Marigold Flowers: A Bright Orange Flower

by Australian Flowers

Most people know marigolds as common garden flowers, but these brightly-coloured blooms have many surprising uses. Marigolds are edible and can be used to make tea, added to salads, or cooked into dishes. They are also effective in deterring pests in the garden. In some cultures, marigolds are used in religious ceremonies and are thought to bring good luck.

Read on to learn more about the many uses of marigolds.

About Marigolds


These flowers are part of the Asteraceae family, including daisies, sunflowers, and chrysanthemums. They are native to North and South America, but they have been introduced to other parts of the world and can now be found growing on every continent except Antarctica.

There are many different species, but the most common types are French marigolds (Tagetes patula) and African marigolds (Tagetes erecta).

When to Plant

These flowers are annuals, meaning they live for just one season. In most regions, they can be planted outdoors after the last frost date in spring. Check the seed packet to see if there are any special planting instructions. Here is a guide on when to plant. 

Where to Plant

This flower is an excellent addition to any garden. They can be planted in full sun or partial shade. They are also drought tolerant, making them perfect for hot, dry climates.

The best example location to plant these flowers would be in a cottage garden. They are perfect for adding a splash of colour and filling in any gaps in your flower beds. They are also a good choice for edging gardens or lining walkways.

How to Plant

They are one of the easiest flowers to grow. With just a little care, you can have them blooming in your garden all season long! Here’s a step by step instructions on how to.

  • Choose a sunny spot. They love the sun and will bloom best when they get at least six hours of sunlight each day.
  • Prepare the soil. It does best in well-drained, sandy soil. If your soil is heavy or clay-like, mix in some sand or compost to help improve drainage.
  • Sow the seeds. The seeds are tiny, so it’s best to sow them on top of the soil and lightly cover them with a thin layer.
  • Keep the soil moist. It needs to be wet, so water regularly, especially during dry periods.
  • Deadhead the flowers. To encourage more blooms, deadhead (or remove) the spent flowers. Snip off the flower head with a sharp pair of scissors.

How to Grow

Now that we’re done with how to plant and where to plant them, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of how to grow them.


The flower prefers at least six hours of sunlight per day. They will bloom best if they receive full sun, but they can also grow in partial shade. If you live in an area with sweltering summers, you may want to give your plants some afternoon shade to prevent them from getting too much sun.


The best location for these flowers is in direct sunlight. They require six to eight hours of daylight each day. Your flowers will appreciate a little afternoon shade if you live in an area with hot summers. They will also do well in any well-drained soil.


The water requirement is moderate. They need 1-inch of water per week. It can wilt quickly in direct heat, so keep the soil consistently moist. If you live in a hot climate, it is best to plant them in the morning or evening to avoid the harsh midday sun.

Flowering marigolds are annuals that bloom throughout the summer and into the fall. The flower has a long bloom period, which makes it a popular choice for gardeners. They are available in various colours, including yellow, orange, red, and white.


These flowers do best in soil that is slightly acidic to neutral with a lot of organic matter. They prefer moist but well-drained soil. If your soil is heavy clay, you may want to consider planting marigolds in raised beds.

To prepare the bed, loosen the soil to a depth of 12-16 inches (30-40 cm) with a shovel or spade. Mix 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) of compost or other organic matter.

Climate and Temperature

The climate and temperature needed is a hot and sunny area. If planted in an area that does not get enough sunlight, the marigolds will become leggy and produce fewer flowers. They do not tolerate frosty conditions and should be planted after the last frost date in your area.


This flower needs a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen and potassium. The best time to fertilize is in the spring before they bloom. You can also fertilize them in the summer, but be sure to use a fertilizer that is low in nitrogen so that you don’t encourage too much leaf growth.


They are easy to grow and require little maintenance. Simply deadhead spent flowers to encourage continued blooming. If your marigolds become leggy, cut them back by a third to promote bushier growth. Fertilize every two weeks with a water-soluble fertilizer for best results.

Pruning and Deadheading

Pruning and deadheading are essential in keeping these flowers looking their best. Pruning helps to encourage new growth and prevents the plant from becoming leggy. Deadheading removes spent blooms and helps to prevent the plant from going to seed. Here’s how to prune and deadhead:

Pruning: When pruning, you’ll want to cut back the plant by about one-third. Cut back the stems just above a set of leaves. You can do this once or twice a season, as needed.

Deadheading: To deadhead, remove the spent blooms. Cut the stem down to the next set of leaves or buds. You can do this as often as needed to keep the plant tidy and encourage new growth.


This flower is easy to propagate from seed. Sow seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date in your area. Use a seed starting mix and plant the seeds ¼ inch deep. Keep the soil moist but not soggy until germination occurs.

The seeds will germinate in 5-10 days. Once the seedlings emerge, thin them, so they are about 6 inches apart. When the seedlings are 4-6 inches tall, transplant them outdoors.

