Does The Marigold Need Full Sun?

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Marigolds are a popular plant for many gardeners throughout North America and Europe. They grow and tolerate various temperature conditions, can withstand dry conditions and start easily from seeds. One question often asked is does the marigold need full sun?

The one aspect in which marigolds are somewhat particular is in the matter of light. Marigolds thrive in full sun. They do not bloom well in shade or partial shade and may become rather spindly and underdeveloped.

Marigold Lighting RequirementsPin

Basic Facts About Marigolds

Marigolds are not a single species of plant but rather several related plants, all grouped in the genus Tagetes. They are native to Mexico and Central America.

The Aztecs and Maya used many species for incense, as the plants tend to give off a strong odor.

The leaves and flowers were also used in herbal medicine and were thought to be effective for digestive complaints.

Most varieties of marigolds are annuals, but some are perennials.

Light Requirements

When growing Marigold flowers give them full sun to reach their full potential. The shade will cause the plants to emphasize growing shoots and leaves more, and they will become spindly and fail to produce as many flowers.

Marigolds may become slightly less productive in the hottest part of summer, grow more slowly, and flowerless abundantly.

Soil And Watering Needs

They can be grown in any type of soil that is not too acidic. They are accustomed to hot and dry climates.

Regular watering is necessary when starting marigolds from seed or when transplanting them.

Full-sized marigold plants will require less water and are more drought-resistant, though they will still benefit from weekly watering.

Watering should be done at ground level, on the base of the plant, and not over the plant itself, as flower buds and other parts may be prone to rotting.


Regularly removing spent blossoms and deadheading will help keep the plant vigorous and produce more blooms.

Marigolds don’t need a lot of fertilizer and aren’t subject to many insect pests.

Marigold Uses

Indeed, marigolds are often used as an insect repellant, either by burning their leaves and flowers as incense or by planting them in places where their odor will discourage insect infestations.

In addition, gardeners often plant marigolds in vegetable gardens to ward off unwanted worms and flies in tomato plantings and other patches.

Planting Marigolds From Seeds

Marigolds grow easily from seed. You can start them indoors.

However, marigold seeds germinate swiftly, and you may find it better and more efficient to sow the seeds directly outside after any danger of frost has ended.

  • Plant seeds one inch apart, then thin them.
  • French marigolds should be thinned to 8″ inches of space between plants, while African marigolds should be thinned to 10″ or even 12″ inches apart.
  • Seeds planted directly in the garden should begin to sprout within 5 or 6 days.
  • Seeds can be gathered from marigolds and saved for the next year.
  • To save seeds, do not remove the spent blossoms; instead, allow them to dry on the plant.
  • When the blossoms have fully dried, remove them, and pluck off any remaining petals.
  • Most flowerheads should produce at least some seeds. Shake out the seeds onto a piece of paper.
  • Hybrid marigold varieties won’t breed true from seeds saved in this way.

Transplanting Full-Sized Marigolds

If you want to transplant full-sized marigolds purchased at a garden center or nursery, prepare a bed by digging holes approximately 6″ inches deep and a little larger than the plant itself.

Place the roots in some loosened soil at the base of the hole, and fill. Give the newly transplanted plants a thorough watering.

They should be given space similar to thinned seedlings above, with 8″ or 10″ inches for French marigolds and 10″ or 12″ inches for African marigolds. To answer the question – Does the marigold need sun? Yes, for you to enjoy its flowers to the fullest.

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