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Can Bearded Dragons Eat Marigolds? (Any risks?)

You may have been curious if Marigolds are edible or a good food option for your pet Bearded Dragon (Click here to see what your Beardie can really eat), you are in for good news because I have the answer.

Can bearded dragons eat marigolds? No, it is not advisable to feed your Bearded Dragon marigolds. This is because they are known to have pesticides and fertilizer on them and they have no real nutritional benefit for them.

Now that you know that it is not a good idea to feed your Beardie Marigolds, let me explain in detail what marigolds are, their potential health benefits, the risks associated with them, and much more. Keep reading.

What is a Marigold?



The chances are you have heard of Marigolds before. To add some confusion, in some countries they use the same name for rubber gloves. So, to make sure we are on the same page let me inform you what a Marigold truly is, including its scientific name, genus, and family.

Its appearance, family & Genus

Looking at a Marigold it looks like a beautiful blooming flower. It is known to have a strong smell. It is part of the following Genera: Tagetes & