How Long Do Potted Marigolds Last?

With their bright shades of gold and persistent flowering habit, marigolds are one of the most popular annual bedding plants in North America. However, they’re also an excellent low-maintenance choice for container growing, both indoors and outside.

Potted marigolds last from late spring to fall frosts. When started from seed they take about 8 weeks to bloom. Each flower lasts for about 2 weeks, with a continuous show of blooms all season.

How to Care for Potted Marigolds?

  1. Start seeds outdoors in warm soil after all danger of frost has passed, or indoors 8 weeks before the last frost.
  2. Plant in loose, well-draining soil in a pot with good drainage.
  3. Place the container in a location where it will receive at least 6 hours a day of direct sun.
  4. Water when the top 2 inches (5cm) of the soil has dried out, and let all excess water drain away.
  5. Apply a water-soluble fertilizer, diluted to half strength, once a month throughout the growing season.
  6. Pinch off spent blooms to improve the appearance and encourage more flowers.

Can Marigolds Survive the Winter in Pots?

Because they are tender annuals, marigolds will not survive the winter in pots. While you can extend their season by covering them up when frosts are expected in spring and fall, once really cold weather sets in you are best advised to toss the plants into the compost.

It is a good idea, however, to save seedheads so that you can start your own plants the following year without having to purchase seeds or plants.

Potted Marigolds Temperature Tolerance?

Native to the tropic and subtropic regions of the Americas, marigolds are tender annuals that will not tolerate freezing temperatures at all. In fact, they will not thrive at temperatures anywhere below 40°F (4°C).

At the other end of their temperature range, a severe hot spell may slow down flowering, but the blooms will come back when things cool down again.

Potted Marigolds Temperature Tolerance

Do Potted Marigolds Come Back Each Year?

Potted marigolds do not come back every year. True marigolds are annuals that will bloom all season, then set seed and die when cold temperatures arrive.

Sometimes, marigolds self-seed, so new plants will spring up where last year’s grew. However, it’s best to plan on starting new plants every year to ensure a steady supply of these cheerful flowers.

When Should You Plant Marigolds in a Pot?

If you are direct-seeding marigolds in your container garden, wait until temperatures have warmed up and the risk of frost has passed.

It’s also easy to start marigold seeds indoors about 8 weeks before your last frost date. That way, you can transplant marigolds that are ready to bloom when things warm up.

Marigold plants are one of the most common bedding plants available for purchase at garden centres, so don’t worry if you’ve missed the opportunity to start them yourself.

How Long Do Potted Marigolds Take to Grow?

Most varieties of potted marigolds take about 8 weeks to grow from seed to their flowering stage. If you plant seeds in May, they won’t start blooming until July. If you want to have season-long blooms in your containers, either start them indoors under lights, or buy them at a local nursery, where they will have many different marigolds available in May.

Read our related post How Often Should You Water Marigolds? here.

How Long Will Potted Marigolds Last Inside?

While most gardeners grow marigolds as outdoor container or bedding plants, you can also grow them as houseplants. It’s best to grow dwarf varieties indoors.

You may be able to move your outdoor marigold plants indoors in fall, but it’s probably best to start new plants from seed. They’re so easy to germinate and plants that are moved in will suffer the shock of moving from outdoors to indoors.

An indoor potted marigold plant will last for several months, and can be propagated by sowing fresh seed or taking cuttings from the plants.

Final Thoughts

There’s a reason that marigolds are so popular; their bright flowers keep going all season long, and they’re low-maintenance and virtually pest-free. You can even harvest the petals to add to salads!

Even better, they adapt perfectly to growing in pots, whether outside or indoors.

See how long other potted plants last: