Types of Marigold | How to Grow and Care

Types of Marigold | How to Grow and Care
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Many say that the English name of Marigold originated from the name of Christ’s mother “Mary’s Gold”. There are as many as 53 to 55 different types of marigold but the accepted genuine marigolds are 50. The botanical name of the marigold is “Tagetes,” a herbaceous plant from the Asteraceae family. Marigold is native to South and North America where it grows naturally. However, some species of marigolds over the period have coped with the environment and grown naturally across the world.

The 50 different types of Marigold from the Asteraceae family are as follows:-

  1. Tagetes Erecta L. or people commonly call Aztech marigold or African Marigold
  2. Tagetes Epapposa
  3. Tagetes Elongtata
  4. Tagetes Elliptica
  5. Tagetes Daucoides
  6. Griseb Tagetes Campanulata
  7. Cabrera Tagetes Biflora
  8. Cabrera Tagetes Argentina
  9. Tagetes Arenicola
  10. Tagetes Apetala
  11. Tagetes Linifolia
  12. A. Gray Tagetes Lemmonil or Maxican marigold or Mt. Lemmon marigold
  13. Cabrera Tagetes Laxa
  14. Tagetes Lacera
  15. Tagetes Inclusa
  16. Rydb. Tagetes Iltisiana
  17. Greenm Tagetes Hartwegii
  18. DC. Tagetes Foetidissima
  19. Tagetes Foeniculacea
  20. Lag Tagetes Filifolia.
  21. Kunth Tagetes Multiflora
  22. S. F. Blake Tagetes Mulleri
  23. L. Tagetes Minuta, the wild marigold
  24. Tagetes Minima
  25. Tagetes Microglosa
  26. Cav. Tagetes Micrantha or Licorice Marigold
  27. Phil. Tagetes Mendocina
  28. Tagetes Mandonii
  29. Cav. Tagetes Lucida is one of the famous varieties of marigolds. Plant lovers call them by different names like the Texas Tarragon or Mexican Mint Marigold, etc.
  30. Tagetes Moorei.
  31. Tagetes Pusilla
  32. S. Watson Tagetes Pringlei
  33. Tagetes Praetermissa
  34. Cabrera Tagetes Perezii
  35. L. Tagetes Patula or the French Marigold
  36. A. Gray Tagetes Parryi
  37. Tagetes Palmeri
  38. Tagetes Osteni
  39. Tagetes Oaxacana
  40. Greenm Tagetes Nelsonii.
  41. Humb. Bonpl. Tagetes Zypaquirensis
  42. Lag. Rodr. Tagetes Verticillata
  43. Tagetes Triradiata
  44. Kunth Tagetes Terniflora
  45. Cav. Tagetes Tenuifolia or Signet Marigold
  46. Tagetes Subvillosa
  47. Cerv. Tagetes Subulata
  48. BL Rob Tagetes Stenophylla
  49. Cabrera Tagetes Rupestris
  50. M. Ferraro Tagetes Riojana.

History and Significance of Marigold

The botanical name “Tagetes’ ‘ of Marigold has a Roman mythological background. Tagetes comes from Tages the founder and prophet of the Etruscan religion. Legend says that Tages started to teach the Etruscan divinity during the ploughing time. This is why people believe that Tagetes grows almost on any type of soil and is unusually tolerant to drought.

Almost everywhere in the world, people consider the Marigold as the flower of the dead that began in pre-Hispanic Mexico. People extensively used different types of marigold flowers in the celebrations of the “Day of the Dead”. This was a widespread practice to remember and show love to the dead which continues to date.

People in Nepal lovingly call Marigold the “Hundred-leafed Flower” because of its many petals. Marigold is one of the National Flowers of Ukraine. Besides its popularity as the flower of the dead, Marigold is also extensively used in wedding decorations, garlands, etc. Over the period, Marigold has become one of the most essential flowers to use in religious ceremonies across the world.

15 Most Popular Varieties of Marigold in the World

Before getting into the world of marigolds, you should know about the three most popular and dominant varieties in the marigold market. They are (1) T. Erecta or popularly the African Marigold, (2) T. Patula the French marigold, and (3) T. Tenuifolia, the Signet Marigold. African Marigold is not native to Africa as the name suggests but is a bred and cut variety. 

Similarly, the French Marigold is also not native to France but developed in France. But the third variety, the Signet Marigold is from its wild form and naturally grew across Central America, Mexico, and Peru. However, below are the most popular varieties of marigolds in the world marigold market. The below list of marigolds comprises both the Asteraceae family marigolds as well as new marigold varieties.

Below are the 15 most popular varieties of Marigolds in the world.

1. Baileya Multiradiata:

Marigold – Baileya Multiradiata

Image Source: No machine-readable author provided. Curtis Clark assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Bailey multiradiata is native to Mexico’s Southern American desserts. This is a wild variety of Marigold which thrives in sandy and infertile soil. Its flowers look exceptionally bright during the spring. Bailey is extremely delicate and does not withstand frost at all. Baileys grow massively for a week during the spring and then new plants sprout from their seed. Its flowers are bright yellow, showy, and long-lasting and bloom on the stems above the green foliage. When the flower grows in age it becomes papery.

2. Tagetes Cottage Red

Marigold – Tagetes Cottage Red

Tagetes cottage red marigold is a hybrid plant with five-petaled bright red and single flowers and is shaped like a spade. The plant was first bred in Mexico. The plant grows up to 5 feet and appears from summer till frost. Its dark green, ferny, and compact foliage remains intact all through the blooming period. Tagetes cottage red Marigold grows well in well-drained soil and in direct sunlight.

This variety of marigolds serves better as cut flowers and stays fresh longer. Similarly, if trimmed well the flowering period can be lengthened exceptionally. Tagetes cottage red marigold is a beautiful flower and can outshine any French marigold variety. This is one of the most popular varieties of marigolds in India.

3. Calendula Officinalis

Marigold – Calendula Officinalis

Calendula officinalis marigold originates in the Mediterranean and European regions. This is a bright and cheerful pot variety of Marigold that grows well in temperate climates. The plant of this variety is drought resistant and hardy. Calendula Officinalis is a semi-double flower with a cream shade. Besides this, it can also have other shades like yellow, bronze, and orange. Calendula Officinalis attracts lots of butterflies and bees. Its petals are used for culinary and medicinal purposes and have a spicy and strong flavor. 

4. Calendula Officinalis Bon Bon Orange, Mix, and Yellow

Marigold – Calendula Officinalis Bon Bon Orange

This version of Calendula Marigold serves better as cut flowers. This is a fully doubled compact flower that grows between midsummer to mid fall. The Bon Bon mixed variety of Calendula Officinalis Marigold is a dwarf variety good for borders and pots. Its flowers are large and pom shaped with yellow, orange, and apricot shades. The flower does not tolerate heat and grows well at a cool temperature. The petals of Bon Bon mixed marigolds are edible and can be consumed both fresh as well as in dry forms. The yellow variety of Calendula Officinalis marigold is also a dwarf variety with bright yellow and pale cream colors. Its color is one of the best marigold colors which looks brilliant in contrast to its rich green leaves. This variety of marigolds blooms from late fall to spring. 

5. Caltha Palustris

Caltha Palustris is native to Northern Hemisphere regions and is a perennial flower plant. The leaves of this plant are heart-shaped and its flowers are buttercup-shaped bright yellow. Caltha Palustris flowers have 5 petals and are mounded by thick stems. Its leaves are edible but not raw and have to boil for several hours. The plant grows well in acidic and wet soil under direct sun.

6. Tagetes Erect Discovery Orange

This is a large variety of Marigold flower that blooms throughout the summer as well as all through the year. Tagetes Erect Discovery Orange is a floriferous plant with dark green foliage that produces a strong smell when crushed. This is a bushy plant and makes excellent border plants. The variety also does well for containers as well as a mass planting.

