What to Do with Marigolds at the End of the Season

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If you are wondering what to do with marigolds at the end of the season, you can rest easy. Most of the time, marigolds will bloom until the first big frost takes them out. Here in PA, we enjoy ours until sometime in October.

After the frost comes at the end of the growing season, your marigold plants will likely be a bit freezer-burnt. But as long as you see that frost coming, you can still do something about it!

What to do with Marigolds at the end of the season - dying yellow marigold plant
This yellow marigold has seen better days.

Making the Most of Your Marigolds

Doesn’t the growing season always end far too soon? Luckily, you can still make the most of your annual marigolds.

Because they are annuals, marigolds won’t return for an encore performance next year. You’ll have to plant new seeds to enjoy them all over again.

In the meantime, try these ideas for what to do with marigolds when gardening season is over.

1. Enjoy a Fall of Marigolds!

Until the frost and freezing temperatures arrive, do nothing different for end-of-season marigold care. Allow your marigolds to thrive as long as possible!

Ensure they get sun and water as usual and deadhead marigolds as needed to encourage repeat blooming.

2. Cut away!

Before the frost kills all of your precious flowers at the end of the season, go out the day before and cut all that you can!

Invite a friend over and enjoy some coffee and cookies or a glass of wine as you cut flowers and make arrangements.

To me, this is the perfect way to bid the growing season farewell!

3. Harvest Marigold Seeds for Next Year.

Learn how to collect marigold seeds so you can grow many more fall-colored flowers next year.

Seed swap to trade marigolds for other flowers, veggies, and herbs. You can also donate seeds to a local seed library or offer them up for free to other local gardeners.

Young girl's hand holding marigold seeds next to strawberry blonde marigolds in the grass
End of the season marigold care may involve seed saving

4. Allow the Plants to Die Back and Remove.

You can allow your marigolds to die back naturally. The frost will seal their final fate. Once this happens, you can remove the plants. Simply pull them from the ground or dig them up.

5. Compost the Marigold Plants.

In general, marigolds tend to carry some pest control properties. If you wish, you may compost marigolds after the growing season concludes.

6. Deposit Dead Marigolds Wherever You Take Your Yard Waste.

Sometimes just getting rid of the dead marigolds is the best approach. This works especially well when you don’t personally compost or just don’t have time to sort things out.

Gather up the dead marigold plants along with your other yard waste. Take a drive over to the township center and drop off the yard waste to become mulch.

(This is how it works in our area. If you aren’t sure, check with your neighbors or call the local township to find out if your area offers this.)

Yellow African marigold plant for sale on clearance for $2
Yellow African marigold plant for sale on clearance for $2

What to Do with Dead Marigolds

In summary, try these ideas for things you can do with dead marigolds:

  • Cut and enjoy the last of the flowers.
  • Save seeds from all the varieties you love.
  • Compost dead marigold plants.
  • Dig up spent marigolds and deposit them at the township recycling center if you have one.
Yellow African marigolds in shopping cart at end of season clearance
Yellow African marigolds in shopping cart at end of season clearance at Lowe’s in 2021

Of course, you can also buy new seeds for marigolds you wish to grow next year!

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What else can you do with marigolds at the end of the season? Please share your creative ideas in our comments so everyone can benefit!

Happy Gardening!

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