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Do Marigolds Need Full Sun?

Marigolds flourish with vibrant blooms when planted in an area where the plants receive full sunshine. This makes marigolds an ideal flower to plant for summer gardens. While marigolds can survive in partial shade for short periods, the flowers require consistent exposure to full sunlight for a set period each day in order to grow, develop foliage, sustain a strong root system, and create buds that result in colorful blooms. When marigolds are denied sufficient sunlight, it can result in damaging mildew deposits and minimal blooming due to excessive moisture in the soil.

Do marigolds need full sun?

How Many Hours of Sun Do Marigolds Need?

All varieties of marigolds and range of colors—including French, Hybrid, and African marigolds—require at least 6 hours of full sun per day. Without access to sunlight, the plant will struggle to grow to its full size or produce blooms.

  • Provide marigold plants with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight exposure per day.
  • Provide proper sunlight for both indoor and outdoor-grown marigolds.

To help promote marigold growth, provide sufficient sunlight and regulate the amount of water each plant receives. Do not overwater your marigolds. Too much water can negatively affect your plant’s growth and may cause powdery mildew to form on leaves, stems and flowers. Water the plants at the base to avoid damp flowers and stems, which is one of the causes of mildew.

Can Marigolds Grow in Indirect Sunlight?

Marigolds need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day to develop into sturdy plants with hardy, long-lasting flowers. When marigolds do not receive sufficient sunlight, it can result in the following conditions:

  • Weak plants.
  • Fewer blooms.
  • Rotting stems.
  • Rotting buds.
  • Susceptibility to plant fungus.

If marigolds are grown indoors in containers, they still need hours of exposure to direct sunlight versus indirect sunlight. This can be accomplished by moving the containers either outdoors to a sunny location, or indoors to a room that receives direct sunlight for an extended time. For outdoor plants, these should be planted in a location that guarantees direct sunlight exposure for the recommended six hours. After being exposed to direct sunlight, your marigolds should thrive and survive. If the outdoor area only receives partial or indirect sunlight, your marigolds will not be as healthy.

Can Marigolds Grow in Shade?

Marigolds can grow in a shaded environment, but the plants will not be as healthy as marigolds that get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. Shade can also result in soil that is too moist, which may lead to fungus growth on your plants. 

  • Marigolds that are grown in shade will be sick and/or produce fewer flowers.
  • To prevent disease and mildew caused by moist soil and lack of sunlight, add compost to your garden soil.
  • Grow marigolds in containers so you can move them to provide more sunlight.

Marigolds not only require sunlight, they also need to be grown in fertile and well-drained soil. If a shaded location is the only option for planting your marigolds, the soil needs to be prepped before planting. To prepare your soil for Marigolds, mix in an appropriate organic matter, such as compost. The goal is for water to flow through the soil and drain away. If water is trapped by the soil, this creates a waterlogged environment that is harmful to the plants.

One helpful hack for growing shaded marigolds is to plant them in containers with proper drainage. This allows appropriate watering that keeps plants hydrated. Plus, each container can be easily moved to another area to provide more direct sun exposure.

What Happens if Marigolds Don’t Get Enough Sun?

If marigolds don’t receive enough sunlight, they’re likely to develop plant diseases. These diseases are caused by water lingering in the soil because there is not enough direct sunlight to evaporate the excess water. If your marigold’s stems are turning black at the base and the plant is wilting, it is suffering from stem rot. This is brought on by too much water, soggy soil, and not enough sunlight.

  • Marigolds that don’t get 6 hours of direct sunlight are at greater risk of plant diseases.
  • Stem rot—a common marigold disease—is caused when water in the osil isn’t evaporated by sunlight.
  • Without sufficient sun, your marigolds will produce very few blossoms.

Even if your marigolds remain healthy, they will produce fewer flowers if they are grown in shady areas. In order to promote a large quantity of bigger blooms, plant marigolds where they can receive plenty of sun. This will make your garden more beautiful and attractive to pollinators.

Can Marigolds Get Too Much Sun?

While it is important for marigolds to get plenty of sun, it is possible for them to soak up too much sunlight. If your marigolds are experiencing extreme heat due to too much sun, you’ll see withered leaves and stems. To make matters worse, offsetting the heat with excessive watering can also lead to several plant diseases.

  • Too much sun and warm weather can dry out marigold leaves, blooms, and stems, harming the plant.
  • In cool regions, there is very little risk of marigolds getting too much sun.
  • If you’re growing marigolds in a region with very hot summers, light afternoon shade can help protect your plant.

Excess sun exposure also reduces the amount of moisture in the soil due to evaporation. For this reason, adding a layer of mulch near the plant helps with moisture retention and heat tolerance during the summer months. Additionally, if you are growing marigolds in a very hot region of the southern or southwestern United States, some afternoon shade can prevent burn and help marigold blooms last longer.

How Much Sun Do Marigolds Require?

Marigolds do best when exposed to direct sunlight between 5–6 hours each day. Marigolds need the sun for the photosynthesizing process to take place, which results in plants that provide consistent beautiful blooms. Without adequate exposure to sunlight, the flowers may have limited blooms or no blooms at all.

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