7. Tagetes Erect Antigua Orange

Tagetes Erect Antigua Orange marigold is native to Central America and Mexico. This is a golf ball-shaped bright orange flower around 3 inches in size.  Its foliage contains a strong aromatic scent. This type of marigold grows up to 30 cm in width and 30 cm in height. The flower serves better as cut flowers grow best in containers. You can also plant the variety as a border plant or mixed border plant. Tagetes Erect Antigua Orange Marigold blooms non-stop from the beginning to the end of summer.

8. Tagetes Erect Doubloon

This variety of Marigolds bloom on sturdy stems and are fully double, golden yellow pom pom, large flowers. This is one of the hardiest varieties of Marigold that is typically weather-resistant and can withstand strong direct sun as well as rain. Despite the strong weather, its flowers last longer.

9. Tagetes Erecta Moonstruck

Tagetes Erecta Moonstruck is one of the African marigold varieties. The petals of Moonstruck are tightly packed making the flower resistant to rain. This character of the variety makes it one of the most effective weather-resistant varieties in the family of Marigold. Moonstruck remains fresh, colorful, and tight throughout its life cycle irrespective of weather conditions. The flowers are bright orange or doomed yellow. Moonstruck plants are sturdy and remain remarkably uniform throughout the summer. The flowers of Moonstruck keep on blooming till the frost is deadheaded regularly.

10. Tagetes Erect Inca Yellow

The Inca looks marvellous amidst the dark green foliage of the plant with its bright yellow color and pom shape. The flower is large enough to attract anyone’s eye with its 3-inches diameter size. This variety of marigolds is best for containers and suits best for flower beds. Inca Marigold requires fertile and well-drained soil to grow healthy and bloom better. People usually plant this variety of marigolds for repelling insects.

11. Park’s Whopper Yellow

The Park’s Whopper Yellow is one of the mixed Marigold Hybrid varieties bred from a large Marigold. Park’s Whopper is a double-blooming flower and has short quilled petals. The flower is stuffed with symmetrically arranged petals and is rounded magnificently. The stems of plants are sturdy enough to withstand severe weather conditions like summer storms and rainfall.

12. Tagetes Erecta Sweet Cream

The Tagetes Erecta Sweet Cream Marigold is a beautiful creamy variety of flowers and is a white hybrid category. The plant Sweet Cream grows up to 16 inches with a medium and sturdy size. The flowers of this variety attract a lot of bees, butterflies, and birds and bloom early and continue till frost. Sweet Cream can grow and bloom better both in the pots and garden and is good for flower beds and borders. The flower requires frequent watering but overwatering is bad for the plant’s health.

13. Janie Deep Orange Marigold 

The Janie Deep Orange is one of the brightest types of marigolds that blooms towards the end of its stems. The flower has a sweet fragrance and looks marvellous with its ferny dark green leaves. Janie Deep Orange plants are best for containers and suit best for edging and bordering. 

14. Tagetes Patula Aurora Light Yellow

The Tagetes Patula Aurora Light Yellow is native to the UK and is a perennial dense double variety. The flower blooms towards the top of the clamps amidst the deeply divided and dark green foliage. The color of the flower is a mix of brilliant yellow and hot crimson. This French Marigold flower blooms from late spring till early autumn. Paula Aurora branches vigorously and is trouble-free and robust.

15. Tagetes Patula Disco Orange

The Tagetes Patula Disco Orange is a French hybrid variety of marigolds with single blooms. The plant has divided leaves and dark green foliage. The plant serves best as a bedding plant and the flower produces a sweet fragrance that is particularly deserving for living rooms. This unique variety of marigolds was introduced by Ernst Benary, the famous German seed company.

