Taking marigold seeds out of seed heads

How to Save Marigold Seeds

Marigolds are wonderful flowers to include in your garden! They repel bugs, are easy to grow, are drought tolerant, and bloom continually over a long season. It is September now and my marigolds are about done blooming for the year. Read on to learn how easy it is to save marigold seeds for beautiful blooms year after year.

Marigold flower
Marigolds are an easy-to-grow garden favorite!

When to Harvest Marigold Seeds

Marigold seeds are ready to harvest as soon as the seed heads are fully dry, and this can happen as early as August. However, I usually wait until September or October to collect my seeds because a larger number of seed heads will have formed. Try to harvest the seed heads before the heavy fall rains arrive because wet seeds will not last as long.

How to Harvest Marigold Seeds

Collect the dry seed heads from your marigold plants and put them on a work surface. Be sure to look deep in the plant because some may be hiding among the leaves. Remove the dried petals and then carefully pull the seeds out of the seed head and place them in a small bowl. The bottom of the seeds should be hard and black. Discard any seeds that are soft or light colored because these are not fully mature and they will not germinate properly.

Taking marigold seeds out of seed heads
Harvest the seeds by removing the orange petals and then pulling the seeds from the base.
Spread your seeds out on a paper towel for a few days so they can dry. It is surprising how many seeds each plant can produce!

After you have collected all of your seeds spread them out on a paper towel and let them sit there for a few days so they can dry. After they have dried completely they will be ready for storage.

Seed Storage Tips

There is one thing that will ruin your marigold seeds and that is mold caused by too much moisture. I learned this the hard way a few years ago when I stored my seeds in a plastic zip-top bag when they were not fully dry. In the spring my seeds were a black moldy mess and completely ruined. It was so disappointing!

Now I recommend storing your seeds in a brown paper lunch bag after they are done drying on the paper towels. Since the paper bag can breathe, moisture can escape and the seeds will last longer. Fold the top of the bag down and seal it with a piece of tape. Store the seeds in a cool, dark, dry place until you are ready to plant them in the spring.

Paper bag of marigold seeds 2020
Store your seeds in a sealed paper bag. Since the paper is breathable excess moisture can escape.

When to Plant Your Seeds

Marigolds are very easy to grow from seed. Plant them in mid-spring around March or April. In my experience, marigolds planted from seed are much more vigorous than those planted from transplants. If your marigolds last year were a hybrid variety, the plants that grow this year may or may not look exactly like the parent plants. Either way, they will add a bright and sunny pop of color to your garden!

Butterfly sitting on marigold flower

Hope you get to enjoy these beautiful flowers in your garden again next year. Happy Gardening!

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  1. Amy

    Thanks, Mandy! This was super helpful. Thank you for the pictures showing what they should and shouldn’t look like. I’m a super visual person and a lot of blogs don’t use as many pictures as you do. Woohoo, I’m so excited to save my marigold seeds!

    • Hi Amy! I’m a visual person too and I’m glad the pictures are helpful. Now that you know what you’re doing you may never need to buy marigold seeds again 🙂

  2. Rebelkai

    thank you so uh for this! It was exactly what I am currently doing with the exception of storing them in a paper bag or envelope. I was putting them in a Ziploc. I’m glad I ran across this blog!!! You’ve helped me to save my seeds!!!

  3. Marta

    Just want want to thank you for posting this information, it is exactly what I was looking for. I was looking for a picture of what the seeds look like. All of this was very helpful!

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