Fertilizing Marigolds – How To Get Your Marigolds Blooming Bigger Than Ever!

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To ensure strong and continuous flowering, marigolds require a consistent supply of energy throughout their growing season, not just as seedlings. With the right nutrients and sufficient water, marigolds can thrive from late spring until the first frost. Regularly providing these essential nutrients is crucial for ongoing production.

Marigold plants bear heavy blooms and flowers, which demand substantial energy from the soil. If not replenished through fertilization, the soil’s energy reserves become depleted.

This applies to marigolds growing in containers, baskets, as well as traditional flowerbeds or garden settings. Regardless of their location, marigolds rely on a steady source of energy to sustain their bloom production and flower development.

Selecting The Best Fertilizer

When selecting fertilizer for marigolds, it is recommended to opt for liquid fertilizers over granular ones. While granular fertilizers provide a slow and steady release of nutrients, they may not promote robust blooming on a consistent basis.

Granular fertilizers require more time for the nutrients to be absorbed by the plants. As moisture interacts with the granules, the nutrients leach into the roots, supporting steady but gradual growth rather than continuous blooming.

In contrast, liquid fertilizers work quickly. Being in liquid form, they can readily absorb into the soil and directly reach the roots of the plants. Moreover, liquid fertilizers can also be absorbed by the stems and foliage of the marigolds.

By employing this dual approach of liquid fertilization, marigolds can receive a steady and readily available supply of nutrients. This helps to ensure continuous blooming and encourages the production of new flowers.

Selecting The Best Liquid Fertilizers

When it comes to choosing the best liquid fertilizer for marigolds, you have several options that can yield excellent results.

For those seeking an affordable and natural solution, compost tea is highly effective. Simply soak compost in water to create compost tea, which provides a quick energy boost for marigolds. Not only is it all-natural, but if you have fresh compost available, you can make it for free!

Additionally, there are many commercially available liquid fertilizers that work well too. When selecting a commercial liquid fertilizer, look for one with a higher phosphorous rating. Phosphorous is the middle number in the N-P-K ratios of fertilizers and plays a vital role in promoting bloom formation and flowering.

Fertilizers labeled as “bloom boosters” often contain higher levels of phosphorous, making them ideal for marigolds. Here are a couple of recommended options:

How & When To Apply

To achieve the best results, it’s important to follow a consistent fertilizing approach for your marigolds. Applying fertilizer excessively or infrequently can lead to imbalances, resulting in more foliage and fewer blooms. Here are some guidelines for applying fertilizers to marigolds:

  1. For marigolds grown in containers, baskets, or pots, a weekly feeding is recommended. These annuals growing in limited spaces require regular nourishment to thrive. If you’re using compost tea, apply it every 5 days as the concentration of nutrients in compost tea is not as high.
  2. Marigolds are grown in traditional settings such as gardens, flowerbeds, or large raised beds usually benefit from fertilizing every two weeks using a commercial liquid fertilizer. This frequency is typically sufficient to promote blooming.
  3. In larger soil settings, marigolds can develop deeper and more extensive root systems, enabling them to absorb and store greater amounts of nutrients. If using compost tea, applying it every 7 to 10 days is recommended in these settings.


Marigolds are generally easy to care for, but removing wilted flowers is important. Once marigolds are planted, they require minimal extra care. However, regular deadheading throughout the season will benefit the plant. Simply cut off spent flowers a few inches below the flower head to promote continuous blooming. This simple practice will encourage your marigolds to bloom prolifically throughout the season.

Pruning & Deadheading: Pruning is not typically necessary for marigolds, but removing faded flowers is recommended for better blooms. Marigolds have a compact growth habit and don’t require extensive pruning.

Their blooms usually last for a few weeks, and as they begin to fade and dry out, it is best to remove them. Although not mandatory, deadheading spent blooms will encourage continuous flowering. To deadhead marigolds, cut the stem a few inches below the flower head using hand pruners or by hand.


Propagation: Propagating marigolds at home can be a rewarding and straightforward process, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of your marigold plants for multiple seasons. One popular method of propagation is collecting and harvesting seeds from the spent blooms in your own garden.

This simple and relatively fast process ensures a steady supply of marigold seeds. Additionally, marigolds can be propagated through cuttings, although this method requires a bit more resources and effort. Let’s explore how you can propagate marigolds in your own home or backyard.

Seed Propagation

When your marigold blooms have dried out, it’s time to harvest the seeds. Cut the faded flower head off a few inches below the flower to avoid damaging the seeds. Carefully break open the flower head, and you’ll find thin, black seeds attached to the base.

Collect these seeds and lay them out to dry on a paper towel for about a week. Once dry, store the seeds in an envelope or glass container in a cool, dark place for optimal germination in the next season.

Keep in mind that some marigold varieties are hybrids, so seeds collected from these plants may not produce identical blooms or colors as the parent plant.

Cutting Propagation

While propagation through cuttings requires more time and resources, it can be a rewarding method. To start marigolds from cuttings, you’ll need a healthy and well-established plant. Identify a few healthy stems that provide about a 4-inch cutting of soft growth, usually found in the top third of the stem.

Harvest a few cuttings, ensuring not to remove more than one-third of the marigold plant at once to avoid damage. Remove the lower half of the leaves from each cutting. For faster rooting, you can dip the cuttings in a rooting hormone before placing them in a potting soil or peat-based mix. Lightly pack the top of the soil to secure the cuttings in place.

Keep the growing media moist and place the cuttings in a warm and well-lit area. Within a few weeks, roots should begin to form on the cuttings. Alternatively, you can root marigold cuttings in water, but remember to replace the water regularly to prevent disease and ensure successful rooting, although this method may take longer.

Propagation allows you to expand your marigold collection and enjoy the vibrant blooms of these beautiful flowers year after year.

Hardening Off

Hardening Off: Before planting marigolds grown from seeds or cuttings, it’s important to acclimate them to the outdoor environment. This process, known as hardening off, helps the plants adjust gradually to outdoor conditions, reducing the risk of shock upon transplanting. Typically, this process takes about a week.

To harden off your marigold plants, start by placing them in a shady location outdoors for a short period of time, such as a few hours. Each day, gradually increase their exposure to light and the amount of time spent outside. By the end of the week, the plants should be well-adjusted to the outdoor environment and ready for planting.

Hardening off is a crucial step in the cultivation of marigolds from seeds or cuttings, ensuring their successful transition to the outdoor garden and promoting healthy growth.

Types of Marigolds

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