October’s birth flowers are the marigold and cosmos.

MARIGOLDS October Birth Flowers

Marigolds and cosmos flowers both have a rich history and long-held meaningful symbolism. Marigolds symbolise fierce love, passion and creativity. In addition to their beauty, marigolds have a long tradition of being used medicinally to heal inflammation and skin problems. Their golden blooms match the colour of autumn leaves, making them a fitting choice for the October birth month flower. Cosmos flowers represent peace and tranquillity. They come in bright colours like orange, pink and purple.


The common name, marigold, is a shortening of Mary’s gold, which was said to be named after the Virgin MaryThey are known for their bright colours, strong scent, and association with death and grief. They are a prominent fixture in Day of the Dead festivities, used to decorate gravesites and home altars.

There are over 50 species of marigold available, three of which dominate the flower market; French Marigolds, African or American Marigolds, and Signet Marigolds, all of which appear in orange, yellow, red, and bi-colours, along with other colour combinations.

The bambino is a French marigold with a sunny appearance and bicoloured, two-inch yellow and orange striped petals. While the Bolero is French marigold whose ruffled, double blooms have gold petals that appear to be dipped in burgundy. From the colossus red French marigold with deep burgundy petals gilded with gold to the crackerjack African marigold with its giant yellow or orange double blooms that are densely petaled and look like puff balls, each colourful colour is revered for its stunning hardy flowers.

There is an impressive array of gorgeous flower types, colours, and sizes, so it can be hard to know which to choose. The giant marigolds generally come in pale yellows or pumpkin oranges and are best used as the primary focus of an arrangement. The pale yellow varieties are ideal for light, summery designs. Pumpkin-coloured varieties fit well with autumnal or Halloween arrangements. French marigolds come in shades of burnt orange, perfect for fall arrangements. Unlike giant marigolds, however, they are best used as filler flowers.

October birth flower fiesta marigolds
Single stem of a yellow Nosento Limegreen African marigold
October birth flower Queen Sophia French marigold flowers


The common name, marigold, is a shortening of ”Mary’s gold.” It is said to have been named for the Virgin Mary.

Marigolds have been cultivated in Mexico for over 2,000 years and are used in Day of the Dead rituals to make floral arches, garlands, wreaths, and crucifixes. The flowers decorate gravesites and home altars, known as ofrendas. Marigolds’ bright colours and smells are thought to attract the souls of the dead and are used to create a path from the front door to the ofrenda inside.
Many cultures believed that the bright orange and yellow colours, representing the rays of the Sun, could help guide departed loved ones to the afterlife. Some thought the colours represented the Sun and offered the power to resurrect.

Recently, the flowers have been linked to optimism and prosperity, cheer, joy, love, wealth and success.
In India, giving a marigold lei is a sign of friendship. In Buddhism, marigolds are used to worship Buddha, while in Hinduism, the flowers are associated with the Sun and used in marriage celebrations.
The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that marigolds could protect you from lighting while crossing a river. They used marigolds to dye fabrics, create cosmetics and for medicinal purposes. In medieval times, marigolds were used to treat the plague. Today traditional healers still use marigolds in a compound to treat rashes, burns, and wounds, as marigolds have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.


Marigolds are hardy vase flowers but require a certain amount of care to maintain their freshness. They are susceptible to early wilting if exposed to drafts or excessive heat, so they should not be placed near air vents, fans, radiators, television sets and windows exposed to full Sun.

October birth flower marigold bouquet care

The strong scent is why marigolds, which make fine-cut flowers, rarely get used in floral arrangements. Most of the smell, however, is concentrated in the foliage. The flowers themselves are almost odourless. If you strip off the foliage, Marigolds will depend solely on their stems for water and food, so it is important to check water levels daily. No preservatives or conditioning is needed. Marigolds treated this way should have a long vase life of a week or more.

To perk up wilting flowers, cut the stems at a 45-degree angle, place the cut stems in lukewarm water, and remove any leaves below the water line. Then, keep the flowers in a cool, dark spot and replace the water every three days.

THE SECONDARY October Birth Flowers

October birth flower month cosmos flowers

THE Cosmos

During the 16th Century, Spanish explorers discovered Cosmos in Mexico and brought the wildflower back to Madrid. The flower eventually made its way to England in 1789, thanks to the wife of the English ambassador to Spain, and quickly spread to the colonies.

Cosmos is a member of the Asteraceae family, which refers to the classical Latin word aster, or “star” – an apt description of the star-like form of the blossom. Its genus name comes from the Greek word kosmos, meaning order and harmony of the universe. The flowers have long symbolised order, fellowship, and balance. Others believe it signifies peace, love, joy, and innocence.

Cosmos is a symbol of order and balance, peace and innocence. In Victorian times it was believed that cosmos flowers could attract fairies.
 These annual daisy-like flowers sit atop long, thin stems that can grow up to 1.5m tall. The colourful Cosmos petals radiate from a yellow centre, blooming in several colours, from orange, red, and yellow to pink, purple, and white.
 A red cosmos represents love and passion; pink means a mother’s love; yellow symbolises friendship; white is a sign of faithfulness and devotion.

It is a popular gift, including for 2nd wedding anniversaries, where its inclusion in bouquets is common. The plants also have many medicinal properties, including anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Over the years, they have been used to fight infections, treat skin issues, and improve circulation.


Wondering what other birth flowers mean? Take a look at our birth month flower guides to learn more

close up of Pink and white gladiolus flowers

The gladiolus is August’s primary birth flower, along with the poppy

Birth flower September blue field of Aster daisy flowers in September

The Morning Glory and Aster are the flowers to celebrate.

Close up Pink and Red Chrysanthemum flowers in a bouquet

The Chrysanthemum is November’s birth flower


By signing up, you agree to our terms of use. You can view our privacy policy and unsubscribe at any time. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA. Google privacy policy and Google terms of service apply.