October Birth Flowers: Discover Colorful Marigold & Cosmos

Published April 14, 2021
Colorful Cosmos Flowers

You can choose either marigold or cosmos as your favorite October birth flower. Each flower can offer showy colors and texture for your garden or as a birthday bouquet. The marigold has a rich historical presence as a symbol that is spiritual and medicinal. Cosmos is known as a flower of tranquility, peace, and love.

Marigold as the October Birth Flower

The marigold October birth flower has several meanings. Marigolds have a dual spiritual meaning with one tied to wedding celebrations, and the other to celebrations of the dead. This bright flower is also an ancient symbol for the sun, renewal, and rebirth.

Some of these purposes include:

  • Mexico - Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations
  • Christianity - named for the Virgin Mary (Mary's gold)
  • Ancient Greece - symbols of healing
  • Buddhism - marigold garlands offerings and decorations in temples
  • Ancient Egypt - used for medicinal purposes
  • Hinduism - prominent flower for weddings
Closeup of orange marigold flowers and foliage

You may want to give marigolds to someone with an October birthday. Before you place that order or create a bouquet or flowerpot, you may want to review the color meanings for marigold flowers. These include:

  • Gold - good luck, optimism
  • Orange - cheerful, encouraging
  • Red - romantic and passionate love
  • Red-orange - powerful and deep romantic love
  • Yellow - happiness

Growing Marigolds

You can plant marigolds in your flower and vegetable gardens. This annual is a low-maintenance flower and gives you a lot of show, especially for borders. Marigolds make great patio flowers for containers or flowerpots. If you keep these lovely flowers dead-headed, they will continue to bloom until the first frost in the fall.


As soon as your weather turns warm, you can direct sow marigolds. If you wish, you can start your plants indoors and then transplant after the threat of frost has passed. Either method will give you a great flower for the season.

Sun, Soil, and Water Requirements

Marigolds love the sun, so make sure you plant them where they get as much sun as possible. Plant in soil that drains easily so they don't get wet feet. You don't need to pamper marigolds with watering. Give them a good drink and then let them dry out for a week or a little longer. You can start your marigolds indoors. Once the danger of frost is over, transplant to your garden or containers.

Marigolds Rarely Need Fertilizer

You don't need to fertilize in-ground marigolds, to do so may stunt flower production. If you have good soil in your containers/flowerpots, you shouldn't need to fertilize your flowers.

Do Marigolds Repel Pest Insects?

Many gardeners believe marigolds repel pest insects and choose only marigold varieties with a strong aroma which isn't a pleasant perfume like other flowers. In fact, the marigold smell is musky and pungent. So do marigold flowers repel harmful insects? Perhaps, although scientists consider this to be anecdotal evidence at best. Gardeners, however, have been using marigolds to protect crops for a long time. There is proof that marigold flowers attract beneficial/predator insects. It is possible that this has been misconstrued as the marigold flower repelling pest insects. These beneficial insects include the following:

  • Hover flies are pollinators and feast on aphid larvae.
  • Lady bugs love to eat aphids, spider mites, and other pests. Lady bugs lay their eggs in these pests' colonies.
  • Parasitic wasps lay their eggs on the back of horn worms and other insects, such as flies, beetles, scales, and sawflies.

Cosmos as an October Flower

Cosmos is available in several beautiful colors. You can choose either perennials or annual cosmos flowers. The cosmos flower has a similar appearance to a daisy which isn't surprising since like the daisy it's part of the Asteraceae family. The flower florets fan out like rays around the floret disc in a slightly dipped cup shape.

Colorful cosmos flowers blooming in the garden

Meanings and Symbolism

The varied meanings and symbolism of cosmos are centered around harmony and tranquility. Cosmos has often been used a living symbol of love. Historically, the flower has been given as a gift to show that the giver cares deeply for the recipient. The ancient cosmos flowers were a golden yellow color, but over the centuries, have been cultivated to produce a wider color palette. Some of the colors include white, red, purple, pink, orange, chocolate, and yellow.

  • White - pure love, friendship
  • Red - deep love, passion
  • Purple - loyalty, spiritual tranquility
  • Pink - gentle love, motherly love
  • Orange - hope, optimism
  • Chocolate - eternal love
  • Yellow - happiness, new beginnings

How to Grow Cosmos in Your Cut Flower Garden

Cosmos flowers make great cut flowers. They are extremely easy to grow. You can grow them in a flower bed or in an open garden area. You can either direct sow or transplant seedlings. Cosmos will bloom until the first fall frost, as long as you dead-head spent flowers. You shouldn't need to add fertilizer since it will generate more foliage and fewer blooms.

Soil Requirements

You can plant cosmos flowers in just about any soil, as long as it is well-drained. You don't want soil that is too rich since this will stimulate foliage instead of blooms. This amazing flower can survive droughts and even thrive when neglected. To make this an even more amazing flower, it will self-seed every year.

Sun and Water Requirements

Plant cosmos in full sunlight. If you have no option but to plant in partial light, the drawback is less bloom production. When the cosmos are fully established, you won't need to water them, even during dry spells. If your region is currently until a long-term drought, water just enough to moisten the ground. Allow the ground to dry before watering again.

Pests and Diseases

Cosmos attracts typical flower pests, such as aphids, thrips, and others. Some of the common diseases cosmos contracts include powdery mildew and bacterial wilt.

October Birth Flower Choices

Cosmos and marigolds are both great symbols of for October birthdays. Whether you're gifting or growing, these October flowers will grace gardens and bouquets with vibrant color.

October Birth Flowers: Discover Colorful Marigold & Cosmos