Meaning, Benefits & Growing Guide

The vibrant golden to yellow and orange colored Marigold flower can add aesthetic value to your garden, office, or landscape.

Generally, Marigold produces ball-shaped flowers during spring, summer, and even fall but undergo degeneration in the winter. The flower helps repel pests and offers multiple medical benefits within the lifespan of about three months.

Continue with the article to learn how to make a Marigold bloom and leverage the flower benefits.

Marigold Flower Overview

Marigold plants are native to Mexico and America, ranging from Southwestern to South America, and have been a main crop in India and parts of Europe.

Explore the table below to know all about the Marigold flower.

Parameters Features
Flower Type Bisexual flower
Structure Compact flower consisting of numerous densely packed petals that appear to grow in solitary or cluster
Shape Ball-shaped flower
with bracts forming a cup-shaped base below each flower head.
Size The floral heads are about 4-6 cm in diameter
Color Golden, orange, yellow, and white colors, sometimes with maroon highlights on edges
Fragrance Very faint musky, pungent, unpleasant smell that repel critters and insects
Blooming Season Late spring to fall
Seed Pods Flower head turn to seed pods consisting about 30-35 seeds
Toxicity Non-toxic to both human and pets

How Often Does the Marigold Flower?

Generally, the Marigold can be perennial that regrows every spring, but most garden Marigolds are annuals that live for a year to give pompon-like flowers.

The Marigold flower bud starts blooming in the spring and continues till the fall if provided with timely deadheading to boost the growth. Sadly Marigold flower does not bloom all year.

However, they may slow the bloom ratio during the hot summer but return to the path once the days get cooler and mildly hot.

Meanwhile, the flower degenerates with the first frost, dropping Marigold seeds and reseeding for the following year.

These self-seeding plants are often mistaken for perennials as they return from seeds yearly, but in some cases, some Marigolds do not regrow every year.

Some perennial Marigold species are Lucida, Lemmonii, and Palmeri, while annuals include African and French Marigolds.

Marigold-flowers-with-buds
Marigold flowers bloom in late spring.

The flowers from Marigolds generally bloom for about three months in mid-late spring, but the flowering cycle depends on the varieties of Marigolds.

For instance, French and Signet Marigold bloom the earliest, sometimes within 45 days of the plantation.

In contrast, African Marigold takes slightly longer, three months or longer after plantation, to mature and thus produce blooms.

Despite the difference in the blooming period, a natural flower always outstands a DIY Marigold flower or the plastic one.

How do you Pollinate Marigold Flower?

Pollination is significant for the Marigold plant, which can be obtained naturally or manually from external help to produce seeds.

Firstly, the flower heads of the Marigold are bisexual and can self-pollinate to produce 30-35 seeds per seed pod.

On the other hand, the vibrant flowers attract pollinators like moths, butterflies, and honeybees, which help to cross-pollinate the flowers.

Alternatively, you can hand pollinate the flowers by taking a small paintbrush and transferring pollen from the anther to the top of the tiny yellow pistil.

After successful pollination, the single head having a lifespan of about 2 to 3 weeks, withers down and turns into seed pods.

Hence, you can collect the seeds by tearing the flower heads apart and pulling the tiny long Marigolds seeds over a piece of paper. Do it during the start of winter.

You can wrap them on paper, store them in a dry place, and sow them outdoors after the last frost date.

Meanwhile, plant three  Marigold flower seeds about 1/2 inch deep and 7-9 inches apart, and spray water to moisten the soil regularly.

Your Marigold seeds will likely germinate within 5-7 days. You can transfer the seedlings into 10-12 inches pot when they are 2 inches (5 cm).

How to Make a Marigold Plant Bloom?

The Marigolds represent hardy and resilient plants growing in the 2-11 USDA Zone, with outdoor planting only in the warmer zone.

However, you need to fulfill the following Marigold flower care regimen to get proper blooms, even if they are low-maintenance and robust.

  • Provide with at least 6-8 hours of direct sun. In case of no light, use a full-spectrum grow light for 8-12 hours daily.
  • Water the plant when the soil’s top 1-1.5 inches is dry.
  • If growing in an enclosed space, watering weekly in summer and once every fortnight in winter is enough.
  • Marigolds bloom best in warm temperatures between 68-75ºF but also can grow out of the range.
  • They can tolerate a vast humidity range, but you can maintain a 90% relative humidity until the cotyledons emerge.
Marigold-flowers-bloomed-in-red
Marigold flowers bloom well under the full sun.
  • Use NPK monthly in the ratio 10-30-20 for Marigolds by diluting to 1/4th of its strength.
  • Provide a loose, porous, well-draining soil rich in organic matter with a neutral pH (6-7).
  • If pests like beetles, grasshoppers, and aphids attack the plant, you can spray neem oil on the entire plant to knock them off.
  • Similarly, use Dithane M-45 to treat root rot, leaf-spot disease, botrytis, rust, powdery mildew, and southern blight.
  • Also, spraying soap water helps defend plants from any external attacks.

Meaning & Benefits of Marigold Flower

Marigold flowers’ symmetrical structure and deep shades make it one of the most-priced flowering varieties.

