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The Edible Marigold

Updated on September 9, 2014

You Can Eat a Marigold?

Absolutely you can eat a marigold. Well, actually, the petals. The petals of all varieties of Marigolds are edible. They have a citrus-like flavor, so they work well for anything that you would use lemon for, except juicing. So skip the "marigold-ade." Enjoy marigold petals in many recipes and as citrus-flavored garnish.

Try The Edible Impatiens or The Edible Begonia for more ideas on edible flowers.

According to the Flower Marigolds are hardy, annual plants and are great plants for cheering up any garden. Broadly, there are two genuses which are referred to by the common name, Marigolds viz., Tagetes and Celandula. Tagetes includes African Marigolds and French Marigolds. Celandula includes Pot Marigolds.

The French Marigolds make wonderful insect protection in the vegetable garden. Plus, moles think the roots of marigolds are distasteful. So planted around the perimeter of any garden they will deter moles from ruining flowers and vegetables.

Have your beautiful flowers and eat 'em, too.

This page has been awarded a Purple Star. That means it's considered to be pretty awesome. This author is pretty awed by that fact! And thanks.

Blossom Ice Cubes

Making Blossom Ice Cubes:

Gently rinse your pesticide-free flower blossoms.

Boil water for 2 minutes for all the air trapped in the water to escape. Remove from heat and let the water cool until room temperature. NOTE: This will ensure that the ice cubes are crystal clear.

Place each blossom at the base of each individual compartment within an ice tray. Fill each compartment half full with the cooled boiled water and freeze.

After the water is frozen solid, fill each ice cube compartment the rest of the way to the top with the remaining boiled water. Freeze until ready to use.

Flower-Infused Syrup

Making Flower-Infused Syrup:

1 cup water (or rosewater)

3 cups granulated sugar

1/2 to 1 cup edible flower petals (whole or crushed)

In a saucepan over medium heat, add the water or rosewater, sugar, and edible flower petals; bring to a boil and let boil for approximately 10 minutes or until thickened into syrup. Remove from heat.

Strain through cheesecloth into a clean glass jar.

Keeps up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Can be added to sparkling water or champagne for a delicious beverage. Or, it may be poured over fruit, pound cake or pancakes.

Makes about 2 to 3 cups syrup.

Marigold Flower Petals - Also known as calendula or pot marigolds

Perfect to use for making your own marigold delights or using in your calendula herbal mixes.

Flower Butter

How to make Flower Butter:

1/2 to 1 cup chopped fresh or dried petals

1 pound sweet unsalted butter, room temperature

Finely chop flower petals and mix into softened butter. Allow the mixture to stand at room temperature overnight to allow the flavors to fuse.

Chill for a couple of weeks or freeze for several months.

Edible Marigolds to Decorate Your Salads

Add a few marigold petals to your favorite salad.

Makes a beautiful yellow/orange accent.


Marigold Vinegarette Salad

Here's a summery salad courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens.


1/3 cup olive oil or salad oil

1/3 cup rice vinegar

2 Tbsp. Signet marigold petals

2 Tbsp. snipped Signet marigold leaves

1 tsp. sugar

Iceberg lettuce wedges or mesclun

Signet marigold leaves and blossoms (optional)


1. In a screw-top jar combine oil, vinegar, Signet marigold petals, marigold leaves, and sugar. Cover and shake well.

2. Drizzle vinaigrette on lettuce wedges or mesclun. Top salads with additional Signet blossoms and leaves. Makes about 1 cup dressing.


Marigold Spinach Salad

Another salad option from Edible

A green salad medley with lambsquarter, red spinach and chives. Marigold petals are sprinkled on top with a light vinaigrette dressing, using vinegar, oil and herbs. Add walnuts or sunflower seeds to add a nutty deeper flavor.

Some Fun Facts About Marigolds

Marigold (Calendula) is an extremely effective herb for the treatment of skin problems and can be used wherever there is inflammation of the skin, whether due to infection or physical damage; for example, crural ulceration, varicose veins, anal fissures, mastitis, sebaceous cysts, impetigo or other inflamed cutaneous lesions.

As an ointment, Marigold (Calendula) is an excellent cosmetic remedy for repairing minor damage to the skin such as subdermal broken capillaries or sunburn. The sap from the stem is reputed to remove warts, corns and calluses.

In the 12th century Macer wrote that merely looking at the Marigold plant would improve the eyesight and lighten the mood.

In South Asia bright yellow and orange Marigold flowers are used in their thousands in garlands and to decorate religious statues and buildings. They are also used as offerings and decoration at funerals, weddings and other ceremonies.

Pigments in Marigolds are sometimes extracted and used as a food colouring for humans and livestock.

Making Marigold Tea

A Few Notes About Edible Marigolds

Just to prepare you

Just a few words, some warning, some prep notes.

  • Never use flowers that have pesticides on them. That means flowers from florists or stores. They are designed to be pretty only. They usually have lots of chemicals to help look lovely. You don't want to eat pesticides and chemicals, do you? I certainly don't.
  • Don't pick flowers growing where you don't know they are clean of pesticides, like those growing wild, or in someone else's garden. Unless you have permission, of course.
  • Marigolds have a bitter white section to their petals located at the base. It's best to cut this off.
  • Add edible flowers gradually to your diet. Too much of a good thing can upset your stomach and disrupt your digestion.

Grow Your Own Edible Marigolds - It's easier than you think

photo by BuckHawk Center
photo by BuckHawk Center

Just to be sure you get safe petals, why not grow your own?

It's not hard at all. Basically, just put the seeds in the ground. Water well and watch 'em grow!

OK, it's not quite that easy, but almost. Even if you don't have a green thumb, you can still grow marigolds. Loosen the soil where you want to plant them. Mix a little fertilizer in the soil, either the packaged variety or humus (the finished product of composting). Marigold seeds have a little feathery look to them, so make sure you cover the whole seed with soil. Then water with a gentle shower. You don't want to wash the soil off the top of the seed or compact the soil around the seed. Keep the seed moist and in about 5 days you'll have the start of your little seedling.

See, it is pretty easy. This picture is my own marigolds growing in a pot on my back deck.

How Are You Going to Use Edible Marigolds? - Will you grow your own or not?

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    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 3 years ago

      @Richard1988: Thanks for stopping by Richard, and sharing more good stuff about these wonderful flowers.

    • Richard1988 profile image

      Richard 3 years ago from Hampshire - England

      Definitely. I also recently found out that if you grow them with your tomatoes it stops a load of diseases so there's more than a few reasons to grow them :) cool lens :)

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 4 years ago from Keller, Texas

      I grew my own marigolds last year, harvested the seeds (which is SO easy to do), froze them and planted some for flowers this spring. They are blooming and beautiful and I will try several ideas you gave us. Nice lens!

    • profile image

      tonyleather 4 years ago

      What an interesting and informative lens! Thanks!

    • profile image

      FlowerGuy 4 years ago

      I think it's important to highlight again not to eat flowers from the florist shop.

    • DawnRae64 profile image

      Dawn 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      I have always loved marigolds. Never knew they were edible. Guess what is going to be added to my planter with the tomatoes! Yes.. marigolds! thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      i thought only marigold gem flowers were edible turns out they all are, my backyard is filled with marigold gems there not as beautiful as these ones maybe i will start growing some :) i do have quiet big empty space anyway.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 5 years ago

      Gosh I had no idea they were edible. I have always LOVED them so now have one more reason to plant more.

    • DecoratingEvents profile image

      DecoratingEvents 5 years ago

      We used to use edible marigolds as a garnish sometimes on a dinner plate at the restaurant. They always brought a smile to my face!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

      Wow! Really great suggestions! I have never tried flower butter or flower infused syrup! What fun!

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      My sister and I used to eat flowers, berries, and specific plant leaves when we were young. They must have all been safe to eat because she and I are still here to talk about it. Marigolds certainly look like they would be attractive on the dinner plate.

    • kabbalah lm profile image

      kabbalah lm 5 years ago

      Never had one

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Stopping to enjoy this fun again, had forgotten about the flower butter. This just makes me smile! :)

    • maryseena profile image

      maryseena 5 years ago

      I love gardening and make it a point to taste whatever looks and feels edible. Never ever felt like tasting marigolds as they smell too pungent and is often recommended as an insect repellent. I love marigolds and have quite a few of them in the garden. I'll definitely nibble on them if you'll vouch for them!

