saving marigold seeds
Did you know that you could save seeds from this year’s marigolds for next year’s flowers? Marigold seeds ripen easily on the plant if you don’t deadhead all of the spent flowers. Once the heads turn brown, break a pod or two open. If the seeds are dark brown or black like the ones in the photo, they’re ready to harvest. Gather heads from several plants to get a good blend of colors. Plus, it’s insurance in case one plant’s seeds are not viable.
Lay the pods in a dry place to continue to dry out — it could take two weeks. If the seeds are too moist, they’ll rot during storage. When they’re dry, break the heads open and gather the seeds. Store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place until spring.
If you only grow one cultivar of marigold in your garden, it probably won’t change much from the parent. Pollen from other marigolds in the area can create your own “hybrids.” The color can change from the original, as can the height and spread. However, if you prefer a row of marigolds that all match perfectly, it’s best to buy seeds each year.