Home » Herbs » Marigold Flower Meaning and Symbolism.

Marigold Flower Meaning and Symbolism.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Have you ever wondered what marigold flowers mean and what symbols are associated with them? Here is a comprehensive guide to Marigold’s Meaning and Symbolism, including its History, Origins, and Uses.

Delving into floral symbolism, this guide explores what the marigold represents and its significance across cultures and traditions.

It covers the history, origins, and different ways people use marigolds. It uncovers the exciting stories behind these bright flowers and shows how they have been important throughout history.

By the end of this tutorial, you may consider adding marigolds to your garden not just for their beauty but to celebrate love, relationship, and creativity. You can also use them in your homemade apothecary or for culinary purposes.

History of the Marigold and the cultural significance of Marigold's Meaning

First of all, let’s clarify, what are the botanical characteristics of the marigold flower?

Marigolds’ vibrant and colorful blooms range from shades of yellow and orange to red and maroon. 

They are effortless to grow, and they grow fast. Moreover, they bloom all season long if exposed to the direct power of the sun. You can find them in gardens and flower beds as they are popular and cultivated worldwide for ornamental purposes. 

Additionally, certain species of marigolds known as Pot Marigold, aka Calendula Officinalis, have medicinal properties. I have been using them to make a healing oil, tincture, salve, or shampoo bar

Though belonging to the same daisy family, Marigolds and calendula are actually from different genera. Marigolds are classified under the genus Tagetes, while Calendula belongs to the Calendula genus.

Different marigolds (Tagetes) exist, mainly French, African, and Signet marigolds. All varieties are easy to grow from marigold seeds.

What Does the Marigold flower Mean and symbolize?

What Does the Marigold flower Mean and symbolize?

Marigold symbolism and meanings are numerous depending on cultural, historical, and contextual factors.

1. Joy and Optimism:

Like daisies, marigolds are beautiful flowers with bright and vibrant colors thus often associated with qualities such as joy, optimism, and cheerfulness. They are believed in bringing positive energy and uplifting spirits.

2. Celebration and Festivals:

Marigold is also used in ceremonies to honor and remember the dead. For example, in Mexican culture, marigolds decorate altars and graves during Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos.

In Mexico and Latin America, marigolds are used to decorate household altars During All Saints Day and All Souls Day. They are believed to help guide souls to their final resting place.

Marigolds flowers are used in religious ceremonies, weddings, and other festive occasions in India.

Marigold Flower Meaning and Symbolism.

3. Flower of the Dead

Marigolds are often used to symbolize remembrance, grief, despair, mourning, and honor in the Victorian flower language. People use them in funeral arrangements and memorial services to pay tribute to loved ones who have passed away. 

4. Creativity and Inspiration

As the birth month flower for October, the meaning of marigolds reflects the colors and essence of autumn. Their warm and vibrant hues symbolize the changing season and a symbolic connection to creativity and inspiration.

5. Protection and Warding Off Evil:

In some cultures, marigolds are believed to have protective properties and spiritual symbolism. They ward off evil spirits or negative energies. People plant them near entrances, windows, or gardens for spiritual protection.

6. Love and Relationships:

Finally, the meaning of the marigold flower also carries love and relationships, like lavender or aster. They are sometimes associated with loyalty, passion, and affection. In certain traditions, people give them as gifts to express love or use them in wedding ceremonies to symbolize a strong and enduring bond.

MARIGOLDS IN the garden

Etymological meaning of the Marigold – How Does Marigold Get Its Name?

Legend tells of Spanish explorers who, unable to offer gold coins to the Virgin Mary, came across beautiful marigold blossoms in the Americas. Recognizing their golden-like appearance, they gathered the blooms and presented them as an alternative offering to her. Over time, offering marigolds to the Virgin Mary became a cherished tradition, symbolizing devotion, spiritual wealth, and the blessings of abundance.

The first part, “Mary,” refers to the mother of Jesus in the Christian tradition. The common marigold name originated in medieval times when marigolds were used in religious ceremonies and festivals honoring the Virgin Mary and known as “Mary’s gold” or “Mary-gold.”

The second part, “gold,” refers to the vibrant golden color of the flowers, resembling the color of gold. This association with the precious metal further contributed to the name “marigold.”

So, the name “marigold” combines the religious association with the Virgin Mary and the golden color of the flowers.

Meaning of the color - Marigold color meanings

Meaning of the color – Marigold color meanings

Most varieties of marigolds bloom in this bright, sunny hue and are associated with the sun due to their vibrant yellow and orange colors. In many cultures, they symbolize the sun’s radiant power and are related to feelings of joy, optimism, and positivity.

When the petals of the marigold are not purely red but have orange tips, they combine the meaning of the two colors and convey a spiritual meaning of intense and passionate emotions linked to deep love and romance. 

Like dandelions, the color of marigold petals differs and symbolizes different meanings.

While Yellow marigolds symbolize joy, happiness, and positive energy, orange marigolds are often associated with enthusiasm, creativity, and passion. 

Red marigold also symbolizes passion, desire, and strong affection and represent deep emotions such as love, romance, and intense feelings. People used them in the Middle Ages as love charms or spells who wanted to try attracting someone new.

How Does Marigold Get Its Name?

History of the Marigold and the cultural significance of Marigold’s Meaning

The history of the marigold’s meaning is rich and varies across the nations.

In Aztec culture, marigolds were considered sacred flowers and were associated with deities, particularly the sun god. They were used in religious rituals, ceremonies, and as offerings. The Aztecs also used marigolds for healing properties and as home adornments.

During the Victorian era, marigolds evoked strong emotions, including love, passion, creativity, and symbols of sacred offerings and protection against evil.

Marigold Tattoo meaning and symbolism

Marigold Tattoo meaning and symbolism.

It has many symbolic meanings. 

  1. Remembering Loved Ones: A marigold tattoo can be a way to remember and honor loved ones who have passed away.
  2. Strength and Resilience: Marigolds thrive in harsh conditions. A marigold tattoo may represent strength and resilience in the face of challenges.
  3. Joy and Positivity: Marigolds bright colors symbolize joy, happiness and a positive outlook on life.
  4. Spiritual Protection: Some cultures believe marigolds have protective qualities. A marigold tattoo may symbolize spiritual protection.

Special occasions for the Marigold, When Should You Give Someone a Marigold?

Giving someone a marigold depends on the nature of your relationship and the cultural context. Consider giving marigold in the following situations:

To show appreciation and gratitude to someone. A marigold can be a thoughtful gift. It’s bright colors and positive symbolism can convey your thankfulness.

 You can give this beautiful flower to someone who lost someone they loved as a token of remembrance of the dead or to express sympathy and support during a time of loss or grief.

Marigolds can represent strength and resilience. You can give it to a friend who is going through a tough time to remind him of his inner strength.  

Is Marigold Flower Poisonous, or is is medicinal?

Beautiful Marigold petals, both the common marigold (Tagetes species) and the pot marigold (Calendula officinalis), are edible and safe for human consumption. In fact, people use pot marigold petals as a culinary ingredient to replace expensive saffron. I turned them into energy bars.

marigold symbolism
Vladka Merva on July 4th, 2023

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.