Do you love planting marigolds in your flower or vegetable garden every year? Learn how to save marigold seeds so you can plant more every year!

Marigolds  (Tagetes) are one of my favorite flowers. They are so easy to grow and make a beautiful border around a house, birdhouse, or fence row. 

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They also make a great companion plant in the vegetable garden because they help bring in beneficial insects and pollinators and can help in repelling and trapping certain garden pests. 

Marigolds are usually a bright orange or yellow in color. There are also red, cream-yellow, and bi-color varieties. 

These beautiful flowers can grown anywhere from 6 inches (dwarf types) to 3 feet tall. They grow in large, bushy clumps and have a very long blooming period- from late spring to frost!

Though marigolds are an annual flower, they go to seed very readily. While you can allow the seeds to drop and see if new ones will sprout the following spring, you can also save marigold seeds to save and plant the following year.

Learning how to save marigold seeds will save you money- you’ll never have to buy flower seeds again. Just one plant can give you a lifetime supply of seeds!


how to save marigold seeds with image of marigold flowers and seed heads


How to Save Marigold Seeds for Later

Collecting and saving marigold seeds is very easy and in just a couple of minutes you can have tons of seeds. Which will turn in to tons of flowers you can plant next year for free!

Here’s how to do it:

With many of the flowers I grow, such as calendula, cosmos,  zinnias, and of course, marigold, I pick the blossoms as they grow or deadhead them after the blooms have faded to prolong the blooming period. But when you  are ready to collect seeds you will need to leave the flowers alone and allow them to dry and form the seed head. 

The marigold seeds will form on the flower head after the petals have dried.

At first it will look like this: The flower is beginning to shrivel and dry, but still has some color.


marigold flower getting old and shriveled on plant


The above is an immature seed head. They are not ready for picking yet and are still quite green.

You want to wait until the flower head is completely brown and dry.

It will look like this when the marigold seeds are ready to be collected: Very dry, brown, and crunchy.


dried marigold seed head on the plant


When the seeds are fully mature they come out very easily. Simply snip off the dried flower heads whole. 

After you’ve collected all the dried flowers, you can either pull out the seeds or you can leave the heads intact and store them that way as well.

I usually just leave the seeds inside the flower head until planting time since it’s easier and less time consuming. 


handful of marigold seed heads


But if you want to separate out the seeds, all you need to do is gently pull on the dried petals and the seeds will come out. Some will be attached to the petals still, that’s okay. 

Pull all of the seeds out and place them in a container. 

Before storing it’s very important that the seeds are completely dry. It’s also important that any plant material, such as petals, is dry or removed before storage. 

If you aren’t certain the seeds are 100% dry you can keep them in an open container for a few days to allow them to dry before storing them.

Note: Depending on when in the season you’ve harvested your seeds, the colors may look different than pictured. Seed heads that dry on the plant during the summer will usually be brown, while seed heads that were killed by frost and then dried may still be orange in color.


marigold seeds in a hand close up


How to Store Saved Marigold Seeds

Make sure the marigold seeds are completely dry before storing, otherwise you might end up with mold in your jar which can ruin your entire seed collection!

It’s best to keep your dried marigold seeds in an air tight container with an air tight lid. This prevents the seeds from collecting moisture from the air around them.

Mason jars are perfect for storing seeds!

Another option is to seal the dry seeds in a plastic Ziploc bag or a sealed envelope.

No matter which container you choose, be sure to label your container with the name of the seed and the year collected.

Seeds are best stored at a temperature of 30-40 degrees, so storing them in the refrigerator or freezer can work well to keep them dry and mold free, thus expanding their shelf life.  You can also just store them where ever you store the rest of your garden seed collection!

If you don’t want to collect them, you can always leave the seeds on your marigold and see if they will self seed the following spring. I usually do a little bit of both! Marigolds self seed readily- making it super easy to plant the next year! 


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