Do marigold come back every year?

Answered by James Kissner

Marigolds are popular flowers known for their bright and vibrant colors. While most marigolds are considered annuals, meaning they complete their entire life cycle in one growing season and need to be replanted each year, there are a few varieties that can be considered perennials.

Typically, marigolds are grown as annuals, which means they germinate, grow, flower, produce seeds, and then die within one year. However, one interesting characteristic of marigolds is their ability to self-seed. This means that after the flowers have bloomed and produced seeds, those seeds can fall to the ground and germinate in the following growing season without any human intervention.

This self-seeding behavior can sometimes create the illusion that marigolds are perennials because new plants may appear in the same location year after year. However, it’s important to note that these new plants are actually the result of the seeds left behind by the previous year’s marigolds. So, while they may seem like perennials, they are essentially just regenerating from the seeds they produced.

In my personal experience, I have seen marigolds self-seed and come back year after year in my garden. After planting marigolds once, I noticed that the following spring, new marigold plants popped up in the same area. At first, I thought they were perennials, but upon closer observation, I realized they were simply growing from the seeds dropped by the previous year’s plants.

To further clarify the concept, let’s consider the life cycle of a marigold plant. Marigold seeds are typically sown in the spring, and within a few weeks, they germinate and start growing. As the plant continues to develop, it eventually produces vibrant and showy flowers. These flowers attract pollinators, which aid in the production of seeds. Once the flowers have withered and dried, they drop their seeds onto the ground.

During the winter months, the marigold plant dies, but the seeds it produced have now fallen into the soil. When the conditions are right in the following spring, these seeds will germinate and give rise to new marigold plants. This cycle can repeat itself year after year, giving the appearance of perennial growth.

It’s worth noting that not all marigold seeds will successfully germinate and grow into new plants. Some may be eaten by birds or insects, while others may not find suitable conditions to sprout. Additionally, the self-seeding behavior of marigolds can vary depending on the specific variety and environmental factors.

While marigolds are primarily grown as annuals, there are a few varieties that can exhibit perennial behavior through self-seeding. The ability of marigolds to produce seeds that can germinate and grow into new plants in subsequent years may give the impression that they are perennials. However, it’s important to understand that these new plants are simply arising from the seeds of the previous year’s marigolds. So, while marigolds may come back every year in a sense, it is actually due to the self-seeding nature of the plant rather than true perennial growth.