Last updated on May 21st, 2023 at 07:19 pm

Marigolds belong to the genus Tagetes of the family Asteraceae. Tagetes is derived from the Latin word “Tages,” a reference to an Etruscan deity (Etruscan being a civilization of the pre-Romanian times). The name, in particular, means upright or erect.

Asteraceae is one of the largest flowering plant families, with thousands of shrubs, vines, herbs, and trees within its fold. The name Asteraceae is a combination of the Latin word “Aster,” which means “star,” and the suffix “-aceae” is a feminine plural form of “-āceus,” which means “resembling.”

Mexican marigolds and African marigolds are the most prevalent types of marigolds. The African marigolds are a native plant of Mexico. French marigold, another popular variety, is well-known for its leaves, which carry a strong scent. Another variety is the pot marigold or the Calendula, which is grown for its medicinal value.

The English marigold is taken from “Mary’s Gold.” Christians of earlier times used marigolds to honor the Virgin Mary. These flowers were used as adornments on altars.

What does the Marigold flower symbolize?

Marigolds have been in Mexico for over 2000 years. They have been in India for about 350 years. Marigolds have been an element of significance in the Aztec lifestyle. Aztecs are believed to belong to Aztlan—a mythical city in the north of Mexico. Marigolds were part of the Aztecs’ medicinal culture.

The Mexican/African marigold (Aztec) flower is widely used on the Mexican Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos). It is a majorly iconic symbol of this annual holiday meant to celebrate and honor the departed ones. Owing to this, the Aztec flower’s meaning is honoring the dead. In Mexico, this flower is sometimes called Flor de Muerto (Flower of the Dead).

Europe was introduced to marigolds when Spanish explorers entered the continent from South America and brought the flowers with them.

In the Victorian era, marigolds were believed to carry messages of sadness and cruelty. A reason for the such association could be the way the flowers bloomed only in the sun. Marigolds bloom in full sun but bend toward dusk. 

They carry dew drops within their petals, which appear as tears on the petals when they bloom in the morning sun. As a symbol of the sun, they are believed to represent the sun’s movements throughout the day.

The Irish believed that marigolds could protect them from evil influences. They believed marigolds to be gifts from fairies that endowed the flowers with such protective abilities. 

These flowers are a regular on Irish May Day, which celebrates the start of summer. Marigolds are collected after dusk on this day and hung on doors as a mark of respect for the sacred summer cycle.

The marigold is also associated with the zodiac sign Leo. This sign governs the heart, which is why marigolds are good for the heart.

Offered as a sacred gift to Virgin Mary, these flowers are also symbolic of Mary. The flower’s golden petals are associated with Virgin Mary’s crown. The flowers bloom during festivals honoring Virgin Mary. They serve as a rich offering for the poor that cannot afford gold or money.

All in all, the marigold flower symbolic meanings are:

  • power
  • strength
  • light
  • passion
  • creativity
  • happiness
  • optimism
  • renewal

Meaning of the Marigold flower colors

Yellow color


The Mexican marigold of the yellow variety is quite a captivating flower. A dense head is a characteristic of this herbaceous annual plant. The yellow marigold is often planted on the garden limits to prevent the spread of pests. They are also cultivated as companion plants for the same reason.

The yellow marigold flower meaning is associated with life’s riches and a desire for change. The flower symbolizes positivity and new opportunities that must be explored with an open mind.

As the marigold flower is often associated with the Sun to represent the power, strength, and light inside a person, the yellow color of this flower represents positive feelings, happiness, and joy. Most marigolds bloom in this sunny color and symbolize optimism, good luck, and positive thoughts.

Red color


These bright red blooms symbolize emotions, including passion, grief, affection, and sympathy. They represent undying love and support during grief and enduring love and fidelity in relationships. 

Poets and plays associate red marigolds with sadness. Red marigolds are also flowers that indicate the depth of one’s sadness, passion, creativity, and happiness.

