When you decide to grow your own marigolds from seed, your options might feel almost limitless.
These beautiful and sunny annual flowers are available in an impressive array of bloom types, colors, and plant sizes – and all of them are gorgeous, so it can be hard to know which to choose!
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In this article we’re going to take a look at 31 different types of marigolds, considering their various features to help you determine which ones will work for your particular flower beds or garden patch – as well as your aesthetic preferences.
We’ll have a look at the coloration of the flowers and what height to expect from the plants, and offer some ideas on how to use them in your landscape.
I’ll let you know whether you should expect single flowers (those that have easily distinguished petals and a flat, open shape) or double flowers (blooms which are densely petaled and tend to have either a ruffled or puff-ball appearance).
We’ll also cover which ones are the best for pollinators and I’ll provide some tips on where to source seeds for these beauties.
Ready to get started? Here’s a sneak peek at our list:
31 of the Best Marigold Varieties
Before we get started, you can learn more about how to tend these valuable companion plants as well as the different species that go by this common name in our guide to growing and caring for marigolds.
A tiny tot, our first selection, ‘Bambino,’ is a Tagetes patula cultivar with open, single flowers.
Compared to double blooms, which can be difficult or impossible for pollinators to use as forage, single blooms provide easy access to pollinators.
This little French marigold has a sunny appearance with its bicolored, two-inch, yellow and orange striped petals.
‘Bambino’ is a compact, dwarf variety, reaching just 10 inches tall.
Its diminutive size would make it well suited to bringing some cheer to the front row of a flower bed.
The blooms of ‘Bolero’ bring with them an appearance of intensity and drama. This is a French marigold whose ruffled, double blooms have gold petals that look like they were dipped in burgundy.
Each two-inch flower of this T. patula cultivar is unique and has its own distinct pattern.
The plants are small, reaching only 12 inches tall, making them an excellent size to grow among your lettuce crop.
Be prepared for this cultivar to steal the scene. You’ll find ‘Bolero’ seeds available for purchase in an assortment of package sizes at Eden Brothers.
With warm colors and a delicate appearance, ‘Brocade’ has flowers that are as rich-looking as an antique tapestry.
These French marigolds have delicately ruffled two-inch flowers in shades of gold, orange, and deep red.
And with compact plants growing up to 12 inches tall, they can be used to carpet a swath of your flower beds in rich, fiery color.
Add a touch of ‘Brocade’ to your landscape – you’ll find seeds available for purchase in an array of packet sizes at Eden Brothers.
4. Colossus Red Gold
Some plants loom large not because of their height, but because of their visual impact – and such is the case with ‘Colossus Red Gold.’
This visual giant is a bicolor French marigold that has deep burgundy petals gilded with gold. The double blooms have large petals, and each petal is distinctly outlined in gold.
A cultivar of T. patula, ‘Colossus Red Gold’ produces stunning, jumbo-sized blooms up to three inches wide, on compact, 12-inch plants.
‘Colossus Red Gold’ creates a colossal impact when mass planted in a border.
5. Court Jester
We can all use an extra reason to smile, and when you add ‘Court Jester’ to your vegetable garden, this French marigold might even make you laugh!
This heirloom cultivar of T. patula has single, two-inch blooms with petals surprisingly striped in yellow and dark red.
‘Court Jester’ is compact, with small plants reaching just 12 inches tall, making it an excellent size to interplant between low-growing crops such as ground cherry or bok choy.
Sow some visual fun with ‘Court Jester.’ Seeds are available for purchase in three different package sizes at Eden Brothers.
When you include this ‘Crackerjack’ in your garden, you won’t find yourself wondering where the prize went. Our first African marigold of this selection, ‘Crackerjack’ is a big and showy heirloom variety that packs a visual punch.
This cultivar of T. erecta has huge yellow or orange double blooms that are densely petaled and look like puff balls.
The rounded blooms are huge, reaching up to four inches wide, and held aloft on tall plants that grow to be two to three feet tall.
This large variety would be the perfect background for a patch of purple asters.