    • suepogson profile image

      suepogson 5 years ago

      I just nipped outside and ate a marigold. it was 'interesting'. I'll try again tomorrow - maybe I shouldn't have tried in the dark. Perhaps there were bugs .... perhaps it's a puppy pee-place and no-one told me .... Perhaps I got a different flower by mistake ... yup - will try again tomorrow - love marigolds as flowers and love eating what I grow wherever possible.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 5 years ago

      @TheDeeperWell: You are referring to French Marigolds which are also edible. And quite tasty, too.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I practically dote on my precious seedlings

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I always plant them by tomatoes and have eaten them a few times. They are so pretty and sweet looking.

    • profile image

      TheDeeperWell 5 years ago

      The marigolds that I know are edible are called "pot marigolds" which are also called calendulas. The marigold you have shown in the pictures here is not suggested to be used as an edible plant. It is not exactly poisonous and is used in gardens as an ornamental, that is often planted as a pest control companion for other vegetables.

    • StillPlaysWithT profile image

      StillPlaysWithT 5 years ago

      Never heard of this before - very interesting.

    • ArtisanalFoodLo profile image

      ArtisanalFoodLo 5 years ago

      Thanks for this!

    • karen-stephens profile image

      karen-stephens 5 years ago

      I do already!

    • profile image

      MBCOnline 5 years ago

      what a great lens! We've been growing marigolds for years, and never knew they were edible!

    • ComfortsOfHome profile image

      ComfortsOfHome 5 years ago

      I like the idea of flower butter, might try that recipe with the last few marigolds left in the garden.

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Chicago area

      I had no idea you could eat these! *blessed*

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 5 years ago from Kansas

      I've never eaten Marigolds. I think that I would like to try them in one of the recipes though, and, yes, I would grow my own. I love to grow flowers!

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Oh, thanks for the angel dust. It make the marigolds look so pretty!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Stopping back with a little fresh angel dust for your beautifully delicious marigolds...:)

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      I have been using marigold oil for years and years in my alternative medical practice :) Love this lens! Blessed!

    • GeekGirl1 profile image

      GeekGirl1 5 years ago

      I didn't know that Marigolds are edible. I learned something from your lens. Thanks!

    • JuserTM profile image

      JuserTM 5 years ago

      Fantastic lens! Squidlike

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 6 years ago

      I didn't know you could eat the petals. Thanks for the education.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      Wow! Love the recipes! I think Marigolds are beautiful, but I have never eaten one, well, that I know of :)

    • Kathleen Hiler profile image

      Kathleen Hiler 6 years ago from Mountain Home

      I certainly will!

    • Kathleen Hiler profile image

      Kathleen Hiler 6 years ago from Mountain Home

      Marigolds are my favorite flower!! I will have to save this page to read it all:)

    • profile image

      Annamadagan 6 years ago

      These are very pretty! I enjoyed this lens.

    • profile image

      writer4 6 years ago

      Talk about learning something new everyday!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I had no idea marigolds were edible! thanks for sharing

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 6 years ago

      Good to know that marigolds are edible. Even better to know that they deter moles! I do have lots of marigolds in my vegetable garden, but had never purposely placed them near the areas where the moles are digging. I'll try that this year. Thanks!

    • KarenHC profile image

      Karen 6 years ago from U.S.

      I love to look at marigolds, and didn't know they were edible. They'd add a touch of bright cheerful color to salads! I love the idea of marigold blooms in ice cubes too.

    • BlogsWriter profile image

      BlogsWriter 6 years ago

      That's great, I never knew we could eat flowers.

    • suzy-t profile image

      suzy-t 6 years ago

      No wonder the bugs eat these up when I plant them as a "sacrificial" crop underneath my tomatoes...I'll have to plant extra marigolds this year so there are some left for me to try the infused syrup. That sounds interesting.

