Ask a Question forum: Do bicolor white and orange marigolds exist?

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
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keithp2012
Apr 21, 2016 1:11 PM CST
Picture a white marigold with an orange fringe. Both white and orange marigolds exist so it seems plausible.
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 21, 2016 1:12 PM CST
The only bi-color one I can think of is orange and red. Is that your next project?

Daisy
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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keithp2012
Apr 21, 2016 1:14 PM CST
DaisyI said:The only bi-color one I can think of is orange and red. Is that your next project?

Daisy


It might be tough to pollinate marigolds.
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 21, 2016 1:16 PM CST
You would have to isolate the candidates away from all the other marigolds and let them do their own thing.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 24, 2016 9:21 AM CST
Although white marigolds have been around for years now, I do remember when the first white marigold - I think it was Snowdrift - came on the market. It took plant breeders years to isolate the white ones, then to propagate them and have them come true from seed.

This would seem to indicate that the white color is a recessive trait, and if that's the case, any crosses you make with white marigolds as one parent will most likely not be white.

That being said, marigolds self-pollinate and self-sow generously, so it should be easy to get some and give it a try. Edited to add: I did a little research in the database and other places, and all the white ones I saw listed are F1 Hybrids and will not come true from seeds. So not likely you'll get any white traits in the seedlings.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Apr 24, 2016 9:26 AM (+)]
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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Apr 24, 2016 9:36 AM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:Although white marigolds have been around for years now, I do remember when the first white marigold - I think it was Snowdrift - came on the market. It took plant breeders years to isolate the white ones, then to propagate them and have them come true from seed.

This would seem to indicate that the white color is a recessive trait, and if that's the case, any crosses you make with white marigolds as one parent will most likely not be white.

That being said, marigolds self-pollinate and self-sow generously, so it should be easy to get some and give it a try. Edited to add: I did a little research in the database and other places, and all the white ones I saw listed are F1 Hybrids and will not come true from seeds. So not likely you'll get any white traits in the seedlings.


That's interesting, but how do they sell white seed and they all sprout white? There has to be some stability I think.

I was just trying to figure out how to pluck pollen out of a marigold so it won't self pollinate, they have so many petals!
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 24, 2016 10:20 AM CST
They are using two marigolds that, when crossed, the resulting seed consistently produces white flowering marigolds. Its an unstable hybrid so to get the seed, they always have to go back to that hybrid cross. I am surprised the seed from white marigolds is even viable. Its done with corn and tomatoes all the time.

I bet once in awhile, there is an outlier in the package.

You could grow white marigolds and collect the seed. Keep planting and collecting seed and planting. Somewhere, eventually, you will get a white marigold. Then you just have to know which of your many offspring plants produced the white marigold. Good luck with that... Smiling

Daisy
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 24, 2016 11:44 AM CST
If you just grow white ones, so that even if they cross the pollen is from all white flowers, you will get MOSTLY white flowers from the seeds the next year. But you never know if your neighbor down the street has yellow or orange ones and a stray bee brings pollen from there . . . you'll get all orange ones from that flower the bee pollinated, because the orange trait is dominant.

Seed companies isolate their F1 hybrid plants so they only pollinate with other plants with stable traits. That's how they can be fairly confident to sell you a seed packet of white marigolds, or any other color for that matter.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: James West
Grand Junction, Colorado
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jwplantman
Apr 24, 2016 2:55 PM CST
Back in the 70s, when you bought a packet of marigold seed there was this offer- if you could get a white marigold the company would pay $10,000.00 for the plant. Keep crossing and trying you could get rich off new varieties. Good luck.
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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keithp2012
Apr 24, 2016 7:55 PM CST
jwplantman said:Back in the 70s, when you bought a packet of marigold seed there was this offer- if you could get a white marigold the company would pay $10,000.00 for the plant. Keep crossing and trying you could get rich off new varieties. Good luck.


Where's that time machine... 😄
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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keithp2012
May 2, 2016 8:29 PM CST
I bought an yellow and red bicolor wild type marigold where pollen is easy to collect. I got a white marigold, but cannot find where the center is to pollinate being it has so many petals. I only have these two marigolds.

The white marigold bud just got big enough to see the center, will it accept pollen from the other marigold or must it mature further?
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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keithp2012
May 5, 2016 12:57 PM CST
Here are the two I'm cross breeding.
The bicolor marigold looks like it has pollen but nothing rubs off, it's been wet so Mabye that's why.

The white marigold hasn't opened up fully yet, each day I try rubbing the pollen from the bicolor on it in hopes its been pollinating the white.
Thumb of 2016-05-05/keithp2012/fe20d4
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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
May 5, 2016 1:02 PM CST
Does the white marigold flower have all the appropriate parts?
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
May 5, 2016 1:10 PM CST
Just wanted to chime in to say a couple folks in our group have grown out seed from hybrid white marigolds and gotten white marigolds that were nearly the same as the originals, maybe slightly smaller blooms.
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
May 5, 2016 1:21 PM CST
The flower needs to be fully mature to have pollen and an ovary capable of receiving it. That white flower isn't even open all the way yet. See how it's still green in the middle and the petals are folded in.

I'd wait until it looks almost "blown" then carefully cut the flower in half and see if it has pollen (stamens) and an ovary (pistils?). Then wait for the next flower, let it get fully open and mature, then try crossing them again.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
May 5, 2016 1:34 PM CST
DaisyI said:Does the white marigold flower have all the appropriate parts?


They make seed so yes, I just don't know if the parts are fully developed as the flower still is growing.
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
May 5, 2016 1:35 PM CST
critterologist said:Just wanted to chime in to say a couple folks in our group have grown out seed from hybrid white marigolds and gotten white marigolds that were nearly the same as the originals, maybe slightly smaller blooms.


That's great to know, thanks for sharing!
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
May 5, 2016 1:36 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:The flower needs to be fully mature to have pollen and an ovary capable of receiving it. That white flower isn't even open all the way yet. See how it's still green in the middle and the petals are folded in.

I'd wait until it looks almost "blown" then carefully cut the flower in half and see if it has pollen (stamens) and an ovary (pistils?). Then wait for the next flower, let it get fully open and mature, then try crossing them again.


I know they produce seed, so to pollinate it I guess it needs to get bigger, thanks for the help.
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
May 5, 2016 2:59 PM CST
Where is the female part of the marigold? I can't tell?
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Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
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critterologist
May 5, 2016 4:28 PM CST
I think your "keep shoving them together" approach should work, even if it's not precise. You could probably control the cross a little more by covering the plant with mesh or bagging the blooms (with something like those little tulle favor bags)... that wouldn't keep out windborne pollen but would keep insects from doing the deed.
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.

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