When ‘Crackerjack’ is around, you’ll be keeping your eyes on this prize. You can purchase ‘Crackerjack’ in packs of 180 conventional seeds or packs of 120 organic seeds at Botanical Interests.
7. Daisy Wheel Lemon
‘Daisy Wheel Lemon’ is a French marigold that looks, as its name suggests, more like a daisy than a marigold.
This T. patula cultivar has frilly-edged petals surrounding broad centers, both in the same lovely hue of pale yellow.
‘Daisy Wheel Lemon’ bears its blooms on dwarf plants, reaching just 10 inches tall and making this cultivar a lovely choice for container gardening.
Currently more widely available in the UK and Europe than in North America, you can find packets of 25 seeds available from Park Seed via Amazon.
The fiery good looks of ‘Fiesta’ might remind you of the dress of a flamenco dancer.
With its ruffled blooms in orange and red, ‘Fiesta,’ a T. patula cultivar, radiates excitement.
This French marigold produces its intensely colored two-inch blooms on small plants that grow to 12 inches in height.
No need to get dressed up for this ‘Fiesta,’ this variety has ruffles to spare. You’ll find ‘Fiesta’ seeds for purchase in two different package sizes, depending on your needs, available at Eden Brothers.
9. Golden Guardian
Are you looking for a marigold variety to help control root-knot nematodes? ‘Golden Guardian’ is a variety of T. patula that is touted as being particularly efficient at helping combat those garden pests.
‘Golden Guardian’ produces pollinator-friendly, single flowers that have monochromatic golden petals and golden centers.
Blooms are two inches wide and held on bushy plants that grow to two feet tall.
In addition to its power to repel root-knot nematodes, ‘Golden Guardian’ also shows good resistance to Alternaria leaf spot.
Consider planting this variety among tomato crops as a companion plant.
‘Golden Guardian’ is available for purchase in a pack of 600 seeds from the Park Seed Store, via Amazon.
‘Harmony’ is a French marigold whose mottled petals glow in concert with the summer sun.
The ruffled two-inch blooms of this T. patula cultivar are intensely saturated in orange and red hues, growing on dwarf plants that top out at a mere eight inches tall.
This petite variety will appreciate a front row seat in your flower bed, perhaps tucked in front of some taller purple salvia.
If the rich hues of ‘Harmony’ look like they would be well in tune with your floral plans, seeds are available for purchase in a selection of pack sizes at Eden Brothers and from True Leaf Market.
Are you daydreaming of travel but really just as happy to stay at home? ‘Hawaii’ is a cultivar of T. erecta that will bring a tropical element to your landscape.
This African marigold has giant, orange, double blooms that can reach a staggering five inches across. The flowers have ruffled petals and rounded heads, displayed on three-foot-tall plants.
This large-statured variety will hold its own when interplanted between tomatoes and peppers.
You won’t be able to take your garden with you on your travels, but ‘Hawaii’ can find its own larger-than-life place in your garden. You’ll find ‘Hawaii’ seeds available for purchase in an assortment of package sizes at Eden Brothers.
Who’s the flower king of the garden? The one that will tower over all others. ‘Ildkongen,’ whose name means “fire king” should be a candidate for this throne.
A heritage variety from Denmark, ‘Ildkongen’ is a cultivar of T. patula that displays a fiery mix of mottled oranges and reds on single blooms, making it an excellent choice for pollinators.
Attaining a stature unusual in French marigolds, this cultivar reaches four feet in height, placing it clearly in the running for floral royalty.
13. Kilimanjaro White
Evoking the snowy peaks of a certain snow-capped mountain, ‘Kilimanjaro White’ is an African marigold that bears blossoms of a rare color among these flowers – its blooms are creamy white.
The double blossoms are two and a half inches wide, held aloft on medium-sized plants that reach 18 inches tall.
The creamy flowers of this variety would be lovely paired with a blue-hued companion, such as bachelor’s buttons.
If you’d like to bring the cooling tones of this snowy cultivar to your summer beds, you’ll find ‘Kilimanjaro White’ available for purchase in packs of 48 seeds at Botanical Interests.
14. Legion of Honor
Our next selection, ‘Legion of Honor,’ is an heirloom cultivar of T. patula.
The pattern that graces its blooms is reminiscent of the five-armed medal bestowed by the Legion of Honor, the renowned French order of merit.
This French marigold has simple, pollinator-friendly, bicolored flowers, whose petals are burgundy edged in yellow.
The small ‘Legion of Honor’ plants grow up to 12 inches tall. This compact cultivar would be well-placed growing among your cauliflower plants, for instance, since marigolds are one of the best companions for this crop.
Your garden is surely worthy of such a distinction. If you agree, you can find ‘Legion of Honor’ seeds available for purchase in an assortment of packet sizes at Eden Brothers.
15. Lemon and Tangerine Gems
The summer garden may seem like a treasure chest to many gardeners, so it wouldn’t be surprising to find these Gems there.
Flowers in the Gems series are cultivars of T. tenuifolia, also known as signet marigolds.
These marigolds have single flowers that are small, measuring a half an inch to an inch wide, in shades of yellow, red, or orange, and with cultivar names like ‘Lemon,’ ‘Tangerine,’ and ‘Paprika.’
These compact plants grow to be eight to 12 inches tall and bear flowers that make some of the best edible marigolds.
If you’d like to bring the jewel-like charm of this diminutive marigold to your own landscape, you’ll find ‘Lemon and Tangerine Gems’ available for purchase in packs of 140 seeds at Botanical Interests.
16. Lemon Drop
In the mood for something sweet and zesty? Feast your eyes on ‘Lemon Drop,’ a French marigold with bright, double blooms.
This T. patula variety has small, yellow flowers that are about an inch wide and delicately ruffled.
The compact plants of ‘Lemon Drop’ are quite petite, reaching just six to 12 inches tall.
With its small stature, ‘Lemon Drop’ can sweeten up the view along a garden path or in a child’s garden.
No need for candy, settle your cravings with this piquant little flower instead. You’ll find ‘Lemon Drop’ available for purchase in packs of 240 seeds at Botanical Interests.
If you don’t have the climate for citrus trees but a citrusy garden theme sounds delightful, why not bring in ‘Mandarin’ as a neighbor for ‘Lemon Drop’?
This African marigold has globe-shaped double blooms on mid-sized plants that reach 20 inches tall. The flowers are one and a half to two and a half inches wide, and have flouncy, orange petals.
The orange blossoms of ‘Mandarin’ would be striking paired with low-growing purple or white sweet alyssum.
To add some visual zing to your flower beds, ‘Mandarin’ seeds are available in a selection of package sizes at Eden Brothers.
18. Mary Helen
If you want to see the summer sun not just in the sky but also echoed in your garden patch, how about some sunny yellow blooms?
‘Mary Helen’ is a cultivar of T. erecta whose double yellow flowers have a puff-ball shape, growing on tall plants that reach 36 inches in height.
Similar to ‘Crackerjack’ in flower shape and height, ‘Mary Helen’ has smaller blooms that are one and a half to two inches wide.
The round, yellow flower heads of this variety would contrast nicely in both color and shape with blue asters.
Ready to let the sunshine in? You’ll find ‘Mary Helen’ seeds available for purchase in a variety of package sizes at Eden Brothers.
19. Mexican Tarragon
More than just a pretty garden flower, Mexican tarragon is classified in the genus Tagetes like the other species in our selection, but it has a broad culinary and medicinal history.
You can learn more about how to use and grow this multipurpose flower in our complete guide to growing and caring for Mexican tarragon.
Also known as “Mexican mint marigold,” “Spanish tarragon,” “Texas tarragon,” and “sweet mace,” T. lucida has smooth-leaved, fragrant foliage with a scent reminiscent of anise.
Mexican tarragon’s single, yellow blooms are small at half an inch wide, and the plants are bushy, reaching two to three feet tall.
Mexican tarragon can be grown in an edible herb garden, where it can be treated as a perennial in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 to 11.
Interested in trying out this multipurpose marigold? You’ll find Mexican mint available for purchase in packets of 200 seeds at Botanical Interests.
You don’t have to garden at night to catch a glimpse of ‘Moonlight’ in your backyard.
This African marigold has big, yellow, double flowers on medium-sized plants with blooms that are three inches wide or more. But these plants are small a T. erecta cultivar, reaching only 14 inches tall.
Try combining ‘Moonlight’ with ornamental alliums for an appealing effect of complementary colors and echoing shapes.
This variety is also a great selection for the cut flower garden.
Enjoy ‘Moonlight’ day or night – seeds are available for purchase in a choice of packet sizes at Eden Brothers.
21. Naughty Marietta
‘Naughty Marietta’ has done nothing deserving of her indecorous reputation – in fact, she’s quite nice!
The beautiful bicolor flowers of this French marigold are gold with maroon centers, similar to ‘Legion of Honor’ but with more gold. In fact, these two cultivars would make a striking pair!
Or, you could try pairing this variety with the rich, brownish-red hues of chocolate cosmos.
The open, single blooms of this T. patula cultivar make life easy for pollinators, and are one and a half to two inches wide.
‘Naughty Marietta’ produces compact plants that grow to be eight to 12 inches tall.
Give this little cultivar a chance to win back her reputation – you can find ‘Naughty Marietta’ available for purchase in packets of 140 seeds at Botanical Interests.
22. Nosento Limegreen
Turning to some practical considerations, if you love the way marigolds look but don’t appreciate their strong smell, you might consider ‘Nosento Limegreen.’
This African marigold is practically scentless, and has two- to three-inch-wide blooms that are a fascinating lemon-lime to pale yellow in color.
‘Nosento Limegreen’ is a hybrid variety whose double flowers have tight centers and are held on plants that grow to be 24 to 32 inches tall.
Beyond its interest for those who aren’t keen on the smell of marigolds, you’ll want to include ‘Nosento Limegreen’ in your collection if you’re curating a bed of green flowers.
If a marigold with no scent and lime green flowers sounds like your cup of tea, you’ll find ‘Nosento Limegreen’ available for purchase in packs of 50 seeds from David’s Garden Seeds via Amazon.
23. Orange Flame
Viewed from the side, the bicolor red and orange flowers of ‘Orange Flame’ look like the flickering flames of a warm fire.
A ring of deep red petals surrounds a puffy, golden-orange center in this double-flowered cultivar of T. patula.
A dwarf marigold, ‘Orange Flame’ grows on mounding plants that reach 12 inches tall.
Cozy up to this floral “fire” – ‘Orange Flame’ is available for purchase in an array of seed package sizes at Eden Brothers.
Looking for something unusual for your annual beds? ‘Phyllis’ is a flower that will pique people’s curiosity.
Rather than the open, ruffled, or puff-ball type blooms that we have seen in other selections, this African marigold has blooms reminiscent of chrysanthemums.
The petals of ‘Phyllis’ are narrow and yellow, held in three-inch-wide double blooms.
Also known as ‘Mum Yellow,’ ‘Phyllis’ produces its cheery flowers on two-foot-tall plants.
‘Phyllis’ would find a beautiful companion in the wispy blue flowers of ageratum, one of the best annuals for late summer color.
You’ll find the quite uncommon ‘Phyllis’ available for purchase in packets of 24 seeds at Botanical Interests.
25. Queen Sophia
All hail the queen!
Named for the Spanish monarch known by the same name, ‘Queen Sophia’ is a French marigold cultivar whose flowers are bronze-gold, maturing to reddish-gold with gold edges. These gilded edges make each petal stand out stunningly.
An All-America Selections winner in 1979, the double blooms of this T. patula cultivar have a ruffled appearance and are two to two and a half inches wide.
Beautiful and compact, the plants reach 10 to 12 inches tall and would be lovely planted among your choice of flowering ground cover.
Want to give your garden the royal treatment? You’ll find ‘Queen Sophia’ seeds available for purchase in three different package sizes, depending on your needs, at Eden Brothers.
26. Red Cherry
Looking for a gorgeous splash of deep red for your flower beds? Consider ‘Red Cherry.’
