Steps to Harvesting And Saving Marigold Seeds

Steps to Harvesting And Saving Marigold Seeds
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This article is on Steps to Harvesting And Saving Marigold Seeds. As the blooms on your marigold plants fade, you might wonder, “Can I save seeds from these withering flowers to grow new plants in my garden next year?”

The answer is a resounding – yes!

And there are a few actions you can do to guarantee success with your seed-saving operation, so your upcoming flower sowings will give you the exquisitely lovely blossoms you expect! Remember, This article is on Steps to Harvesting And Saving Marigold Seeds.

I’ll walk you through the procedure of collecting and storing marigold seeds in seven easy steps. Here is a brief sneak peek:

7 Steps to Saving Marigold Seeds

  1. Choose Open-Pollinated Varieties
  2. Isolate Species
  3. Collect Dry Seed Heads
  4. Allow Harvested Seed Heads to Dry
  5. Remove Achenes from Seed Heads 
  6. Place in Packets
  7. Store Securely

Make sure you are familiar with the appearance of marigold seeds before we proceed.

Many tiny “achenes,” which are long and thin, black at one end and cream at the other, can be found inside each faded marigold bloom. They range in length from half an inch to an inch.

Achenes and dried Tagetes blossoms.

Technically speaking, these achenes are fruits, and each one has a single seed.

Since you’ll be planting each achene whole, you may think of them as being equivalent to seeds for our purposes.

To be clear about which plant we’re talking about, African, French, and signet marigolds, not those sometimes known as calendulas or “pot marigolds,” are the ones that are usually referred to as marigolds and are officially categorized as Tagetes species.

Read also: How To Grow Marigolds In Containers

1. Choose Open Pollinated Varieties

Before you ever sow or transplant your first batch of marigolds, the ones you’ll eventually save achenes from, we’re going to start at the very beginning (it’s a very good place to start!).

But do not fret. We also have plenty of advice for you if you already have a bed of withered flowers that you want to harvest. Read through steps 1 and 2 to get started, and then consider what you might need to do differently the next time.

Choose an open-pollinated cultivar before you plant your flower crop to ensure success with seed storage.

Open pollination ensures that the variety will breed true, or, to put it another way, that offspring will consistently share the same traits as their parents’ plants, including bloom color and texture, flower and plant size, and other traits.

While certain non-heirloom varieties are also open-pollinated, heirloom cultivars are always open-pollinated. The latter will also produce legitimate offspring, but they haven’t been around for a long enough time to qualify as “heirlooms.”

The progeny of hybrids, on the other hand, are unlikely to resemble their parent plants since they are not open-pollinated and do not breed true.

Hybrids can also occasionally be sterile, which means they won’t ever generate live achenes.

But by all means, you can surely try this experiment if you enjoy engaging in at-home science projects! Saving hybrid cultivar seeds solely to observe the results can be a lot of pleasure.

On the other side, stay away from preserving achenes from hybrid cultivars if you want to get consistent results.

An heritage variety of T. is one of my favorite open-pollinated marigold kinds. a tattoo that reads “Legion of Honor.”

It has open, plain blooms that are bicolored in red and gold and make excellent feed for pollinators. I would choose just one T. It’s the patula cultivar I’d pick for my garden.

‘Legion of Honor’

You can purchase open-pollinated, heirloom ‘Legion of Honor’ marigold seeds in an assortment of pack sizes from Eden Brothers.

Did you notice I said, “If I had to pick just one?” That’s because choosing an open-pollinated variety isn’t the only step to take care of before growing your flowers. There’s one more factor you’ll want to control first.

2. Isolate Species

Isolation. Not only is it the misery of modern society, but it is also one of the largest obstacles for would-be seed savers!

For those of us who want to preserve propagation stock that reproduces accurately, it is, at least.

The next stage in developing these fiery-colored flowers is to separate types of the same species to prevent cross-pollination after making sure your marigolds are open pollinated.

The distance needed to isolate a variety might change based on pollinator populations, vegetation, wind, and other landscape and climate concerns, even though some experts advise isolating Tagetes cultivars by a quarter of a mile.

As with selecting an open-pollinated cultivar, it may be challenging to determine the precise distance between cultivars that is required, but isolation will help to guarantee that your children are consistently similar to their parent cultivars.

