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Fertilizing Marigolds – How To Get Your Marigolds Blooming Bigger Than Ever!

When it comes to getting your marigolds to bloom bigger and brighter than ever – there is no better way than fertilizing them at just the right time, with just the right fertilizer!

Marigolds have become quite popular again among gardeners. This flowering annual was once the go-to plant for flowerbeds in the 1960’s, 70’s & 80’s, but took a backseat as a whole slew of new flowering annual varieties hit the market over the last 40+ years.

So why the resurgence? For starters, gardeners have fallen in love again with the amazing color and interest marigolds can bring to flowerbeds, gardens and containers – and the many benefits growing them can bring for their other plants too!

fertilizing marigolds
Marigolds can bring a big flourish of color to any space. Not only are they easy to plant, they are even easier to maintain! With just a bit of fertilizer, you can keep them flowering all summer long.

From petite varieties that cover their foliage with massive bloom sets, to large Pom-Pom style marigolds with near baseball size flowering heads, there is a near endless array of marigolds for any setting. But even more, marigolds are one of the toughest annual flowers around!

Not only are marigolds drought resistant, they also are incredibly pest resistant too. In fact, even better, they help to repel many pests! Not just from their own foliage and flowers, but to any other flowers planted around them. (See: How To Repel Pests With Marigolds)

The Ease Of Growing Marigolds – How To Fertilize Marigolds

Perhaps best of all, marigolds are incredibly easy to plant and maintain. Although you can grow or purchase them as transplants, they grow easily from seed.

That little fact makes them one of the least expensive annuals of all to plant. Especially when you consider their seeds are one of the easiest to save and store as well. Just one single flower head from a marigold can produce 50 or more seeds!

When sowing direct, as long as the soil has warmed to at least 65 degrees, marigolds usually sprout in 5 days or less. And they grow fast! Marigolds can go from seed to flower in as little as 6 weeks. That makes them perfect for planting anywhere and everywhere to bring big color.

Marigolds grow easily from seed, making them quite economical to plant. Most varieties will begin to flower just six weeks after planting.

But getting the most from your marigold plants means giving them the nutrients they need to flourish. And the best way to do that during the growing season is by fertilizing. With that in mind, here is a look at how to best power up your marigolds this year to keep them flowering strong all the way to late fall!

How To Fertilize Marigolds For Bigger & Brighter Blooms!

One of the biggest keys to keeping marigolds flowering strong is to provide them with a steady source of energy. Not just when they are young seedlings, but throughout their entire growing season.

The good news is that marigolds have all season lasting power. If given the proper nutrients (and water), they can thrive from late spring right up until the first frost. But to keep producing – supplying those nutrients regularly is critical to success.

The blooms sets and flowers on a marigold plant can be quite heavy. To power the blooms and eventual flowers, it requires a lot of energy from the soil. Energy that is soon depleted if not replenished by fertilizing.

This is true not just for marigolds growing in the limited soil of containers or baskets, but ones growing in traditional flowerbeds or garden settings too. No matter where they grow, marigolds need a steady source of energy to keep producing more blooms and create more flowers.

Selecting The Best Fertilizer – How To Fertilize Marigolds

When it comes to fertilizing marigolds, liquid fertilizers will work better for powering blooms than granular types. Although granular fertilizers provide a slow and steady power to plants, it can often be too slow for promoting strong blooming on a regular basis.

With granular fertilizers, the nutrients require more time to absorb into the plants. Granular fertilizers break down as moisture hits them to leach their power into the roots. This is great for steady, slow growth – but not for powering continuous blooms.

Liquid fertilizers, on the other hand, work quite fast. Because they are already in liquid form, they can absorb into the soil and directly into the roots. Even more, liquid fertilizers absorb into a plant’s stems and foliage too.

With this dual approach to power, your marigolds can have a steady and ready supply of nutrients, which is perfect to keep the plant producing new blooms.

fertilizing potted marigolds
Marigolds growing in pots or baskets will require more frequent fertilizing. With limited soil, the nutrient supply can run out quickly.

Selecting The Best Liquid Fertilizers – How To Fertilize Marigolds

So what is the best liquid fertilizer to use? There are actually several choices that will provide excellent results.

For those looking for an inexpensive, all natural approach, compost tea works wonders. Made by soaking compost in water, compost tea provides a quick boost of energy for marigolds. Not only is it all natural, but if you have fresh compost on hand, it’s free to make! (See: How To Make Compost Tea)

There are also plenty of off-the-shelf liquid fertilizers that work well too. If using a commercial liquid fertilizer, select one with a higher rating of phosphorous. Phosphorous is the middle number in the N-P-K ratios of fertilizers.

This nutrient is responsible for helping plants to form blooms and flower. Many times fertilizers with higher phosphorous amounts will also have “bloom booster” listed on the label. This is exactly the type of fertilizer that will work best! Here are a couple of choices that work well:

How & When To Apply – How To Fertilize Marigolds

For best results, a steady approach is necessary. Applying too much fertilizer or applying it to often can overpower plants and actually create more foliage and less blooms. And applying infrequently can have the same effect.

bloom booster
Bloom booster fertilizers are perfect for providing more phosphorous to help plants produce more flowers.

For marigolds growing in containers, baskets or pots, a weekly feeding is best. Annuals growing in confined spaces will require more food to keep them powered. If you are using compost tea, apply every 5 days as the power in compost tea is not as concentrated.

For marigolds growing in more traditional settings such as gardens, flowerbeds or large raised beds – fertilizing every two weeks with a commercial liquid fertilizer is usually sufficient to power blooms.

In larger soil settings, the plants are able to grow deeper and more extensive root systems, allowing them to absorb and store more nutrients. Again, if using compost tea, every 7 to 10 days will work best.

Here is to powering and energizing your marigolds for bigger and better blooms this year!

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This Is My Garden is a garden website created by gardeners, for gardeners. Jim and Mary Competti have been writing gardening, DIY and recipe articles and books and speaking for over 15 years from their 46 acre Ohio farm. They publish three articles every week, 52 weeks a year. Sign up today to follow via email, or follow along!