Marigold flowers are a delightful addition to any spring time flower arrangement or bouquet. Many gardeners choose to plant marigolds in their gardens because they are easy to propagate and produce puffy brightly colored circular blossoms. Aside from their aesthetic qualities, marigold flowers are also one of the best tasting edible flowers. For this reason, some marigolds are planted solely to be used in culinary applications.
Regardless of what reason you choose to raise marigold flowers, it is beneficial for you to understand the proper procedure one must carry out when cutting marigolds. This article will provide you with step by step instructions explaining the proper way to cut marigold flowers whether you are using them in a live or dried bouquet, as a garnish, or to harvest seeds.
Cutting Marigolds to Use in a Live Bouquet
- Prepare yourself with a sharp blade and a container full of moderately warm water.
- Cut early in the morning just as the blossoms begin to open. Immediately set the stems in your container full of warm water.
- After two hours, strip the lower end of the stems of the marigold flowers. You do not have to remove all of the leaves; only those that would be submerged in water—potentially fouling the water.
- Arrange the flowers in a vase with fresh water; they should live for at least a week if properly maintained.
For Use in a Dried Bouquet
- Use a sharp sterilized cutting tool to cut perfect blossoms at their peak of beauty. Only cut odor-free marigolds to ensure that they will dry well.
- Immediately remove all of the leaves from the stems and hang the flowers upside down in a warm dry place. They should be dry within two weeks, their blossoms will have shrunk but their color will be perfectly maintained.
As a Garnish or Ingredient
- Harvest marigold blossoms on a sunny and dry day after the dew has evaporated from their foliage.
- Use sharp and sterilized scissors to cut the marigold stem one inch from the soil. Quickly rinse the entire plant before patting them dry between a sheet of fresh paper towels.
- It is best to cut off the remaining length of stem from the blossom immediately before serving for the freshest flavor.
Cutting Marigolds to Harvest Seeds
- The best time to cut marigolds if you’re trying to harvest their seeds is after the blossoms have dried out and turned brown.
- Use a pair of sharp and sterilized scissors to cut the dying marigolds about an inch above soil.
- Fasten all of the cuttings into a bouquet with a piece of string or sturdy rubber band.
- Hang the bouquet upside down with a paper bag fastened around the blossoms. The marigold flowers will dry and drop their seeds into the brown bag within a matter of weeks.
- When the flowers are completely dry, gently squeeze the blossoms to be certain that you have harvested all of the seeds before discarding the plants.