The marigold is an annual herb, with yellow or orange-yellow flowers. The flowering begins in the first days of spring and can last most of the year. Marigold is the October birth flower. Bright and colorful with a beautiful bloom, marigolds signify affection and grace. The first Christians called marigolds “the gold of Mary” and placed them at the statues of the Virgin Mary.
Very common in the Mediterranean region, the marigold grows in the majority of gardens and wastelands without the need to be sown. Moreover, the wind plays the role of gardener, spreading the seeds of these flowers.
Marigold is also a plant for domestic use. It brings a creamy yellow or orange color to your garden, and it also provides a source of non-toxic food coloring.
In this article, we are going to learn more about the beauty of the October birth flower, including the following:
- Medicinal properties
- Pests and diseases
The October birth flower is the marigold, commonly known as calendula officinalis. In appearance and shape, it looks like a yellow or orange daisy. A fast-growing annual, the flower is natural to sow both indoors and in the ground.
Its leaves are alternate, oblong, and sessile. The flower closes at night and reopens as soon as the sun shines. The name has nothing to do with our daily worries but comes from the Latin word solsequia, which means “follows the sun.”
You can use the flowers to dye something yellow. In some countries, they use them to color butter. Others eat them, after having infused them in vinegar before their development. Cows appreciate these plants, which produce excellent milk.
The marigold flower has recognized medicinal properties. First of all, it is antiseptic and antibacterial. Second of all, it has excellent healing and regenerating properties. Finally, a marigold flower cream is ideal against sunburn or light burns.
A compress, poultice, or marigold balm is an excellent treatment against highly contagious bacterial skin infections.
The leaves, juice, and the stem sap are effective against warts, corns, and calluses. In cosmetic care, the marigold is great in the treatment of skin problems such as irritation, redness, and skin inflammation (psoriasis, eczema, acne).
In medicine, the marigold has various properties including antiviral, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. In the vegetable garden, its smell repels many insects such as aphids, but its effect is limited. Its leaves and flowers are edible. They can decorate salads or sorbet decorations.
The marigold appreciates a number of different environments. It prefers a sunny location and is not afraid of hot weather if the soil remains cool. In addition, it fears freezing but endures the maritime climate.
You can plant this flower in clumps, borders, rock gardens, pots, and planters. In the vegetable garden, the marigold keeps away many insects. However, its flowers attract butterflies and pollinating insects, which help your other plants.
The marigold goes well with the pompom dahlia. The flower is planted in October or March for regions with a mild climate and starting around April for areas further north.
You can buy your marigold flowers in a bucket. However, the most common technique is sowing. First, plant a few seeds in place, providing an ordinary soil mixed with potting soil with 1 cm of covering. Second, you should water regularly to keep the soil moist. Finally, thin the young plants and remove them when the seedlings are up.
Marigold is not difficult to cultivate.
Plant it in the sun or partial shade in drained soil. The marigold tolerates relatively fertile soil, even a little calcareous, and supports pollution and sea spray.
Once well installed, it does not consume a lot of water and can be satisfied with a generous watering per week in the ground if the heat is not overwhelming.
In a pot, evaporation occurring faster, it is necessary to water the marigold more often and to add some fertilizer as to bloom longer and more abundantly.
Pests and Diseases
Marigold has a tendency to be affected by powdery mildew and aphids. To avoid powdery mildew, keep the soil fresh, and do not wet the leaves while watering. Then, mix a few crumbs of Marseille soap with water and spray on the marigolds to eradicate aphids.
Propagation through cuttings is possible. In some cases, marigolds must be sown from March to May depending on the location, or in September and October if being grown in a nursery.
A thinning of the seedlings can then be necessary to keep only one vigorous plant every 10 to 15 cm.
In all mythologies, in the oldest legends, flowers have a symbolic value. Most of their symbolism refers to their color, smell, and appearance.
In the language of flowers, the marigold is a symbol of sorrow. In China, it is associated with longevity and in India with the god Krishna, the shepherd delivering his teaching about love and knowledge.
Also, the flower stands for the beauty and the rising sun. In some cultures, it expresses creativity, good wealth, and the will to succeed.
While marigolds may have had some negative connotations in recent years, most of its meaning remains positive in our present day.
Marigolds are easy to cultivate and adapt to all soils. In bedding, on edge, or in rock gardens, this annual plant shines your garden thanks to its abundant flowering and vibrant colors of yellow and orange. It is a medicinal plant with multiple virtues and has astringent, purifying, healing, fungicidal, and anti-inflammatory properties. For external use, it treats dermatological problems such as acne, sunburn, small wounds. This plant is also known to regulate the menstrual cycle and to reduce pain caused by periods.