Marigolds are a popular annual flower used in landscaping and gardens. Harvesting the seeds of marigolds to use for future planting can save both time and money, especially as it is easy to do. To get the best results when harvesting marigold seeds, there are some things to consider such as seed preparation for storage and the terms of storage for the best long-term viability.
Gardeners should remember that the inflorescences of this culture are of two varieties:
- Bisexual tubular flowers. They can be distinguished by the characteristic arrangement of petals around the middle;
- Female reed flowers. In this case, the petals are located on the periphery. These are double varieties of marigolds.
Each of these species has its own characteristic features. So bisexual tubular flowers give a lot of seeds, they are self-pollinated and have good germination.
When to Harvest Marigold Seeds
The best time to harvest marigold seeds is when the bloom has completely died, and the flower head has dried. It takes about 40 days from the time the flower blooms to the full maturity of the seeds. Once their flower heads turn brown and dry, it is time to harvest. Marigold seeds are tiny, black-and-white slivers with sharp points.
How to Harvest Marigold Seeds
The easiest way to harvest marigold seeds is to cut off the flower heads and once the marigold seed head is fully mature, carefully open it up and remove the seeds. You can use your fingers or a pair of tweezers for this. Be careful not to crush the delicate little seeds as you extract them from the flower head.
Once you’ve removed the seeds from the flower head, spread them out on a paper towel and let them dry for a week. You can also place them in a ventilated container lined with paper towels to help speed up the drying process.
Prepare the Seeds for Storage
You should also inspect seeds to make sure it’s intact and free of blemishes. Finally, place the marigold seeds in a paper envelope or cloth bag, and store them in an airtight container. Keep the container in a cool, dry place.
Marigold seeds should be stored in a cool and dry location to maintain their viability. The ideal temperature for storing marigold seeds is between 41°F (5°C) and 50°F (10°C). The container should be kept in a dark place. Check the seeds regularly and replace them with fresh ones every two to three years for optimal germination results. By following these steps, you can enjoy beautiful marigolds in your garden every year.