Do Marigolds Need Full Sun or Shade - Essential Guide 2023

Written by Ivy

Dec 30 2022

Do Marigolds Need Full Sun or Shade - Essential Guide 2023

In North America and Europe, many gardeners favor marigolds as a plant. They are easy to grow from seeds, can withstand a range of temperature conditions, and can withstand dryness. Does the marigold require direct sunlight is a common query.

Marigolds typically require six hours of direct sunlight per day for normal growth of the foliage and flowers. Choose an outdoor border spot or put marigolds south of your house. Although your marigolds endure the heat the most, these hardy flowers prefer direct and reflected sunlight with a moist soil environment.

How Much Sunlight Do Marigolds Need?

For the best growth and flowering, marigolds need a full day of sunlight. Eight hours are preferred but at least six hours are advised. When they are young, they can only tolerate a little shade; once they are a few inches tall, they require full sun. To make the most of the sunlight in your garden even if you don't have an ideal location, plant in pots and move them around during the day.

Reasons Marigolds Need Full Sun

In Central and South America, where they were first found in the 1500s, marigolds are native. From there, marigolds were transported to Africa and Europe, giving rise to species such as the African and French marigolds.

Due to their local climate, they can withstand droughts and enjoy sunny days. It's unlikely that you'll get the full, dense look you're going for with your marigolds unless they have more access to the sun, even though some species can tolerate part shade.

Therefore, set out your marigold plants where you know they will receive full sun before you start planting this summer, and you'll dream of marigolds!

Marigolds Need Full Sun to Photosynthesize All Day

Marigold foliage is abundant. Have you ever seen the leaves on marigolds? They are masterpieces in and of themselves, and they even resemble some herbs! They are constantly photosynthesising all day long because of their dense, dark green foliage. As a result, the marigolds are able to produce multiple flowers continuously.

Even some varieties of marigolds have double flowers. Yes, you heard correctly. Double flowers are possible on pot marigolds, French marigolds, and African marigolds.

So, they need full sun to put the energy into and grow these dense double flower heads. Additionally, marigolds require full sun in order to continue photosynthesis throughout the summer and fall flowering periods.

Even in the late fall, marigolds can still be in bloom. To achieve this, however, they must be deadheaded, which is simply done by removing flower heads after they have finished blooming. So you can see why they require direct sunlight to continue producing flower heads all year long.

Marigolds need full sun to grow strong and full; otherwise, they'll probably stop flowering and get leggy.

You already know how fragrant marigolds are if you've ever smelled one. Similar to lavender and other fragrant flowers, marigolds depend on the amount of sun they receive to produce fragrant flowers as well as dense foliage and flowers.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, fragrant floral scents are a combination of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and essential oils that are released into the atmosphere to attract pollinators.

In warm weather, these essential oils release a floral scent as they evaporate from the petals. Why does the sun even matter in this situation? The amount of evaporation increases with the amount of sunlight.

Sunflowers, dahlias, and hibiscus are just a few examples of flowers that produce scents when grown in the sun. Even flowers that can tolerate being in the shade can have a floral scent, but they usually need some sunlight exposure to release this fragrance.

More than a dozen different flower species, including marigolds, butterfly weed, zinnias, and Mexican sunflowers, are included in this seed mixture. One thousand square feet' worth of non-GMO seeds are included.

The most crucial component is that it is a wildflower assortment that will draw pollinators and support monarch butterfly populations by giving them access to this amazing collection of flowers.

Marigolds Need Full Sun to Prevent Wilting and Pests

Common Marigold Issues

Marigolds are prone to things like leaf spots, wilt, blight, root rot, and aster yellows, without proper sun and drainage. They are also vulnerable to pests like the imported long-horned weevil, the potato leafhopper, and plant bugs.

  • Leaf spots are caused by a fungal affliction and can vary depending upon the specific pathogen. However, you can prevent this by ensuring that your plant is robust and healthy. By fertilizing and planting in the right place, you can achieve this.
  • The next condition is wilt. This is a different fungus infection that can be caused by Verticillium or Fusarium oxysporum. Wilt causes wilting of lower leaves and leads to the death of the marigold. There are times when plants don't show any symptoms until it's too late. Having robust, healthy plants and taking care not to harm the roots can also help you avoid this.
  • Botrytis blight is pretty gross-looking because it looks like mold. Marigold flowers start to sag and develop fuzzy, gray blobs all over them. When there is a lot of humidity, moisture, wetness, and no sunlight, this fungus grows.
  • Root rot is one that we've touched on before, and it usually affects indoor plants. But don't be deceived by that! Especially as a result of overwatering, root rot can happen both inside and outside.
  • Aster yellows are the last type. This pathogen is brought on by phytoplasmas, an intracellular parasite that harms plant phloem. Leafhoppers, a common pest of many plants, are the means of transmission. Plants affected by this disease become small, atypically shaped, and stunted.

Common Marigold Pests

The imported long-horned weevil lays its eggs in the soil and feeds on the roots of mairgold plants as larvae. Once they reach adulthood, they begin to eat the edges of leaves or flowers.

The potato leafhopper is a sap-sucking insect that feeds on marigold foliage causing it to whiten and shrivel up. Also, as we mentioned, this pesky insect can transmit aster yellows.

Plant bugs. These bugs lay their eggs in the stems of marigold plants, despite having a name that sounds fictitious. When they first emerge, they begin to feed on the sap of leaves, eventually developing into circular holes.

By enhancing plant vigor and keeping your marigold healthy, the majority of these problems can be avoided.

