Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Signet Marigold


Old-fashioned, delicate, and beautiful -- this is signet marigold. See more pictures of annual flowers.

Signet marigolds, a type of graceful, smaller-flowered marigolds -- old-fashioned flowers with a delicate texture and more rounded habit -- are coming back to popularity for informal or cottage gardens and edible ornamental gardens. Most have delightfully fragrant foliage.

Description of signet marigold: Tiny flowers average only a 1/2 inch in diameter but are borne in large quantities, forming a cloud of gold or orange over plants reaching about 1 foot high. The finely divided leaves often have citrus scents.

How to grow signet marigold: Provide well-drained, fertile soil in full sun. Plant seedlings during frost-free weather, spacing them 8 to 12 inches apart. Shear back faded flowers occasionally to deadhead and tidy plants.

Propagating signet marigold: Seeds may be sown in place. For earlier bloom start indoors 4 to 6 weeks prior to outdoor planting. Seeds germinate in 5 to 7 days at 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Uses for signet marigold: These make marvelous, perfumed edgings for a flower or vegetable garden and are delightful to brush by on a hot day. You also can use them in pots or interplant with vegetables for color and fragrance.

Signet marigold related varieties: 'Lemon Gem' and 'Tangerine Gem' have outstanding foliage fragrance. 'Paprika' has pimento red petals with golden edges. 'Starfire Mix' blends red-, gold-, and orange-flowered plants.

Scientific name for signet marigold: Tagetes tenuifolia

Want more gardening information? Try:

  • Annual Flowers: Learn more about annuals and their glorious, must-have summer colors.
  • Annuals: Find out how annuals can enhance your garden.
  • Perennial Flowers: Find out more about how to grow and care for perennial flowers, which come in all thinkable shapes, sizes and colors.
  • Gardening: Read our helpful articles and get tips and ideas for your garden.

More to Explore