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Marigold - saving seeds

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Post  JustMe on 5/12/2012, 10:58 pm

Last year, someone gave my daughter marigold heads from their garden, which was neat because it was fun to 'dissect' the dried flower heads for the seeds. We shared those seeds with family.

My parents live in a hotter climate and can grow them pretty much year around. My mom was able to grow the seeds we initially gave her, and then those plants' seeds. She said that the 2nd set of seeds grew to be smaller than the initial seeds.

Does that happen? We never saw the original parent marigolds, but what we planted last year turned out to be at least 12" tall. This year we will plant the seeds from last year's crop, so I'm not sure about spacing.

(Though I must have shaken a lot of marigold heads last year in the raised bed because so much of the random seedlings I am pulling out this spring are marigolds.)
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Post  camprn on 5/13/2012, 8:04 am

hmmm, does your mom grow the flowers in a garden with a lot of compost or Mel's mix? If not, the smaller seed may be a result of the plants not growing as large due to poor soil nutrition. Are you going to try growing the marigolds from these smaller seeds?
The other thought I have is that if the blooms were cross pollinated with a smaller variety, you will get a smaller plant...and smaller seed.

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Post  rowena___. on 5/13/2012, 4:10 pm

the parent might have been a hybrid, in which case the second generation will revert to one of the original parent plants or to a weaker inbred version.
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Post  JustMe on 5/14/2012, 9:47 pm

Interesting about the hybrid. It's been a fun lesson "seed/plant/flower/seed" cycle to teach the
kids. We shared the seeds with both our Cub and Girl Scout troops.
Those seeds are getting around, lol.

I don't know where the friend's seeds came from, so we'll have to see what our 3rd generation seeds do. So long as they produce flowers, then I'll keep planting them in my SFG.

Last summer, my mom was using store bought soil for her potted plants. My dad made a compost bin, but I don't think they've harvested anything from it.
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