But, it does not limit itself to aesthetic value. The flower boasts numerous benefits, including medicinal, culinary, and peculiar symbolic meanings in various cultures.

1. Meaning and Cultural Significance of Marigold Flower

Do you know that the Marigold receives its name from the legend of Mary’s Gold, as early Christians offered Marigold flowers on Mary’s altar as a ritual?

It also symbolizes a despaired love relating to losing dear ones, whether by death or a broken relationship.

Besides, Marigold flowers represent remembrance of the dead as people bring eternal Marigolds to a gravesite and offer them to the late dear ones.

In many folklores, the eternal Marigold symbolizes magical power that prevents evils from entering the house.

Look at the table below to learn other exciting meanings and cultural significance of the Marigold flower.

Cultures Meaning & Symbols
Greek culture 1. Young Caltha was in love with the sun god, Helios, but later got burned of passion and became a Marigold. 
2. Men would offer a basket of marigolds to impress the women they love in Greece of Renaissance period.
Hindu culture Garlands are made out Marigold flowers and offered to worship the god Laxmi on Deepawali (Tihar).
Mexican culture The flowers are coupled with the memory of the dead during the famous “Dia de Muertos” symbolizing despair and grief.

Besides, the Marigold flowers are related to optimism, success, beauty, warmth, and creativity. The colors of the Marigold flower also have something to add.

  • Yellow Flower: Positive emotions, joy, and happiness
  • Red Marigold Flower: Romance, passion, and love
  • Orange Flower: Passion, strong positive energy

2. Repels Pests

From ancient times, Marigolds have been used to repel pests like whiteflies, nematodes, bugs, and mosquitoes for their strong scent.

The Marigold flower extract has a faint, musky, pungent, unpleasant smell that repels critters and insects. It disperses limonene which acts as a repellant against whiteflies. 

Not only for pests, but they are also often used as a boundary or natural deterrent against deer as the Marigold flower is deer resistant.

Similarly, research shows that Marigold roots release alpha-terthienyl, a toxic chemical penetrating the hypodermis of nematodes and preventing eggs from hatching.

Hence, planting Marigolds as companions two months before planting Cabbage, Broccoli, Cucumbers, Eggplant, and Squash can defend vegetation from such pests.

Although Marigold repels pests, its vibrant shade attracts pollinators like honeybees, butterflies, etc., assisting pollination of your crop.

3. Health Benefits

Besides cultural and mythological value, Marigold flowers have several health benefits.

NCBI journal has published that the French Marigold flower contains flavonoids and carotenoid lutein, which have anti-inflammatory properties.

Thus, it is an excellent source to lower inflammation and fight against free radical damage.

Likewise, Marigold flowers also possess pure lutein and zeaxanthin, which can benefit the eyes if taken as leaf tea.

Also, the flowers comprise pre-cursors to yield the antioxidant Vitamin A, thereby reducing eye infections and protecting from UV rays and oxidative damage.

The essential oil of Tagetes minuta is extracted as an essential oil containing antibacterial, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties to heal wounds, burns, and rashes.

Additionally, Marigold flowers have antispasmodic and antidiarrheal properties to treat spasms, cramps, and gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea and colic.

4. Culinary Uses

Lutein, extracted from the African Marigold flowers, can be used as a raw natural food coloring to make the dish look delicious.

Also, you can use the raw Marigold flower petals as a colorant for butter instead of Saffron to give your dish some peppery flavor.

Likewise, you can add dried flower petals in broths, soups, and stews to boost your dish with antioxidants.

Additionally, you can garnish your salads with flower petals. Its citrus flowers make an ideal addition to savory salads, seafood dishes, or hot desserts.

Prepare the flowers by gathering the Marigold in full bloom, drying them, and storing them in air-tight glass jars.

Now put one tablespoon of dried Marigold petals in 8 oz. hot water to make antioxidant-rich tea.

Is Marigold Flower Poisonous?

Although the Marigold flower has many benefits, consuming some varieties can be mildly toxic to your pets.

According to ASPCA, Garden Marigolds are non-toxic to pets and humans. However, the Cat Fanciers’ Association lists Marigolds as a toxic flower that contains phototoxic thiophene derivatives.

Generally, the Marigold has been used for culinary and medicinal purposes since ancient times because of its non-toxic nature.

However, it must be taken occasionally and in a moderate amount.

The Marigold flower may not be edible if you are sensitive to the Asteraceae or Compositae family. So, avoiding the genus Tagetes may prevent skin rashes and allergies.

Also, if you suspect your pets have nibbled Marigolds, check for the signs of vomiting, drooling, gastrointestinal irritation, reddening skin, and allergic rashes.

Immediately contact your local veterans or the helpline if you notice the above signs.

However, Marigold poisoning in humans is rare, so you need not panic.

From Editorial Team

Provide Optimal Care!

Marigolds are low-maintenance decorative plants planted as border plants, shrubs, potted, or statement pieces for your garden.

To receive the best blooms of the birth month flower of October, place it in a sunny location, and provide it with adequate water and nutrition.




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