Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

What Does the Flower Calendula Represent?

Image by, courtesy of Christian Guthier

Flowers have a language of their own. This language can be accredited to the Victorian era, a time of strict etiquette, when one was limited in methods to show or express feelings of love and affection. To be able to show feelings, people created the "language of the flowers.” Flowers were given different meanings – meanings that conveyed different sentiments. There were birth-month flowers; flowers that were given in accordance to the month that a person was born in. The calendula is the flower for those with a birthday in the month of October.


It is said that the birth flower tradition began during the Roman Empire. The calendula, or marigold, was given by friends and family to celebrate those with a birthday in the month of October.

Religious History

The calendula was used by the early Christians who would place this beautiful, bright flower next to statues of the Virgin Mary. They called it Mary’s Gold. It was also considered a sacred flower during ancient times in India, where the flowers would be placed around the necks of holy statues.

Birth Flower Meaning

The colors of the calendula flower are yellow or orange, which represent the path of the sun throughout an autumn day. It is thought that the flower holds all of the sunlight of autumn. Those with an autumn birthday are said to be warm, friendly and easy going.

Hidden Message – Language of Flowers

The Victorians' hidden message in sending the calendula flower was, “My thoughts are with you.” In the language of flowers the calendula flower means “winning grace.”

Flower Symbolism

The symbolic meaning of the calendula flower is grief, despair and sorrow.

Big Does A Calendula Flower Grow?

Calendula plants typically grow 12 to 24 inches tall with a 12 to 24 inch spread, although some varieties can grow up to 36 inches tall. The bright green leaves grow about 4 inches long. For a compact, bushy growth, grow calendula in full sun or part shade. When determining where to plant calendula, keep in mind that full sun is any area that gets six or more hours of direct light a day, and part sun is a spot that gets four to six hours. Calendula thrives in poor soil conditions, as long as the area has good drainage. This annual will grows well in clay, loam or sandy soil and can tolerate a pH range from 4.5 to 8.3. By slowing the growth of these shoots, you encourage the calendula plant to put more energy into growing bushy leaves and side shoots. They do not require fertilizer to grow well.

Garden Guides