    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 6 years ago from Florida

      Neat lens! I've eaten pansies in salads but never marigolds. They'e definitely there only for looks, though...unless you like tasting something really bitter. Liked.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Please add a warning about allergies. There are people who have strong allergic reactions against flowers in the aster family.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 6 years ago from Shanghai, China

      What a wonderful lens. I didn't know you could eat marigold leaves - but I did know that you can eat nasturtiums and that you can candy violets for cakes. They are so lovely to see on a cake. Thanks so much for such a fun lens.

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 6 years ago from London

      I make enough calendular oil to last the year every summer by infusing almond oil with petals. It gets used for all sorts of minor skin irritations in our house. Love this lens!

    • Einar A profile image

      Einar A 6 years ago

      I've eaten a lot of different unusual plants and flowers--but never tried marigolds. Thanks for this interesting and informative lens!

    • Shorebirdie profile image

      Shorebirdie 6 years ago from San Diego, CA

      Wow, I did not know this about marigolds. I'm going to have to go out and get some and try your recipes.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Above it says "moles find the roots distasteful" however moles are solely carnivorous and do not eat any roots of plants. Voles however are the culpits of bulb gnawing. Moles do, however dig through your garden making tunnels that other animals can take advantage of that could also do potential harm to your garden. Another fun fact: moles are not rodents because their teeth do not continuously grow throughout their life.

    • lilymom24 profile image

      lilymom24 6 years ago

      I knew that marigolds were edible but have always just used them as pest control and to add beauty to my garden. I'll have to think about trying some of the recipes.

    • profile image

      miaponzo 6 years ago


    • profile image

      miaponzo 6 years ago

      Love this!!!!!! I adore marigolds.. never thought of eating them, but I am an herbalist and use them all the time in my medicinal blends! They are miraculous... !!!

    • profile image

      capitalwilkinson 6 years ago

      I am adding flowers soon as part of my edible garden, take a look at my site too please

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 6 years ago

      I like to grow marigolds. They are no-fuss plants and always look nice - on top of all the other benefits you mention in this lens. Great lens! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @BuckHawkcenter: awsome thanks! I tried it and it kind of tastes like water! but not like anything at all really! I printed out recipes for a marigold salad to i think my friends will like that!

    • bames24 lm profile image

      bames24 lm 7 years ago

      I had no idea marigolds were edible! We have marigolds in my Dad's garden.... I guess I need to give marigolds a try at the dining table... thanks for sharing the information :)

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Lianna, I hope your dish garden party works well for you. The colored part of the marigold petal is edible. It's best to cut off the white base as that is more bitter tasting. I wish I knew more fun facts about marigolds for you, but I don't. I would suggest trying web searches for things like the history of marigolds. You might find some interesting facts that way.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I have a question i might not get a reply but i hope i do before next week because i have a girlscout meeting and i am hosting it well every girlscout gets to host there own meeting and mine is next week! Im doing a dish garden and i have a knome and everything just i want to know more about the marigold because that the flower i decided to plant(we own a farm and so we have lots of seeds)and can u just eat the petal right off the plant? i also want more fun facts for my friends while they make there dish garden

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 7 years ago

      I was just reading a book where they were eating marigolds in it- neat to find a lens on the topic -:)

    • profile image

      pinkoiseau 7 years ago

      Wow I had no idea this is so cool. Lots of good info here.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      All the info was great to read. Nice Squidoo. Chris

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Kiss Me, I'm Irish! Lucky Leprechaun Blessings by a Squidoo Angel

    • Philippians468 profile image

      Philippians468 7 years ago

      thank you for this delightful and interesting lens! cheers

    • JohannDog profile image

      Johann The Dog 7 years ago from Northeast Georgia

      Love these ideas! Can't wait to share with my Mum, she loves eating herbs/flowers and such, so do I on occasion, as long as they're safe :)

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 7 years ago

      Well worth that Purple Star

    • Ecolicious LM profile image

      Penny Pincher G 7 years ago

      back with a blessing

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I love this Lens, I know you can eat marigold flowers, but I never tried it, I have made syrup using dandelion flowers though!

    • Missmerfaery444 profile image

      Missmerfaery444 7 years ago

      Fabulous! I love using edible flowers and definitely love the look of that marigold salad. Blessed by a MerAngel!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      My pet bunnies adore marigolds and can't get enough of them through summer. I haven't tried them myself yet, but I really must have a taste

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 7 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      I did not know you could eat marigolds! There is a lot I didn't know about them. I have grown them before to protect my tomato plants. Who knew? You did! :) Thanks for this neat lens.