Marigold in Indian Culture

People in India have traditionally used marigolds almost for all occasions across the country. One of the most important such occasions is the wedding ceremony where the marigold occupies the first place. Marigold is the first choice of the people to decorate the houses of the bride and bridegroom in wedding ceremonies. Usually, marigolds along with mango leaves are common sights on the walls, pillars, altars, etc. on Indian matrimonial occasions. 

The second important place where the marigold gets priority is the place where the wedding ritual takes place. The temporary shed type of the place called “Puja Mandap” is usually flooded with marigolds and other flowers. The third important aspect of the Hindu wedding ritual is the garland known as the “Bara Mala”. Bara Malas are garlands of marigold flowers and other flowers that are exchanged between the bride and bridegroom. Similarly, the bride and bridegroom spend their first night on a marigold-decorated bed in India.

Medicinal and Culinary Uses of Marigold

Most of the marigold varieties produce a pungent scent that repels insects and pests from the garden. This is why plant lovers plant marigolds as a companion plant for plants like tomatoes, potatoes, chilli paper, eggplant, etc. However, marigold roots contain antibacterial thiophenes which are not good for legume crops. If you are a lover of butterflies, then marigolds are the best plants as they serve the best nectar for butterflies.

The primary medicinal usages of marigolds are all kinds of skin treatment. Marigold effectively treats bruises and varicose veins along with contusions. It also heals minor skin inflammation and injuries. Medical professionals usually prescribe marigold ointment for sunburns and eczema. Regular use of marigold tea is beneficial for the digestive system and useful for nausea, menstrual discomfort, and stomach ulcer. Similarly, marigold tincture heals headaches and promotes sleep.

Marigold is famous for the marigold colors in the food industry. Its flowers provide vibrant color to many recipes and produce mild and sweet flavours to pesto, soups, and drinks. Food manufacturers use marigolds as a natural dye to provide an appealing yellow color to butter and cheese. Fried marigold with honey is a popular recipe in many places. Besides this, marigold essential oil also known as marigold oil is an important component to make perfumes and cosmetics.

Tagetes Minuta is very popular in countries like Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile as a culinary herb. The local name of Tagetes Minuta in these countries is Huacatay and people make a paste using this flower. This paste is an essential component to make a special potato recipe called Ocopa. Similarly, another variety of marigolds called Tagetes Lucida is also famous for culinary uses. 


Marigold plays a crucial role almost on all occasions around the world. Marigold is considered auspicious and represents sunlight. It signifies the new beginning but is also related to sorrows and grief. The flower is also associated with death in some countries and cultures. There are different beliefs connected to marigold flowers like predicting weather through the closed blossoms and summoning fairies. Eventually, Marigold has been part and parcel of mankind from time immemorial.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most fragrant marigold?

The French Marigold particularly the French Tarragon is the most fragrant Marigold.

Is there a pink marigold?

Yes, there is a new addition to the world of marigolds called Strawberry Blonde which is bread from the French Marigold.

Which variety of marigold is best?

Defining the best variety of marigolds is tricky because the word “best” represents many things like the best size or the largest, the best color, the best fragrance, the best for pest control, the best in terms of weather resistance, the best for low maintenance, etc. However, red and yellow bicolor marigolds and French varieties are popular and so can be taken for granted as the best marigolds.

What are the two types of marigolds?

There are different types of marigolds but primarily you can divide the marigolds into two basic types, one is the original marigolds from the Tagetes family and the other hybrid varieties.

What are the different colors of marigolds?

Contemporary marigolds have come across a lot of processing and thus you can find many colors in Marigold. But, the genuine marigold from the Tagetes family comes in a few colors like orange, yellow, red, and gold.

What types of marigolds are good for your garden?

Almost all types of marigolds are good for gardens. However, garden-friendly marigolds mean the varieties that grow better in gardens than pots, and the second the varieties that provide protection from nematodes. All varieties of marigolds have no problem growing in the garden but French Marigolds are known for providing adequate protection from nematodes.



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