marigold symbolism

Marigold Flower Meaning and Symbolism You Should Know

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Often seen as a hallmark of autumn, marigold flowers have flower heads that blooms in all kinds of warm shades, including red petals, orange, and bright yellow petals. 

However, the marigold flower can actually endure throughout most of the spring and summer months, and offers everlasting beauty through the seasons. One of the smallest and most common garden flowers, the french marigold symbolic meaning is deep in ancient cultures and can fit into just about any occasion. 

Let’s take a look at the marigold flower meaning.

What Does Marigold Mean?

marigold flower

Marigolds fall into two separate categories based on their scientific nomenclature and etymological meaning. In the first group, you’ll find beautiful flowers in the genus Calendula family, which is a Latin name that means “little clock.” 

The other marigold flowers are less common, hailing from the genus Tagetes family instead. This scientific name is derived from that of the pagan religions mighty religious prophet, Tages, who had a powerful influence on Etruscan culture. They are all from the Asteraceae family, however.

Many of these are native to Central America but spread to North Africa, Spain, and France. Either way, the common name marigold flower meaning has to do with the plant’s initial use as an offering to the Virgin Mary – the flower was given in place of gold coins by early christians. Hence the name Mary’s gold and is often used to decorate household altars on saints day and all souls day.

Marigolds are also very popular flowers on special occasions such as birthdays or celebrating the start of a new job. These flowers are thought to convey strong emotions and give off positive energy. They can also have a whole host of other meanings depending on how they are used, so be careful to whom you gift them.

You could unwittingly send the wrong message. Marigolds are often used as a farewell to lost loved ones at a memorial. Bringing marigolds to the grave of a lost loved one has become increasingly popular around the world today.

yellow marigold flowers

What Do Marigolds Symbolize?

Marigold flower color meanings and deep flower symbolism, change depending on its color and placement in a garden or an occasion. 

Although it does have a few negative connotations attached to it, this flower usually has more positive meanings like beauty and warmth, winning the affections of someone through your hard work, and creativity.

The symbolic meaning of marigolds includes a drive to succeed and cheer in a relationship. The color orange is also associated with many positive feelings when it comes to marigold meaning. Due to its pick-me-up value, this herb of the sun is great for someone that feels a bit down.

What is the Orange Marigold Meaning?

marigold flower

The orange marigold is a vibrant and bold flower that symbolizes passion, creativity, and success. This color was inspired by the sun, making it an excellent representation of energy and vitality.

These orange flowers also represent warmth and enthusiasm, and they’re often given as a gift to celebrate someone’s accomplishments. It’s not surprising that this flower is often used in fall decor as it adds a touch of warmth and glow to any space.

What is the Red Marigold Flower Meaning?

The red marigold is a symbol of love, passion, and courage. This color was inspired by the fiery sunsets, reminding us that life is short, and we need to seize the day.

Red marigolds are often used in religious ceremonies and are also given as gifts to symbolize love and commitment.

These red flowers allow us to feel a connection to something deeper than ourselves, making it an excellent choice for meditation and self-reflection.

What is the Symbolism of Yellow Marigolds?

If you’re looking for a symbol of happiness, joy, and sunshine, then the yellow marigold is perfect for you. Yellow marigolds represent the sun and represents warmth and friendship.

Yellow marigolds also symbolize resilience, determination, and optimism, making them an excellent choice for anyone who’s going through a tough time. It’s not surprising that this flower is often used in events celebrating new beginnings and milestones.

What is the History of the Marigold Meaning?


Beyond the marigold symbolism mentioned above, the marigold flower can also be associated with sorrow. In Mexico, they are the traditional flower used during the dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) holiday due to their many symbolic meanings and deep association with this holiday.

Dating back to ancient Egypt, they are also thought to have healing effects often applied topically as an anti-inflammatory cream to treat rashes, and are believed to have antioxidant properties in many cultures.

Many also believed marigolds will help you to cross water safely. Marigolds are also used as offerings to the goddess Lakshmi. Due to their sunny color, they are thought to chase away evil spirits and bring back positive energy.

All marigolds sport some kind of yellow, orange, or red marigolds petals. When these warm colors are viewed on marigolds, they add lots of meaning, helping people who feel down and out get a bit of a pick-me-up. 

What is the Cultural Significance of a Marigold?

marigold plant

Other Marigolds were frequently given as sacrifices to the gods in Christian, Buddhist, Aztec, Hindu, and even pagan culture. This beautiful flower has strong ties to the full sun and is believed to have the power to resurrect and attract passion and creativity. This flower also has many other different meanings among them being linked to lost love and positive emotions.

All marigolds have the same basic meanings as they are all found in the same red, yellow, and orange marigold colors. Even red flowers have a bit of yellow and orange color.

Marigold Symbolism to Ancient Aztecs and Victorian Era

In the Victorian era, Victorians viewed the flower as a symbol of grief, as did Mexicans from Latin America, who connected it to the remembrance of the departed during the Dia de Muertos.

The ancient Aztecs also viewed the marigold in high regard. This was a plant believed to have spiritual power and medicinal purposes. It was prized for its calming effect and believed to have harnessed the power of the sun.

Marigold Symbolism in the Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, marigolds were frequently carried as love charms during the Middle Ages – you would carry French marigolds if you were trying to attract someone new! This makes it a very bold flower head to carry.

What Are Marigolds Often Used For?

They are also believed to have healing properties and are thus turned into essential oils for medicinal treatments. A bit of this oil can also be used on sacred offerings.

Marigolds are often planted around vegetable gardens and other plants for pest control due to their strong odor. Marigold petals are great at repelling pests.

These stunning flowers were grown in monastery gardens as well after being discovered by early Spanish explorers. From Spain, the Latin American marigold seeds were exported to France.

What is the Symbolism of a Marigold Tattoo?

red marigold flower

A marigold tattoo holds deep meaning. You will find marigold tattoos of all colors on people, but usually, they are inked in shades of orange and yellow shades. They usually represent grief, jealousy, or cruelty – this isn’t a tattoo to get if you are interested in saying something nice! 

When Should You Give Someone a Marigold?

orange marigold flower

Marigolds are perfect, beloved flowers that are commonly referred to and given as gifts on practically any occasion. Aside from being recognized as a symbol of joy, they are a perfect gift at religious ceremonies or memorials for those who have passed away. Marigolds are also believed to have medicinal properties and are thus given to the sick.

They can also be given on summer birthdays or to encourage somebody in your life to reach for their full potential. The marigold is also the flower for the birth month of October. To grow your own, get some marigold seeds to brighten up your garden.

See more: Marigold companion plants

*Photo by Shebeko/depositphotos

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