Anyone who grows marigolds can collect marigold seeds. Marigolds are one of the easier flowers to grow and marigold seeds are some of the easiest to collect. Not every seed you preserve will germinate. Not every seed that germinates will grow to resemble the parent. Commercial packets of marigold seeds are relatively inexpensive; however, saving any money is beneficial. Marigold seeds will not take up much room, and not saving the seeds means you are wasting them. Saving marigold seeds will also give you something to trade with or give away to other gardeners.
Pinch the head off a spent marigold. Marigolds bloom and die back throughout the growing season, so you will have many opportunities to collect seeds. Use your fingers and gently snap off the faded flower near the top of the stem. Try to let the flowers dry as much as possible while on the stem.
Set the flower head in a dry location. Place the flower on a plain sheet of paper or a paper plate. Write the name of the type of marigold on the paper. After the flowers dry, it becomes more difficult to identify them, so do it while you can see the flower. Give the flower head time to finish drying out.
Pull apart the dry flower head with your hands. Discard the husk. Take care that there are no stray insects mixed in with the flowers. Separate the flower into its individual seeds. One flower can produce more than 50 seeds.
Store the seeds in clean, plain white envelopes. Write the name of the seed and the year you collected it on the envelope. Keep the envelope in a cool, dry location until it is time to plant the seeds for spring.
Some marigold seeds are not fertile. Check for information on the original seed packet. In particular, triploid hybrids, plants that are a man-made cross of unlike flowers, tend to be sterile.
Tips and warnings
- Some marigold seeds are not fertile. Check for information on the original seed packet. In particular, triploid hybrids, plants that are a man-made cross of unlike flowers, tend to be sterile.