This post is part of a 12-month series exploring birth flowers. Start here for an introduction and for a full list of all months.
Fall is in full swing! The nights are getting longer and Halloween is on the way. It’s the season of pumpkin spice, crunching leaves, cozy sweaters, and some of the most boldly colorful blooms you’ll see all year. It’s a great month to snuggle up, and if you celebrate a birthday in October, it’s a great time to enjoy the bounty of the season.
October babies are born under the star sign Libra or Scorpio and they boast not one but two gemstones – tourmaline and opal, both as uniquely shimmering and vibrant as the personalities they represent.
And if you were born in October, you have not one but two birth flowers, too! They’re Marigold and Cosmos, two vivid and jaunty blooms that exemplify everything gorgeous about the season and the people born into it!
October Birth Month Flower: Marigold
These cheery, pom-pom shaped flowers are practically a fixture on porches, along walkways, and in potted gardens everywhere. They’re not at all shy, bringing bright hues of red, yellow and orange to the nooks and crannies where they grow.
Their meaning is reflected in their colors, and just like the rich, fiery colors of the marigold, you are said to be warm, passionate, and optimistic. Marigolds are also a very approachable flower – nothing fancy or ostentatious about them! Like them, you are friendly, approachable, generous and always ready to lend a helping hand. Others may rely on your for advice, and you are seen as a bright light in the darkness.
Marigolds are also a sturdy flower, blooming from spring through frost, able to withstand the most volatile autumn weather conditions. For their efforts, they have come to symbolize determination, stubbornness and dedication. If you claim this as your birth month flower, you’re known as someone who passionately pursues everything from careers to hobbies, which can lead you to great success in your endeavors.
Marigold Through History
Marigolds have a long tradition throughout history and cultures as being prominent in rituals of life and death. The bright colors have been likened to the rays of the sun, able to guide loved ones to a peaceful afterlife. Some cultures even believe the colors represent the warmth of the sun and its power to resurrect.
It is a common flower in Mexico’s Day of the Dead rituals, where they are used to decorate altars and the bright colors and scent create a path for departed loved ones to enter the home.
They’re also common in wedding celebrations, have been said to provide protection while crossing a river or from being hit by lightning, were used to cure hiccups, and have even been used in medieval times as a treatment for the plague!
The name marigold is derived from the Virgin Mary of Christianity. It is a shortening of the phrase ”Mary’s gold,” named after the coins brought as an offering to Mary’s altar.
It was beloved by the Aztec’s, who considered them sacred and used them for medicinal purposes, and to this day they are still used to treat rashes, burns, and as anti-inflammatory agents.
These unassuming flowers are so entrenched in cultures across the world that by the 1800s they were already being described as “an old-fashioned flower”, recognizable in its brilliance and deserving of its popularity!
Want To Plant Them?
Perhaps some of their popularity stems from the fact that marigolds are one of the easiest flowers to grow. They provide consistent color throughout the growing season, and attract butterflies, birds, and beneficial insects such as ladybugs.
They are also excellent companion plants, ideal for weaving into vegetable gardens and other more temperamental areas because their distinct scent will repel unwanted visitors like rabbits and deer.
They grow and bloom best in full sun, can thrive during very hot summers and drought conditions, and can even grow up to two feet or taller depending on the variety. They work as well in containers as they do in the ground, and don’t mind being either the star of the show or the supporting cast.
While they don’t require deadheading, doing so will encourage more blooms, and you can always save the seeds to plant later.
Bonus Flower: Cosmos
If marigolds are perhaps a bit too old fashioned for you and you want a birth flower with more of a cosmic punch, you’re in luck. October has a second birth month flower, and its the cosmos, a daisy-like flower that adorns autumn gardens in shades of orange, pink, white, red and purple.
They are named after the Greek word for order and harmony, which, along with balance, is what these flowers symbolize. They are also associated with peace and serenity, as well as good luck and innocence, and were thought to attract fairies to gardens.
Like marigolds, they have a long history of being used to treat ailments from skin conditions to inflammation. And like marigolds, they are sturdy garden companions, able to tolerate hot, dry conditions and withstand frost.
If you choose the cosmos as your birth month flower, you are said to be a harmony-loving person who enjoys living a peaceful life. You prefer order in your life, and are always ready to help others find their joyful, calm center.
Which one of these flowers resonates with you most? Would you love to see one – or both! – of them in your autumn garden? If you’re interested in a four-season landscape that can live and breathe and grow right along with you from year to year, contact us for a consultation. We’ll work with you to design a space that perfectly suits your unique personality and lifestyle.
More In This Series
Stay tuned for a new flower each month throughout the year!