Hardening Off

These flowers are one of the best annuals for beginning gardeners. They are easy to grow and maintain, drought tolerant, and have a long blooming season. They come in various colours, including yellow, orange, and red, ranging in height from 8 inches to 4 feet.

When you are ready to transplant your flowers into the garden, you must harden them off first. Hardening off is the process of slowly acclimating plants to the outdoors. This is important because if you planted too early in the season can be damaged by frost or cold temperatures.

Types of Marigolds

There are many different types of this flower, but the most common are the African and French marigolds.

  • African (Tagetes erecta) is tall, with large flowers up to 6 inches across. They come in various colours, including yellow, orange, and red.
  • French (Tagetes patula) are shorter, with smaller flowers usually no more than 3 inches across. They come in various colours: yellow, orange, red, and white.


There are a few pests that are especially susceptible to this. These include aphids, earwigs, and slugs.

  • Aphids are small, winged insects that feed on marigold flowers and leaves. 
  • Earwigs are small, winged insects that feed on marigold flowers and leaves. 
  • Slugs are small, slimy creatures that feed on marigold flowers and leaves. 

To prevent these pests from harming your flowers, it is essential to inspect your plants regularly and remove any problems you find. You can also treat your plants with an insecticide to help keep them healthy.


Here’s a different disease that might be susceptible to:

  • Powdery mildew is a type of fungal disease that can affect flowers. The fungus covers the plant’s leaves with delicate white or grey growth.
  • Marigolds are also susceptible to downy mildew, another fungal disease. This causes the leaves to develop a yellow or brownish colour.
  • Bacterial leaf spot is another disease. This causes spots on the leaves, which can eventually lead to the leaves dying.
  • They can also be affected by root rot, a fungal disease affecting the plant’s roots. This can cause them to wilt and die.

Amazing Benefits and Uses

Standard benefits:

  • They have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • They are a natural antiseptic, so they can be used to disinfect wounds and help them heal quicker.
  • They are also a natural insect repellent, which can keep bugs away from your skin.

Emotional benefits:

  • They add a pop of colour to any garden or landscape.
  • They are easy to grow, so you can enjoy yearly cheerful blooms.
  • They have a long blooming season, so you can enjoy their beauty for months at a time.


  • It can be used in potpourri for sachets to add a pleasant scent to drawers and closets.
  • Add the petals to salads for a splash of colour.
  • Use them to make a homemade insect repellent by crushing the petals and adding them to water.
  • Plant around your vegetable garden to help keep pests away.
  •  They make beautiful cut flowers for bouquets and arrangements.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, these flowers are beautiful and versatile that can be used in various ways. We hope this beginner’s guide has helped you learn more about these flowers and how to care for them. Happy gardening!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do marigolds repel pests?

There is evidence that marigolds may repel certain pests, such as mosquitoes. However, more research is needed to confirm this.

When do marigolds bloom?

Marigolds typically bloom in late spring or early summer.

What do marigolds symbolize?

There is no one answer to this question, as the meaning of marigolds can vary depending on culture and tradition. In some cultures, marigolds are associated with positive things such as happiness, while in others, they may be seen as a symbol of death.

What is marigold tea?

Marigold tea is a type of herbal tea made from the petals of marigold flowers. It is sometimes used for its purported health benefits, such as aiding digestion and relieving menstrual cramps.

How do you take care of marigolds?

Marigolds are relatively easy to care for and can be grown in various conditions. However, they do prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Watering them regularly and deadheading spent blooms will help to keep them looking their best.

What is the history of marigolds?

Marigolds have been cultivated for centuries and have a long history of use in traditional medicine. They were also used as a natural dye for cloth and food. Today, marigolds are grown primarily for their showy flowers.

How long will marigolds last?

Depending on the species, marigolds can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. The sepals (outer petals) will usually start to wilt first, then the petals, and finally the pistil (central structure that holds the ovules). Once the pistil starts to wilt, the flower is no longer fertile and will not produce any seeds.

Do marigolds keep snakes away?

There is no definitive answer to this question. Some people say that marigolds do keep snakes away, while others say that this is just a myth.
One thing that seems to be agreed upon is that snakes are repelled by the smell of marigolds, so planting them around your garden or yard may help deter them from coming near. However, it’s important to note that there are other plants and flowers that also have a strong smell, so it’s hard to say for certain whether marigolds are the only ones responsible for snake deterrence.

Are marigolds toxic to dogs?

Yes, marigold flowers and leaves are toxic to dogs. The toxin is a glycoside called sesquiterpene lactone, which can cause stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, it can also lead to liver damage. So if your dog happens to eat any part of a marigold plant, be sure to contact your veterinarian immediately.

Do marigolds like sun or shade?

Marigolds like sun. They need at least six hours of sunlight per day.

You may also like

Australian Flowers is the number one place to learn about flowers, whether you’re interested in botanical gardens, planting at home or just learning about the amazing wildlife we have in Australia


Join our newsletter if you’d like to get automatically notified when we post new content on the site. We’d love to let you know!

Copyright © 2022 Australian Flowers. All Rights Reserved.