How to Germinate Marigold Seeds


Marigolds are annual flowering plants that a gardener may use in sunny flowerbeds, borders or containers. Marigolds, with their bright yellow or orange blossoms, will bloom profusely throughout the entire growing season right up until autumn frosts begin. Plant marigolds directly outside in the spring after all threat of frost is over, or start them indoors for a head start to the growing season. Marigold seeds germinate easily and they will grow quickly into healthy and robust plants.

Step 1

Prepare the planting area in the spring. If you are planting marigold seeds outdoors, prepare the soil when the ground is dry enough to work. Cultivate the top 4 to 6 inches of soil and add 2 inches of compost to the top of the soil. Work the compost in well and rake the soil surface smooth. If you are planting marigold seeds indoors, fill a planting container with potting soil approximately six weeks prior to the final spring frost.

Step 2

Plant the marigold seeds approximately 8 inches apart outdoors and cover them with a 1/8-inch layer of soil. Plant marigold seeds approximately 4 inches apart indoors and cover them with the same thin layer of soil. Water the newly planted marigold seeds generously.

Step 3

Keep the marigold seeds moist during germination. When the soil temperature is between 60 and 75 degrees F, the marigold seeds will germinate within two weeks. When the soil temperature is between 75 and 80 degrees F, the marigold seeds will germinate within one week.

Step 4

Reduce the amount of water you provide for the new marigold plants after the first shoots emerge from the soil. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between watering instead of keeping it evenly moist.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden spade
  • Compost
  • Rake
  • Potting soil (optional)
  • Planting container (optional)
  • Marigold seeds
  • Trowel


  • Weekend Gardener: Marigolds
  • Gardening Guide: Marigolds
Keywords: marigolds, plant marigolds, marigold seeds germinate

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributer to Natural News. She is an avid gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and computer user. She is interested in natural health and hopes to direct her focus toward earning an RN degree.