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OzoneNY April 11, 2018 04:38 PM

Marigolds not germinating
Im used to buying marigolds but I thought I would try to save the seeds from last year and grow my own. So, I saved about 500 seed but I can not get them to germinate? Anyone know the trick to marigolds?

Harry Cabluck April 11, 2018 05:13 PM

Experienced the same... non-germination here last year and this.

MissS April 11, 2018 07:05 PM

How deep are you planting these seeds? They want to be sown on the surface with just barely anything covering them.

Harry Cabluck April 11, 2018 07:17 PM

Have plenty of seeds. Planted at all depths. Even failed in start trays under lights.

MissS April 11, 2018 07:56 PM

Perhaps your seeds are not good. If they were around any humidity it could have done them in.

If you have surfaced sown them and kept them warm, they ought to have germinated within 14 days. If after that and still not having any luck. I would just prepare the space where you want to grow them by lightly raking the top inch or two of the soil. After all danger of frost, I would scatter all of the seeds in the bed and water them in. As temperatures permit, they will germinate if there are any viable seeds in the batch. Hopefully you will get a few or even better, a whole lot.

Harry Cabluck April 11, 2018 07:59 PM

MisS; Ok, thanks. Appreciate your thoughts.

AlittleSalt April 11, 2018 08:16 PM

Ozone, the same thing happened a few years ago for me. I saved a pint jar of seeds and none of them germinated.

20 cents American Seeds marigold seeds at Walmart or 25 cents at Dollar Tree have always had a high germination rate for us.

jmsieglaff April 12, 2018 11:25 AM

I saved Marigold seeds one year, some germinated, most didn't. I ended up just buying more even though the variety I had was OP. I guess I should look into when the optimal point for harvesting the seeds is, I'm guessing that was my problem?

clkeiper April 12, 2018 11:38 AM

did you let the seed heads completely ripen before harvesting and saving the seeds? if you saved them too soon they may have failed to finish hardening off. just a thought. I had someone tell me she saved all the zinnia seeds from the flowers she picked, but none of them ever sprouted for her. she was always so disappointed and had to go buy seeds every spring. or depending on the variety you could have a sterile (non seed setting) variety. I think there are a couple varieties that don't really set seed. they may look like it but they aren't viable seeds. triploids?

Labradors2 April 12, 2018 12:34 PM

I have trouble germinating marigolds too. Definitely not sterile varieties. This year, I started a whole pile on damp paper towel in a baggie and a few germinated while others went mouldy.


mannalon April 12, 2018 12:48 PM

I found that if the seeds are thin and bendable, they are usually nonviable.

Labradors2 April 12, 2018 04:48 PM

Good to know Mannalon! Many of my seeds were thin and bendy....... Maybe they dehydrated too much!


Gardenboy April 12, 2018 05:17 PM

Stick with the French Marigolds. They are always easy to grow and germinate. To many of the hybrids are crossed so many times that they are not dependable. Let the flower heads dry completely until brown. Also separate the seeds from the flower head and let them dry completely too before storing them. I grow French Marigold especially when planting tomato seedlings. They are great to deter and kill root knot nematodes. Just plant the roots and greenery of the Marigolds around your seedlings when u transplant your tomatoes. Only use French Marigold varieties. :)

Harry Cabluck April 12, 2018 06:45 PM

Gardenboy: Good idea, using Marigolds as insect/nematode repellent. Better off hereabouts to just buy a packet of new French Marigolds every year. FYI, during blooming, the blossoms are plucked off the plants, ripped apart and scattered allover the tomato plants. Dunno if it deters insects, but it encourages more Marigold blossoms.

halleone April 13, 2018 02:52 PM


Originally Posted by Gardenboy (Post 694821)
Stick with the French Marigolds. They are always easy to grow and germinate. To many of the hybrids are crossed so many times that they are not dependable. Only use French Marigold varieties. :)

I've had the same issue of non-germination for a couple of years now, too. If using French marigolds is the secret, you deserve a huge prize of some sort for figuring it out for us!

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