How to Cultivate a Marigold Flower


The Marigold is a hardy plant and a relatively easy flower to cultivate from seed. Marigold seeds grow well indoors or in an outdoor garden. The bright blossoms of this versatile flower grow in an array of yellow-hued colors ranging from golden to orange and variegated designs. Because of a robust scent that pests find undesirable, marigold flowers are good choices to plant at the edge of garden rows or interspersed throughout the garden to keep pests at bay. Marigold blossoms also are edible.

Marigold Cultivation

Step 1

Fill a container 2/3 full with seed-starting soil. Add water to dampen the soil. Mix it with a pencil or fork.

Step 2

Poke a hole 1/4 inch deep in the soil with a pencil or similar object. Insert one marigold seed into hole. Cover the seed lightly with soil and pat down. Cover the container with plastic wrap.

Step 3

Remove the plastic wrap as soon as the seeds germinate. Place the marigolds in an area of the house where the seedlings will get three hours or more of sun each day. Water the soil until it's moist when the soil begins to dry.

Step 4

Harden off the marigold plants when they start to mature. Place them outside for two hours. Increase the sun exposure each day by an hour or two until the seedlings can be left outside all day without wilting. Transplant to the garden as instructed by the seed package.

Step 5

Sow marigold seeds directly outdoors instead of in pots, if you prefer, after the threat of frost has passed. Loosen the soil with a spade. Dig compost into the soil and plant according to package directions. Water until the ground is moist and continue to water when the soil dries out.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not let containers get over-moist or they will mold. Do not use regular soil from your garden to start seeds.

Things You'll Need

  • Packet of marigold seeds
  • Seed-starting soil
  • Peat pots or containers
  • Plastic wrap


  • "The Budget Gardener"; Maureen Gilmer; 1996
  • The Old Farmer's Almanac: Marigolds
  • Plant Cultures: Marigold - Grow It

Who Can Help

  • West Virginia University Extension: Marigolds
  • National Gardening Assocation: Mari-Mums for Fall Color
Keywords: Cultivating Marigold seeds, Cultivating Marigold flowers, Marigold Cultivation, Seed Cultivation

About this Author

Bobbie Brewer has been writing since 1990. Her work has appeared in publications and on Web sites including Garden Guides and Trails. Brewer is an international traveler, outdoors enthusiast and has been gardening since 1991. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University, Sacramento.