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Do Marigolds Come Back Every Year? Are They Perennials?

Some flowering plants are annuals and some are perennials, and marigolds are no exception. So if you like marigolds and want them to brighten up your garden with their yellow, orange, and chrome-yellow blossoms all season long, “are marigold perennials and do they come back every year or not?” certainly would be your primary query. 

Therefore, browse through the segments ahead to learn the precise information regarding this query of yours.

Do Marigolds Come Back Every Year?

The most prevalent marigold types that are cultivated as garden plants typically don’t come back every year during the flowering period with new buds. Instead, at the end of the flowering season, they lose life in the same year. But they might come back in the following year if self-seeding happens.

The most commonly grown marigold species are the African marigolds, French marigolds, Mexican marigolds, and pot marigolds.  

However, you may not know whether all of these common species of marigolds will come back every year or not. Therefore, this section has included explanations regarding the return of French, Mexican, African, and pot marigolds every year. 

African Marigolds:

African marigolds, the most preferred type of marigolds growing broadly don’t tend to come back the next years after blossoming once because African marigolds fall in the category of annual flowering plants.

Therefore, after blossoming fully once a year, they usually lose life and don’t blossom in the next consecutive years with new leaves and flowers. 

However, African marigolds can do self-seeding, if self-seeding occurs then there are chances that these flowers will bloom again in the upcoming year.

French Marigolds: 

French marigolds are also an annual flowering plant, thereby, French marigolds don’t come in the next years. 

In a year, French marigolds tend to start blossoming earlier in summer and continue to blossom in fall till frost starts to hit the plants, then they lose life in wintertime. 

And after winter, French marigolds don’t grow or blossom again in early summer unless the plants do self-seeding. 

Mexican Marigolds: 

Mexican marigold is a popular species of marigolds and it does come back every year as they are perennial types of marigolds.

These marigolds are erect perennial filtering plants that bloom during their growing and flowering season from the late spring/early summer through frost. 

And during wintertime Mexican marigolds freeze to the soil but their roots don’t lose life, as a result, they come back with new tips and buds in the next year. 

However, if the weather gets too harsh in winter, Mexican marigolds can lose life leaving seeds behind to grow again into new plants. 

Pot Marigolds: 

Pot marigolds that are known as Calendulas are basically short-lived perennials if they are grown in places with warmer climates. And that time, they will come back again in the next year after winter. 

However, most times pot marigolds thrive as annuals in the garden beds or flowering pots, especially in chilled weather. So there’s little to no chance that they will come back again in the next years unless self-seeding happens.  

Marigolds don’t come back year after year because these flowering plants finish their lifecycle each year. 

But oftentimes dormant seeds are left behind at the end of every growing season which may grow again into new marigold plants in the next grown season. 

Are Marigolds Perennials Or Annuals? 

Most species of marigolds are annual flowering plants with a lifespan of 1 growing season that lasts less than 1 year and ends with the first frost of fall. But marigolds self-sow, therefore, they may come back in the next growing season which is why sometimes they are mistaken as perennials.  

There are more than 50 species of marigolds, so you may not understand which are annuals and which are perennials if you don’t have proper knowledge regarding each marigold species. 

So below explanations regarding whether African, French, English, Crackerjack, Giant, and Dwarf marigolds (some of the most commonly planted marigold species) are annuals or perennials are listed for your better understanding.  

African Marigolds: 

African marigolds are annual flowering plants. This means, African marigolds will germinate, thrive, blossom, and lose life in one single season. And naturally, the utmost lifespan of African marigolds is less than 1 year. 

So if you plant African marigolds in your garden, they will add a burst of vibrant color to the garden with their attractive flowers from early summer through autumn.

These plants will start to wilt as soon as the first frost of fall hits them and they will lose life in winter when the harshest cold will terminate the marigold roots. 

French Marigolds:

French marigolds are warm weather-loving plants that start to grow early in warmer summer days and bloom with bright colorful marigold flowers throughout all the season till fall, which already is indicating that French marigolds are annuals as well. 

Therefore, after blooming fully with pretty yellow flowers, French marigolds will start withering/freezing upon getting hit by fall’s first frost and will perish in harsh cold days of winter. 

English Marigolds: 

English marigolds are annuals as well, so they will thrive well and flower for only one growing and flowering season each year.

And the period of their growing and flowering session is between early summer to fall (until the first frost) which is the same as any other annual marigold species. 

So the old English marigold plants won’t blossom again in the next year, they rather will leave dormant seeds to grow newly. 

Crackerjack Marigolds: 

The gorgeous and large ball-shaped Crackerjack marigolds fall into the annual lowering plant category and they are half-hardy types marigolds.

Crackerjack marigolds are supposed to be seeded during the spring days every year and the plants will bloom making the landscape bright with their orange, yellow, and primrose-colored flowers from the mid of summer days to fall’s first frost. 

Giant Marigolds: 

Giant marigolds also grow as annual flowering plants that will thrive only for one year. But due to the self-seeding process giant marigolds perhaps will grow again in the next year during a new growing season.

Thence, they may seem to be perennials but they are annuals actually that are growing back from dormant seeds. 

Dwarf Marigolds: 

Dwarf marigolds are a short version of the French marigold so they are named as dwarf French marigolds as well. And as the name implies, dwarf French marigolds are annuals too for being a dwarf version of French marigolds. 

Similar to the French marigolds, dwarf marigolds also thrive for one growing season every year and lose life in the same year in winter leaving seeds to grow again in next year’s early summer. 

What Marigolds Are Perennials?

Among more than 50 species of marigolds, only 2 species are known to be perennial plants and the list of perennial marigolds includes the Mexican marigolds (Tagetes erecta) and Lemmon’s marigolds (Tagetes lemmonii) which is also known as mountain marigolds. 

These two perennial marigold plants can grow in USDA plant hardiness areas 9 and above.

How Long Do Marigolds Last? 

Marigold plants last less than a year and the time dwells from earlier in the summer to fall (until the frost of fall terminates the plants). 

All annual marigold plants have the same lifespan which means the potted marigolds (if they are annuals) will start their life in early summer and will finish it with fall’s first frost. Simply to put potted marigolds will last for less than a year as well. 

How To Take Care For Marigolds In The Winter?

The step-by-step guide to take care of marigolds in the winter has been included below. 

Keep Under Bright Sun: 

Caring for marigolds starts before winter actually comes. So keep your marigold plants in such a place where they will receive at least 6 hours of bright sunlight everyday.

It will help the plants to soak up and stock enough energy to grow viable seeds.

Water The Plants: 

Water the marigold plants twice every week so that the plants are well saturated and water penetrates deeply into the soil because marigolds require more moisture than usual in winter to maintain moisture in their roots.

Use Mulch: 

Use 2”-3” mulch like shredded bark to cover up soil of marigold plants. But don’t let the mulch touch the stem to avoid rotting. 

Snap Off The Dried Flowers: 

Lastly, snap off all the wilting marigold flowers that are closer to base of the marigold plants to stimulate regrowth in the next season. 

What Temperature Is Too Cold For Marigolds?

Temperature below 40°F is too cold for marigolds to withstand because frost can happen at 40°F temperature which can freeze and terminate marigold plants. However, if the marigold plants are healthy, frost at 40°F temperature may not terminate them. 

Final Thoughts

Marigolds are annual flowering plants, not perennials. So the same old plants will neither thrive again in the thriving season nor they will blossom again. However, marigolds do self-seeding which can make these plants grow newly from the seeds left behind.