5 Reasons Why Marigold Looks Burnt with Effective Solution

Marigolds are tropical flowering plants known for their firing bright blossoms and persistent medicinal values. So, it’s been a good pick for gardeners over the years.

The shrub marigold is quite resistant to different stress conditions, but some factors can damage your flowers and foliage. The most common issue observed in marigolds is the burnt appearance. 

So, if you are looking for the answer to why my marigold looks bad, you’re in the right place. Here I’m going to discuss the facts related to the burnt appearance of marigolds which will conclude fungal infestation, excessive rainfall, improper soil conditions, sun, and chemical damages.

So, let’s check what’s the deal.

Troubleshooting Burnt Marigold Issue

Marigold Looks Burnt

1. Fungal Attack

Fungal attack is the most common and devastating issue in marigolds. Mainly fungi from Alternaria, Cercospora, and Septoria are associated with leaf and flower burns in marigolds.

You may observe tiny brown spots which will promote large circular lesions on the leaves and petals of your marigold at the initial stage. If not treated properly, your whole plant along with the blooms will turn into a dirty brown mass.

So, it’s very much important to start marigold fungus treatment as soon as possible. Keep reading to find out the fixes.

Control Measure

As soon as the diseases start to appear, you need to stop overhead watering. This will prohibit fungal spores to transmit to healthy plant parts. Also, check for a proper drainage system in your garden.

Do not water your marigold more than once a week at a depth of not more than 6 to 8 inches. Overwatering can cause root rot which will promote fungal spore dissemination.

Then allow better aeration by removing some branches and also the diseased plant parts. It may be a bit heartbreaking, but you have to cut off the affected flowers also to protect the healthy ones.

If disease prevails in a serious condition, you may need to use a chemical fungicide. Here is my recommendation which is one of the best fungicides for marigolds. (Our Pick:Bonide 775 Copper Fungicide Rtu Natural)

Home Remedies

#Recipe 1: Baking soda mixture


  • 30 ml of baking soda
  • 500 ml of water
  • Few drops of liquid soap


  • Mix baking soda and water together and add liquid soap to this.
  • Make a spray out of this solution and apply it to your plant.

#Recipe 2: Milk Spray


  • 500 ml of full cream milk.
  • One and a half-gallon of water.

Steps –

  • Mix milk and water to form a solution.
  • Pour this to your garden sprayer and apply it to the affected plant parts.

2. Excessive Rainfall

Untimely rainfall creates a disturbing conditions for shrubs and plants like marigolds. Mostly floral plants are affected. External injuries, as well as water logging conditions, are most damaging to plants.

Rain splashes promote fungal spores to spread even more rapidly. Besides this, heavy rains cause morphological injuries to plant parts which leave open cuts for fungal spores to attack. At later stages, your marigold leaves may turn brown or rotting symptoms can also arise.

Well though you can’t control this sort of rainfall, some management practices can save your plants from injuries. Here are some which may help you.


First of all, clear all your drainage channels to let the rainwater move faster. Never let your plants to stay in standing water for too long. If possible, raise your nursery bed or lawn soil a bit higher before the monsoon.

An important practice is to cover up plants before the rain. You can use large plastic sheets available in the market. This will protect your plants from external injuries due to heavy rainfall.

After heavy rain, apply a dose of the fungicide I mentioned before. This will reduce the chances of severe infestations by pathogens.

Last but not the least, if your area is having consecutive rainfalls during most of the year, try to provide shade or plant your marigold under large trees to save them from further injury. Also water according to your soils’ needs.

3. Damage from Sun

marigold safe from direct sunlight

Scorching sunlight for a longer period can easily cause marigold leaves and petals to dry up. In general, marigolds are okay with 6 hours of sunlight. But prolonged and excessive heat is not suitable for these plants.

Dried brown and crispy leaves and flowers are the most common signs of sun damage. In severe conditions, the whole plant may dry up showing a burnt look.

However, some easy practices can help to combat such issues effectively. So, let’s check out.


First of all, you need to provide some sort of shading to your plant on hot summer days. You can use white polythene sheets to provide artificial shade.

When it comes to providing shades keep in mind that marigolds are tolerant to 20% of shade on regular days. So don’t cover up your plants for too long. When the heat intensity decreases, let them be in normal growing conditions.

If you notice wilting on a hot humid day, water your plants properly and get them out of the heat. Pot planted ones are advised to move indoors.

However, once any plant part is dried and burnt from sun damage, that can’t be recovered. So, it’s better to trim them off to promote new growth. 

