How Often Should You Water Marigolds?

Known for being a common and easy-to-grow bedding flower, marigolds add a cheerful and vibrant touch to any garden. These flowers, which also hold cultural significance in some areas, are long-blooming and easy to maintain once established.

Established marigolds should be watered at least once a week. When the seeds are initially planted or the plant is new, you should water your marigolds daily to allow the root system to establish. If there are frequently hot and dry days in your climate, you may need to water them twice a week.

Marigolds are a great plant for beginners and are a beautiful way to fill out your garden bed. Knowing the following basics can help you get the healthiest blooms out of your marigold plants.

How to Tell if Marigolds Need Water?

When marigolds are first planted, either from seeds or a new plant, the soil should be kept moist and mustn’t dry out for more than two days. This allows the seeds to germinate and the plant to establish a strong root system that is drought resistant.

As a general rule of thumb, established marigolds only need to be watered once weekly. The best way to determine this is to check the top inch of soil; if it feels dry, it is time to water your marigolds. You should saturate the soil around the marigolds with water, aiming the watering nozzle at the base of the plant instead of the flowers and leaves.

How Do You Know When Your Marigolds Are Sufficiently Watered?

marigold flowers in the gardenYou can tell your marigolds have been sufficiently watered when the blooms are healthy and active. The plants should stand upright with assistance and the leaves will be lush and green. Marigolds are typically planted outdoors and when watering, the soil at the base of your marigolds should be thoroughly dampened with water. Only water your marigolds when the top layer of soil has dried out to avoid overwatering.

Can You Overwater Marigolds?

Established marigolds can be overwatered. While you want to water new seeds and growing plants daily to allow them to germinate and establish themselves properly, mature marigolds only need to be watered once weekly when the top layer of soil has become dry to touch.

Overwatering marigolds can cause the leaves to wilt and turn yellow. Excessive moisture around the root system can cause root rot and fungal attacks on your marigolds which weaken them and diminish their appearance.

What are Signs of an Overwatered Marigolds?

Signs of overwatered marigolds are wilted, yellowing foliage on the plant. Other signs include root rot and fungal growth on the plant which will compromise the health of the plant. Established marigolds should only be watered once weekly when the top inch of the soil is dry to touch. Watering your marigolds while the soil is still damp and saturated with water will lead to overwatering.

How Long Can Marigolds Go Without Water?

Marigolds are native to regions with hot and dry climates, meaning that mature marigold plants are relatively heat and drought resistant. Marigold seeds and new plants should not be allowed to dry out for more than two days. Frequent watering (daily) is best until your marigolds are established.

Once mature, marigolds can go for one week without water. It is best to water your marigolds when the top inch of soil around the plant is dry however they are quick to recover if you forget to water them at the exact one-week mark.

Read our related post How Long Do Potted Marigolds Last? here.

Should Marigolds’ Soil Be Moist?

Ideally, marigolds should be watered once per week when the top inch of soil is dry to touch. If you water your marigolds while the topsoil is still moist, you risk overwatering your marigolds, putting them at risk of root rot and wilted foliage.

You should also avoid allowing the soil to completely dry out all the way through, as this can cause the marigold to dry out and burn under the hot sun.

Why are Marigolds Turning Brown/Yellow?

Your marigolds may turn yellowish or brown when they have been overwatered. Along with the discoloration, the foliage will also start to wilt. To avoid this, you should water your mature marigolds only once per week when the top layer of soil is dry to touch.

Although marigolds prefer hot and dry climates, they may also dry out and discolor if the soil has been allowed to sit dry for too long making them more susceptible to burning under the hot sun. 

Why are my Marigolds Droopy?

Your marigolds may look droopy if they have been overwatered. While new plants need to be watered daily to establish the root system, mature marigolds only need to be watered once weekly. Overwatering your marigolds can compromise the health of the roots, reflecting in the foliage of the plant.

While it is less likely than overwatering, your marigolds will appear wilted, if they have not received enough water and the soil around the plant has completely dried out beyond the top one inch.

Do Marigolds Need Fertilizer?

Scotts Super Bloom Water Soluble Plant Food, 2 lb - NPK 12-55-6 - Fertilizer for Outdoor Flowers, Fruiting Plants, Containers and Bed Areas - Feeds Plants Instantly

Marigolds are hearty plants and do not typically need fertilizer unless the soil quality is exceptionally poor. The best way to ensure frequent blooming of your marigolds is to deadhead any old blooms throughout their annual lifespan.

How Much Sunlight Do Marigolds Need?

Because marigolds are native to hot and dry climates, they thrive in full sunlight and can do well in partially sunlit areas too. They will do well in the sun throughout the day and do not need to be brought into the shade if they are potted. Not enough sunlight can cause your marigolds to become leggy with fewer floral blooms. 

Will Temperatures and Humidity Affect Marigolds?

Marigolds prefer to grow in hot and dry climates. During the peak of summer, you may notice that your mature marigolds start to bloom less but usually resume when the weather is a little more temperate in the late summer and early autumn. Marigolds tend to be true annuals and will not survive the winter.

While marigolds are strong plants, tolerating various humidity levels, high humidity can cause mold and fungal growth around the plant which can compromise its strength and lifespan. They should ideally be planted in an area that receives full sun and has good airflow to avoid the buildup of excess moisture.

Will Marigolds Survive in the Winter?

Marigolds are considered to be annuals as opposed to perennials, meaning that they can be planted and will grow and thrive for one season then die off once the weather starts to cool. Luckily, marigolds are easy to maintain and are long-blooming in the warmer seasons.

Will Marigolds Survive in Direct Sunlight?

Marigolds are native to hot and dry climates like those of Central and South America, making them hearty plants that prefer direct sunlight throughout the day. Not enough sunlight can cause marigolds to become leggy with minimal floral blooms.

Final Thoughts

Although marigolds are considered annual plants, they are hearty and quick to bloom, requiring very little maintenance throughout the growing season. When provided with the ideal conditions, you will get a season full of aesthetically pleasing flowers.

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