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How to Save Marigold Seeds

By: Jennifer HowellJennifer Howell
If you're growing marigolds in your garden this year, you should consider harvesting some seeds — it's super easy and it will save you money too!

Save marigold seeds to grow next year

Marigolds are super easy to grow and the perfect care-free bedding plant for containers, borders and mass plantings. If you need a lot of plants, you can save seed from spent flowers and grow them yourself next year to save money.

Since marigolds reseed in the garden easily all by themselves, leave a few dried flowers to drop seed. Keep in mind that plants won’t always look exactly like the parent plant, but sometimes that can be a fun surprise. It’s also easy to collect and save seeds for next year so you can grow them where you want them. Here's how to do it.

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Marigold seedhead: Seeds are ready to collect when the calyx is dry and the seeds are dark brown or black.

How to harvest marigold seeds

Spent blooms are ready to harvest when they are shriveled and brown, and the lower portion of seeds inside the dried calyx will be black or dark brown. Follow the steps below to remove the seeds:

  • Clip off the dried flower.
  • Pull off withered petals.
  • Break open the dried calyx and pull the seeds out.
  • Clean off any debris or dead foliage.
  • Spread seed out on a small tray and pick out any discolored or deformed seeds.
  • Air dry the seeds for a week or two in a dry place out of direct light.
  • Place in an air-tight container and store until you are ready to plant.

Marigold seed in glass jar: A small lidded jar is perfect for storing seeds.

Tips for storing marigold seeds

Marigold seeds will be good for several years if stored properly. Here are a few tips:

  • An airtight jar like the glass jar with a lid above will keep seed fresher longer by keeping moisture away from the seeds. Plastic containers or zip-close bags work well too. Paper envelopes are fine for temporary storage or if you plant the seeds within the next year.
  • Be sure to label which cultivar you collected the seed from.
  • Store in a dark, dry location until ready to plant.

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