Fall Marigolds

Yellow marigolds make a sensation fall garden display

Yellow marigolds make a sensational fall garden display.

Marigold seedling grown from seeds

Marigold seedlings grown from seeds

Typical spacing of marigold seedlings

Typical spacing of marigold seedlings

Planted marigolds and cilantro seeded  between the plants

Planted marigolds and cilantro seeded between the plants

One of the best annuals of fall are marigolds. They last until frost and put on a sensational display. Since they are hard to find in garden centers in the fall, I grow them from seeds. I generally plant the petite ones, but the larger ones are great too. While mine are ready to set out, it is still not too late to sow some for your garden. I have never direct seeded at this time of the year. I see no reason it would not work, if you can keep the seeds damp and get them to germinate. Instead, I seed mine in cell packs and allow them to grow until they have a good root system and are hardened off to withstand the heat and sun (I do this by putting the cell packs in high shade until the seeds germinate, and then move them to a sunny location for at least a half a day). Once they are ready to be planted, I clean the bed out where I want to place them and work the soil well. Then, I space them out and plant them about 18 inches apart and water well. The reason for this spacing is because I seed cilantro between each seedling so we can enjoy this herb for cooking this fall. If you are not going to mix something with your marigold planting, then I would space the seedlings 8 to 10 inches apart. Once they are established in the bed and growing, I liquid feed them every two weeks until they start blooming. Fall marigolds are they best.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

6 thoughts on “Fall Marigolds

  1. John, I completely agree with you that marigolds are wonderful fall annuals that bloom much longer than the ubiquitous mums. For years now, we’ve offered transplants (from a local grower) at Oak Street Garden Shop that usually arrive in late August. We’ve also been trying to spread the word about how perfect they are for late summer through fall planting, and have customers who look for them now – yay!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *