoplasmas. Then, the insects transfer them to any plant they subsequently eat from.
Is a Marigold annual or perennial?
Common garden Marigolds are annuals, but because they self-sow, and sometimes they are mistakenly identified as perennials. Even in regions with mild winters free of frost, Marigold plants grow as annuals, with bloom development fading in fall.
Why are the leaves on Marigolds turning white?
Marigolds are susceptible to a fungal disease known as white mold fungus. The fungi attack dead parts of the Marigold plants, like faded flowers or dead leaves, then move on to healthy parts of the plants. The fungus causes a fluffy white mold that gradually turns black color.
Why does Marigold leave turning purple?
When you notice a plant with purple Marigold leaves rather than the normal green color, it is most likely due to a phosphorus deficiency. The underside of Marigold plant leaves will turn purple with too little phosphorus while other plants will be stunted or turn a dull dark-green color.
Do you deadhead Marigolds?
The flowering time for Marigold plants is extended by deadheading any spent blooms. If the plants from seeds, they will stop blooming. Follow the flower stem down to the first set of leaves and this is the best place to deadhead the flower.
Why won’t my Marigold seeds germinate?
If Marigold seeds germinate while buried deeply, they won’t have enough energy for their germinating seedlings to reach the surface. Though, even seeds that require light to germinate may not germinate in continuous hot sunlight. Seeds that will grow in the dark are typically from plants that evolved in dry climates.
How long does it take for a Marigold seed to sprout?
Depending on the variety, Marigold plants can grow 8 to 40 inches tall, and develop blooms that can range in size from 1 to 5 inches. For germination within about 5 to 10 days, start the seeds indoors 6 weeks before the last spring frost and expose them to ideal conditions.
The conclusion of growing Marigolds in containers or pots
It is very easy and fun to grow marigolds. The above-said information may be useful in growing marigold flowers in Polyhouse, greenhouse, backyards, balcony, and on the terrace. You may also check the How to Make Money from Dried Flower Business.