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image

      eclecticeducati1 7 years ago

      I had never heard of eating Marigolds before!!! I hope to grow some next year in my vegetable garden, so I may give them a try. Great lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Fascinating and yes, worthy of that purple star! I knew about marigolds for insect control. They sure are hearty and can take even a few frosts that wipe out most everything else. The health benefits are awesome and I like your precautionary notes for us "beginners".

    • LotusMalas profile image

      LotusMalas 7 years ago

      I've tried lavender foods, but not marigold. I bet that would look beautiful in a fresh salad!

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Love marigolds and grow them every year. But I've never eaten them!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Great information and beautiful presented. I love marigolds, but had no idea they were edible! So glad you won a purple star for this. It certainly deserves one.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 7 years ago from Australia

      I love these flowers and have them growing in my veggie patch but I've never thought to eat them. Most interesting.

    • Ecolicious LM profile image

      Penny Pincher G 7 years ago

      Awesome lens. I knew marigolds were great for the garden but had not idea they were edible. Thumbs up and favorite.

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 7 years ago from Upstate, NY

      Have you ever seen Monsoon Wedding? One character was snacking on them while working on decorating the car with marigold garlands.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 7 years ago

      Thanks for all the great ideas. I haven't grown marigolds in quite awhile, but will pick some up next time I'm at the nursery. Our garden is pesticide free.

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 7 years ago from Chicago area

      eating something so pretty could be tough--but worth a try :) nice lens!

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 7 years ago from West Virginia

      I learned something new. Congratulations on your purple star for such a fine lens.

    • athomemomblog profile image

      Genesis Davies 7 years ago from Guatemala

      Neat! We used to plant marigolds as insect barriers around the rest of the garden, but I was never brave enough as a child to eat them. I'm sure I could do it now though!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 7 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Congratulations on your purple star. I never knew you could eat marigolds....interesting. Blessed

    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 7 years ago

      Lovely lens! And I learned something new. Congrats on your purple star!

    • ItsAngel LM profile image

      ItsAngel LM 7 years ago

      Marigolds were my daughters favorite flower. Thank you for this wonderful lens,.

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 7 years ago

      Very informative lens on marigolds. I do love them but I've never tried to eat them.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Beautiful! Did you also know that gardeners use marigolds around their boundaries to ward off slugs? Or that mosquitoes don't like the smell of marigolds?

    • ILoveLegosToo profile image

      Tom Fattes 7 years ago from Naperville, IL

      I didn't know Marigolds were edible. Great information and I can't wait to try a few of the recipees.

    • profile image

      SandraRoseDesigns 7 years ago

      Such a wonderful decoration that can be eaten as well! Love the idea!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I love marigolds , never thought of eating though. It is an education that they can be eaten as well.

    • profile image

      kittylady 7 years ago

      The Flower Butter and Spinach salad look amazing. Well, ALL of it looks amazing!

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      I knew you could eat Impatiens, but edible marigold is new to me. Nicely done.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      I have never tried eating a marigold although I think they are such pretty, happy flowers and love the way they are used for Indian weddings. Who knows, now I might be brave enough to give them a go. Really enjoyed this bright and beautiful page.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Really did not know that marigolds are edible. Will try putting some petals in salads. Thanks for the info.

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 7 years ago from Western Mass

      my daughter loves to eat (edible) flowers. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I know that deer love to eat marigolds... always used to eat my mom and dads garden! Great lens! :-)

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Love the marigolds.

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 8 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I read this one too late. I got a horrible sunburn last week, and with a whole garden full of calendula, I had no idea what to do for the sunburn, since my aloe vera plant wasn't healthy. If only I'd know more about calendula than the fact it is edible. I often use it to add color to salads. I didn't know French and African marigolds were edible.

    • whitepines1 profile image

      whitepines1 8 years ago

      Great lens. I forgot marigold blossoms were edible. Lensrolled to Vegetable Gardening With Kids.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 8 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Very creative and fun recipes! Your Zazzle products are so beautiful, also!


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