How do I Choose the Best Marigold Seed?

Britt Archer

Marigolds have been compared to everything from gold to blood, thanks to their diverse color spectrum that ranges from a creamy white and pale yellow to gold, orange and red. The marigold’s height can vary as much as the flower’s colors do, and so can other aspects of its appearance. To select the best marigold seed, gardeners should choose a variety that will grow to the height that will be the best fit for their garden space, and their gardens’ color scheme if they have one.

All marigold seeds are planted in a similar way.
All marigold seeds are planted in a similar way.

Due to the marigold’s range of color and height, plus what some gardeners consider the blooms’ “happy” appearance, marigolds are a favorite among new and longtime gardeners alike, including children. Marigold seed is among the easiest flower seeds to grow, making marigolds ideal for someone who is new to gardening or an impatient child who wants to see the plant grow and bloom sooner rather than later. An added bonus when choosing marigold seed is that the gardener can choose among plain and fancy varieties, such as the type that develop flowers with ruffled petals.

It doesn’t matter what type of marigold seeds a gardener chooses — French, African, American or Mexican — all of the marigold seeds are planted in a similar way. The soil does not require any special mixture or additive. The marigold seeds should be placed about one-quarter inch (6.4 mm) beneath the dirt's top layer. If you keep the soil moist until the marigold seeds sprout, you should have no problem growing these beauties. Shade should be avoided because they thrive in the sun.

There are numerous varieties of marigold seed to choose from. For example, the Mexican variety can reach heights of 3 feet (0.91 meters) to 4 feet (1.22 meters), and can become just as wide. At the other end of the spectrum are the smaller marigolds, 12 inches (30 cm) tall and others that are even shorter. Marigolds can produce the traditional varieties that give off a strong scent that gardeners either love or hate. Modern gardeners also have advantages over their ancestors when choosing marigold flower seed because they can choose an odorless marigold, thanks to modern breeders who also developed the white marigold.

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