However, if you want a surprise, you can omit this step, allow for any cross-pollination, and then wait to see what happens! Many gardeners who save achenes without isolating obtain a second generation that resembles the first one in adequate ways.

There, I hear you say, “Hang on.” You did state to keep cultivars of the same species apart, correct? Don’t different species of Tagetes exist? ”

Good snare. Although interspecies hybrids are theoretically feasible, they are much less likely to occur naturally than crossings between the same species in the diverse species of Tagetes.

Determining cultivars from various species to plant in your garden may help you save true breeding stock if you prefer to develop as many diverse marigold cultivars as you can.

3. Collect Dry Seed Heads

Start keeping an eye out for spent flowers after you have a patch of marigolds that are developing and generating blossoms.

Throughout the growth season, marigolds consistently generate a long succession of blooms; hence, you can observe both fresh blooms and faded blooms on the same plant at the same time.

Allow blossoms to stay on the plant until they are dry rather than deadheading them as they fade.

Immature achenes will not be viable if harvested too early. In order to ensure that the achenes can develop into subsequent flowers, it is crucial to let faded marigold blossoms stay on the plant.

The dried wilted flower heads can be cut off with scissors and put in a basket or paper bag when they have dried.

If you can, try to gather seed heads from various plants to increase the genetic diversity of your propagation stock.

4. Allow Harvested Seed Heads to Dry

Once the dry marigold flower heads have been collected, bring them indoors or to another protected area and spread them out on a plate, tray, or rack.

A drying rack will be your best bet if you reside in a humid area.

Choose a drying rack with a screen that will hold the achenes in place rather than letting them fall through, like this beechwood drying rack, which is sold on Amazon and comes in one or more tiers.

Wooden Beech Drying Rack

Allow the withered marigold blossoms to continue releasing any remaining moisture by setting the rack, tray, or plate in a dry area.

By doing this action, you can assist keep the achenes from developing mold while they’re being stored.

The amount of time needed for this stage will depend on the environment in your home as well as the local temperature; arid regions with low humidity will allow drying times to be completed much more quickly than humid ones.

Crack open a seed head, remove one achene, and attempt to shatter it in half to determine if the achenes are entirely dry.

It is dry if it snaps. If not, it must still release additional moisture. To ensure that the entire batch is completely dry, repeat the test with a few more achenes.

5. Remove Achenes from Seed Heads

Once the harvested marigold heads have thoroughly dried out, break open a seed head and rem

There won’t be any other dry vegetation to winnow away in this process, making achene collection easy and clean with these types of plants.

6. Place in Packets

Your collected achenes are prepared for storage once they are completely dry and separated from their dry flower heads.

Some gardeners prefer to keep their seeds sealed up tight. To prevent mold growth, I personally prefer to preserve them in paper packets.

I enjoy creating my own packs using recycled, old envelopes.

You can also purchase little storage envelopes for this purpose, such as these small brown kraft paper envelopes that are offered in packs of 100 from Amazon, if a DIY step doesn’t fit into your method of operation.

100 Small Brown Kraft Storage Envelopes in a Pack

Fill the envelopes, being sure to label them with the cultivar, name of the flower, and the harvest year.

Utilize your older seed stock first and maintain track of your seed collection with proper labeling.

7. Store Securely

For lifespan, store the filled envelopes in a dry, cool environment.

Some gardeners choose to keep their seed stock in the freezer or refrigerator. This solution doesn’t make sense to me in my dry area, and it’s also not very practical because I always have frozen farm food in my freezer.

Nevertheless, because mice are a concern in my rural area, I keep my collection in rodent-proof metal or wooden boxes, like this green metal Burgon and Ball seed packet storage tin that you can buy on Amazon.

Green Metal Seed Packet Storage Tin from Burgon and Ball

If properly preserved, tagetesachenes will remain viable for two to five years.

Flowers for the Future

Well done, gardener! You have my (unofficial) endorsement as a master marigold seed saver! From this point on, you ought to be able to manufacture your own supply of Tagetesblooms.

Please let us know in the comments area below if you run into any difficulties with this process; we’re delighted to assist. On the other hand, if you want to showcase your freshly planted marigolds or harvested achenes, feel free to add pictures in the comments section as well!


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