In light of this, one of the simplest ways to maintain the health of your plant is to plant it in the ideal location, in this case, in full sunlight, to encourage the growth of healthy marigolds.

Since we're talking about pests, if you've ever done any summertime outdoor work, you probably already know how bad the bugs can be. mosquitoes and gnats in particular Furthermore, if you are unsure, consider this your hint.

You can protect yourself from insects without the harmful chemicals found in other bug sprays by using Bug Soother Spray – Natural Insect, Gnat, and Mosquito Repellent & Deterrent.

Marigolds Need Full Sunlight to Control Soil Moisture

Depending on the type, marigolds can tolerate a range of soil conditions and humidity levels. The majority of marigolds, however, do not do well in saturated, water-logged soil and thrive in acidic, well-draining soil.

Lack of sunlight and poorly draining soil can both be direct causes of standing water in the soil. Marigolds can tolerate a little bit of shade, especially if they are newly transplanted. But if they're going to stay in a partially shady location, they need well-draining soil.

As we previously stated, some of the pathogens listed above are a direct result of overly humid and wet conditions that don't give them a chance to dry out. Your marigolds are destined for failure if they are overwatered or planted incorrectly.

Do Marigolds Need Full Sun or Shade

Best Locations for Marigolds in the Garden

Marigolds have a variety of uses; they are frequently cultivated in vegetable gardens as a pest deterrent or trap crop or in ornamental flowerbeds for the beauty of their summer blooms. Whatever the purpose, place the flowers in a south-facing bed without any overhead coverings to take advantage of the sun's direct rays.

Take note of how the plants growing close to your marigolds are growing if you're using them as a border, edging, or companion plant. When first planted, some vegetables might be rather small, but as the season progresses, they grow to become towering edible features. Your marigolds will struggle to flower if they are planted on the incorrect side of the taller plants because they will be shaded for the majority of the day.

To prevent root rot, make sure they are planted in soil that drains well and far from places where water collects after a rain.

Growing Marigolds in Less-Than-Ideal Light Conditions

You might be wondering if there is any way these plants can tolerate part shade if you don't have a full sun area of your garden available for planting. Sadly, they cannot tolerate low light levels, and they will not blossom in the absence of sufficient sunlight.

Your Marigolds should be planted in containers in this situation as it is the best choice. With well-draining soil and a large enough pot for your chosen variety, Marigolds make wonderful container plants and bloom prolifically throughout their flowering season.

When you plant in pots, you can move the plants around the day to the ideal location, utilizing the sunlight to provide the minimum 6 hours of direct light needed.

Since they need smaller pots and can be moved around more easily during the day, dwarf marigolds are best suited for containers. Watch the sun's movement on your balcony or patio, leaving the pot in the perfect position in the morning and afternoon to make the most of the light. To give your marigolds an extra nutrient boost to support growth and vitality, it might be wise to think about fertilizing them.

Factors Influencing Light Levels


Depending on your location, the sun's path and intensity will change. You can choose the best location for your Marigolds by using maps like SunCalc to help you better understand the amount of sunlight in your area at particular times.

The right position is even more crucial if the light intensity in your area is lower or if you live in a region with cloudy, rainy summers. In these areas, it is advised that plants receive at least eight hours of sunlight each day to reach their full potential.


Seasonal factors can impact the direction and strength of the light. It can affect growth and blooming time, but it has no bearing on where you put your marigolds (full sun is always the goal, no matter the season).

While those who live in warmer climates will get to enjoy the flowers much sooner, those who live in cooler climates will see their marigolds bloom a little bit later in the spring or early summer.

When the season is over, you might want to think about reducing the amount of marigolds you have to get ready for the spring after.


While all marigold species have the same basic needs, some are more tolerant of heat and direct sunlight than others.

French marigolds are a little more sensitive, whereas African marigolds enjoy warmer temperatures. Signet marigolds are susceptible to heat stress because of their delicate petals.

To reduce heat stress, be sure to choose the right variety for your garden and to water it regularly.

Are Marigolds Suitable Indoors?

For the purpose of admiring their lovely blooms, marigolds can be grown indoors. However, due to this plant's extreme dependence on sunlight, it can only be grown indoors, near a window, or somewhere with enough natural light.

Taking Care of Your Marigolds

Marigolds are simple to plant, easy to maintain, and require little to no work. They also don't require much care.


For many gardeners, deadheading flowers is among the most rewarding garden maintenance chores. To encourage new growth, aid the plant in producing fresh flowers, and encourage new growth, think about deadheading.

But since marigolds self-seed, there is no need to routinely deadhead marigolds. Their seeds will bloom during the subsequent blooming period after their flower dies and falls to the ground.


Marigolds don't require a lot of fertilizer because they are low-maintenance plants. They can be planted in soil that contains a healthy amount of compost to give them long-lasting nutrition.


You can move marigolds into plant pots. When picking a plant container, drainage should be your top concern. Make sure the pot or container has at least one drainage hole in the bottom. Your planter pot must have effective drainage if you want your plants to live.

Can Marigolds Grow in Shade?

Although marigolds can grow in some shade, they thrive best in full sunlight. Now, when we say partial shade, we mean anywhere from 3-6 hours of direct sun. When it's really hot and sunny, a little partial shade can help reduce the heat.

Even though some marigold varieties can flourish in partial shade, it's best to plant them somewhere where they will receive at least three hours of direct sunlight each day, ideally six!

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Wrapping Up

These annuals are sun-lovers and require at least six hours of direct sunlight each day to flourish. Fortunately, you can always plant in containers if you can't find the ideal location to enjoy the blooms all summer long.