Last but not the least, as marigolds thrive in full sun conditions, choose your planting location wisely. Allow particle shades to keep proper exposure to sunlight. 

4. Chemical Damage

Your marigold may be burnt from chemical damage straight from fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides.

Excess nutrients like boron, manganese, or molybdenum can show up leaf tip browning along with bud yellowing at the initial stage which will lead to burnt foliage and blossoms. Sometimes direct damages like localized burns limited to particular flowers or leaves may also be observed. These are mainly from a high dose of fungicides or pesticides. 


Initial chemical damages can be recovered by giving your marigolds a break from all types of external chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and fungicides for at least 1 month. By this time, you can use organic fertilizers or fungicides instead. 

If damage is severe, prune off the affected plant parts. It’s better to avoid contact with fungicides after such injury. Fertilizer burns can be avoided by using specific formulations for only floral and ornamental plants.

To prevent such damages in the long run, emphasis on the application method of any kind of chemicals. If leaf and flower problems arise in marigolds, try to avoid overhead sprinkling. Focus on soil application rather than direct foliar contacts on plants.

5. Improper Soil Conditions

Normally marigolds are well adapted to the pH between 6.0 to 7.0.  These are not used to low pH. If the soil is too acidic, there may be iron or manganese toxicity which will lead to leaf and flower burns.

Also, compact soils restrict root growth which causes marigold leaves and flowers turning brown which may lead to burnt appearance over time.

Leaf tip browning and discolored brown petals on flowers can be common symptoms of improper soil conditions.

It’s very much important to provide your plant with the best soil media to grow. Here are some of my suggestions that will help in creating suitable soil conditions for growing marigolds. So, let’s check the deal.


To balance low pH conditions, the addition of lime is a good practice. It is advised to add lime before the warmer spring weather, as during wet winters, the breakdown process of such chemicals is more uniform. You can use this lime fertilizer on your marigold. (Our Pick: Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Bloom Booster Flower Food)

To reduce soil compactness and improve overall water holding capacity, add organic manures or mosses. You can also add sawdust. These will allow proper root growth and encourage better water holding capacity in soil.

In the case of pot-planted marigolds, try to practice repotting to new soil media every 2 to 3 years. This will help in maintaining a regular growing pattern as well as keeping pathogens away.

Home Remedy

Well, I have a bonus trick for you here. The following method can help you in establishing a decent growing medium for your marigolds. There’s not much hassle. Take a look.


  • 3 parts of vermiculite
  • 4 parts of peat
  • 2 parts of chicken manure
  • 1 part of perlite


Mix all the ingredients and use it as a growing medium for marigold seedlings.


Question- Why are my marigold leaves burning?

Answer- Mostly leaves burning occurs from conditions like chemical damage or scorching sunlight for a prolonged period. These are the instant facts you need to check.

However, fungal damage, heavy rainfall, and improper soil conditions also have a great impact on marigold plants. These can gradually cause your whole plant turning brown which seems to be burnt out at a later stage.

I have already discussed these, just follow the treatments and you can easily get rid of leaves burning in marigolds. 

Question- Why are marigolds turning brown?

Answer- The main reason behind marigolds turning brown is fungal attacks. Other possible causes can be environmental issues like extreme and consecutive rainfall and over-exposure to sunlight for a prolonged period. 

All these adverse conditions promote the browning of marigold plants and over time the whole plant may burn out. So, be careful when such issues prevail and take necessary measures. 

Question- How do you bring marigolds back to life?

Answer- With proper care and management you can easily save your marigolds. 

Firstly, it’s important to diagnose marigold disease and determine the proper treatment. Then you need to adapt some management activities like better drainage and watering facilities, pruning, and soil amendment. Last but not the least, have patience and let the methods work.

An interesting trick to mention here, whenever you see some dry dead flower on your marigold, pinch it off. This will encourage new branches as well as new flowers on your plant. With time, you’ll get back your bright blossoms back.


With all the possible fixes for burnt marigolds, I have come to an end now. In this article, I have tried to keep things simple and easy. So, there’s nothing much to do.

Just keep monitoring the pathogen attack and provide protection against adverse weather conditions in marigolds and you are good to go. Come back to my articles for better fixes. 

Don’t forget to share your experiences and ask for any solutions in the comment section. Happy growing!

James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg

James Rivenburg is the founder of plantandpest.com, a passionate gardener with valuable experience and knowledge gained through trial and error. The website has a large community of followers who trust his tips and techniques and have succeeded with his advice. He is always Committed to helping others create a beautiful and healthy garden.

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