Marigolds produce beautiful blooms in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. These flowers are most widely available in shades of orange and yellow. Read on to learn how to plant marigolds from seeds and transplant them to your garden.
Step 1 – Purchase or Grow Marigold Seedlings
Grow your own seedlings by sowing marigold seeds in a seed tray filled with potting mix. Sow each seed about 1 inch apart, and cover with a thin layer of potting mix, about ¼-inch thick. Keep the soil moist by sprinkling small amounts of water, as required.
The seedlings will sprout in a few weeks' time, and you can transplant each one individually in a small pot or container. If you are purchasing seedlings from the nursery or gardening center, look for healthy young plants that are not in bloom. Choose a plant with fewer blossoms as it will be able to use its energy towards root formation rather than flower production.
You can plant seedlings in the outdoors in spring, when the soil has warmed up and there is no more chance of frost. If you are transplanting your own seedlings, wait till they have grown to about 4 or 5 inches tall. Choose the healthiest seedlings for transplanting.
Step 2 – Select and Prepare the Planting Spot
Marigolds are undemanding plants and will grow reasonably well in average soil. However, if you make the effort to amend the soil to make it fertile and well-drained, you will be rewarded with luscious, healthier blooms.
To prepare the planting spot, choose an area in your backyard that is sunny or partially shaded. Use a shovel to dig the soil to a depth of about 1 foot, and mix in some mature compost and all-purpose fertilizer. Remove all weeds and debris or pebbles from the planting spot. Let the soil settle for a few weeks before planting the seedlings.
Step 3 – Plant the Marigold Seedlings
Depending on the size of your marigold plants, you will have to adjust the spacing between the planting spots. It is important to shield young seedlings from the hot sun, so choose a cloudy day for transplanting or do the work in the evening. Space miniature varieties about 10 inches apart, but give larger varieties a distance of about 1½ feet between each other.
Dig out a hole that is about the same size as the pot or container in which the seedling is growing. Gently remove the seedling from its container and place it in the soil at the same planting depth as in the container.
Backfill the soil and firm the plant in place, removing any air pockets. Mulch the area around the plant. Water till the soil is moist. Supply a suitable fertilizer every 4 to 5 weeks for better overall growth and flowers.