Orange color


Orange blooms are bright in color; they express purity, innocence, and a vivid imagination. The orange marigold flowers convey passion, positive energy, strong emotions, and deep feelings. These bright orange blooms are associated with spiritual and mental healing.

Orange-red color

The orange-red hue of the marigold flower means love, passion, and romance. These are red marigolds with orange-tipped petals.

Interesting facts about the Marigold flowers

  • Marigolds are grown in vegetable gardens because they can repel pests and predators.
  • Marigold is used as a natural additive in foods for its color. The European Union approved the use of marigolds as a natural food colorant. These flowers are rich in carotenoids and are utilized for making food pigments. Marigold meal and extracts are utilized in poultry feeds to color the skin, fat, and egg yolks but rarely in fish and crustacean feeds.
  • Marigolds are also popular for their nutritional value, especially their lutein content. Lutein is a carotenoid or a natural pigment. It is similar to Vitamin A and beta-carotene, known for their eye-benefiting properties. Studies are underway to unveil conclusive facts about the benefits of marigolds for the eye. Studies focus on researching the potential of lutein content in marigolds in addressing age-related eye deterioration.
  • Marigold flower meaning includes a respect for the sacred as well. They are used in garlands prepared for gods in India.
  • A superstition linked to marigolds is the use of these flowers as a love charm. These flowers were believed to be part of rituals performed to attain good fortune in love. They were also used in talismans for the same reason.
  • It is believed that placing marigolds under the pillow can stimulate an individual’s psychic abilities.
  • The Aztecs in Mexico used this flower for spiritual and medicinal purposes, including the cure for hiccups.
  • In their fresh and dry forms, these flowers are used for dyeing wool, silk, and cellulose fibers.
  • These flowers are sometimes planted as an insect repellent in crops owing to their sharp, peculiar smell. This could also be the reason for their use in funerals, with their powerful insect-repelling oils.
  • The Aztecs used this flower’s naturally-occurring oil for medicinal purposes. It was recommended for almost everything, including treating people struck by lightning to those with uncontrollable hiccups.
  • The dried flowers are used for making the Georgian khmeli-suneli spice. There are several recipes for cakes and salads that use this. Apart from this, a lovely golden-colored tea is made from dried petals. This must be consumed in moderation, just like any herbal tea.
  • The Day of the Dead festival stems from another Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. She’s believed to be the guardian of the bones of the dead.
  • The flower’s essential oil contains antioxidants and is added to perfumes to infuse an apple scent into them.

How to grow Marigold flowers

Marigolds are fast-growing plants. The seeds take only a few days to germinate. You can expect blooms to appear in roughly 8 weeks. Marigolds can bloom from spring to fall with soil that drains water well and plenty of sunlight.

  1. Plant the marigolds in any good garden soil, as long as the soil is not too acidic.
  2. Place them in a spot with full sun where they can receive 6–8 hours of sunlight daily.
  3. Water new plants every day.

How to care for Marigold flowers

  1. Once established, water the magnolias weekly.
  2. Deadhead the flower regularly to keep the plant producing new blooms
  3. Remove the flowers once they begin to fade and dry out.

Best time to gift Marigold flowers

There’s a special flower for each month of the year—October is the month of the Marigold. This charming and vibrant flower can be gifted to those born in October during their birthday.

The Aztec flowers also symbolize the spreading of cheer and joy. This makes these flowers an excellent wedding gift idea. Combined with a lovely pair of Champagne glasses, it makes a nice gift for a newly married couple.

However, since this flower is associated with death in Mexico, it wouldn’t be a good idea to give this to anyone there. It is symbolic of sorrow and a feeling of unrest there.


The lovely marigolds are hard to miss and impossible to ignore. These bright-colored flowers light up any space and occasion. They bring a ray of joy and positivity to the recipient and shower a bundle of joy on the giver.

If you want to know and learn more about flowers, we at PansyMaiden can help you. Check out our fun, easy-to-read, and informative flower-related content that you will surely enjoy!