I'm a novice gardener and have put some trays of marigold seeds in the garden. Last night, we had unforecast frost. It wasn't a heavy frost, and only appeared in small patches on the grass in the garden. If it's relevant, this is in the UK. The species are: French Dwarf, Bonita and Honeycomb.

Are my marigolds likely to have survived this, or do I need to clear out my trays and start again?

  • 1
    What do you mean for Marigold? There are many different Marigolds (mainly Tagetes and Calendula) Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 12:00
  • I'm not sure off the top of my head. I'll update the question when I get home and check the species.
    – Donglecow
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 12:08
  • The species are: French Dwarf, Bonita and Honeycomb
    – Donglecow
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 17:14

2 Answers 2


Had they sprouted yet? If they were still in the soil, they are probably fine (for frost, not freeze.) If they had sprouted (to the point of being above soil), you'll probably see the tops die and should replant.

  • They haven't sprouted at all, or at least haven't emerged from the soil. I only planted them this weekend.
    – Donglecow
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 15:16
  • I've checked all my trays - there were a few exposed seeds (the seeds themselves, not sprouts), but other than that, they're all still submerged. I'm going to accept this as the answer because you mentioned the variables such as sprouting, the level of frost and freezing.
    – Donglecow
    Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 8:44

I'm sorry to say they will not germinate, regardless of last night's grass frost or not. Tagetes or French marigold (which is the type of marigold you've described with those varietal names) are half hardy annuals in the UK and need to be sown into seed and cutting compost, in trays, in temperatures of 21-25 deg C, see link here http://www.thompson-morgan.com/flowers/flower-seeds/marigold-seeds/marigold-bonita-mixed/1560TM under 'How to Sow'.

Calendula officinalis, the English marigold, are much hardier and can be sown outdoors, although as its currently so cold, a bit later on in early May would be better.

  • Thanks for the in-depth advice. I brought them all inside during the day, is there still a chance they can survive? They'd been outside for around 12 hours.
    – Donglecow
    Commented Apr 27, 2017 at 20:33
  • You should get away with it, but they're more likely to germinate in a propagator, lid on, preferably with bottom heat. Its the reason why most people buy them as small bedding plants!
    – Bamboo
    Commented Apr 27, 2017 at 20:36

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