This French marigold has golden centers surrounded by mahogany-colored petals edged with gold.
The one- to two-inch double blooms of ‘Red Cherry’ are delicately ruffled, and held on compact, 12-inch plants.
The mahogany and gold tones of ‘Red Cherry’ pair perfectly with another summer annual that can be found in the same colors, coreopsis.
This cultivar might be the finishing touch for your garden design, the cherry on top! You’ll find ‘Red Cherry’ seeds available for purchase in a selection of pack sizes at Eden Brothers.
27. Red Metamorph
Bred by plant breeder Alan Kapuler, ‘Red Metamorph’ is a French marigold with transformative powers.
Its blooms are ruby colored with yellow centers. But – and here’s where the transformation comes in – when the weather warms, splashes of orange can appear on new petals.
‘Red Metamorph’ has single flowers that are one and a half to two inches wide, held on plants that are large for a cultivar of T. patula, reaching 24 to 36 inches tall.
To bring attention to the surprising splashes of orange that appear during summer’s heat, why not pair this variety with an orange-colored zinnia variety?
Witness this variety’s striking changes in your own garden – you’ll find ‘Red Metamorph’ available for purchase in packs of 36 seeds at Botanical Interests.
28. Spun Orange
Similar to ‘Phyllis,’ ‘Spun Orange’ is an African marigold with mum-like petals.
Medium-sized plants grow to 20 inches tall and hold aloft bright orange double blossoms with narrow, delicate petals.
‘Spun Orange’ would be right at home mixed with cosmos and hollyhocks in an old-fashioned cottage garden.
Who needs spun gold when you can have ‘Spun Orange’?
29. Strawberry Blonde
In a floral world where most marigold cultivars come in lively shades of yellow, orange, and red, ‘Strawberry Blonde’ is unique.
A French marigold, this T. patula cultivar has double two-inch flowers that appear in gentle and muted shades of pastel pink, rose, and yellow.
‘Strawberry Blonde’ holds these lovely, out of the ordinary blossoms on dwarf plants that grow to only eight or 10 inches tall.
Try mixing ‘Strawberry Blonde’ with some of the more muted strawflower and cosmos varieties for an antique vibe.
If you’d like to give this fair beauty a place in your flower beds, you can find ‘Strawberry Blonde’ available for purchase in packs of 50 seeds or bundles of 12 live plants at Burpee.
Akin to the citrus-themed ‘Mandarin’ mentioned earlier, ‘Tangerine’ is a cultivar of T. patula.
Where ‘Mandarin’ has a more globular flower head, the double flowers of ‘Tangerine’ are flatter and more open, and its petals are broader.
These French marigolds are also a bit more compact than ‘Mandarin’ – ‘Tangerine’ grows to only 12 inches in height. And the blooms of ‘Tangerine’ are two to two and a half inches wide.
Pair lilac-hued summer snapdragons with the orange blossoms of ‘Tangerine’ for a striking duo.
You’ll find ‘Tangerine’ seeds available for purchase in a variety of packet sizes at Eden Brothers.
31. Tiger Eyes
Stare into ‘Tiger Eyes’ and what will you see? You’ll see double – double flowers, that is!
‘Tiger Eyes’ is a French marigold with a fantastical appearance. This variety’s puffy orange centers are skirted by a ring of deep red petals.
This T. patula cultivar produces its two-inch flowers on compact plants that reach 12 inches tall.
If you like what you see when you gaze into ‘Tiger Eyes,’ you’ll find seeds available for purchase in an assortment of package sizes at Eden Brothers.
Playing Floral Favorites
Well, gardener, although it seems there’s no end to the wild and wonderful variations one can find among marigolds, there is an end to this article and that’s exactly where you have arrived!
Thinking back on all 31 of the different varieties we showcased here, which ones are your favorites?
Are you thinking that you’re going to need a bigger garden or some additional flower beds to accommodate a few new cultivars? Or did you notice just one type that seems perfect for your gardening purposes?
And do you have any other favorites that we didn’t mention here? Let us know in the comments section below.
If you’re ready to dip your bucket into the well of even more marigold knowledge, keep reading right here: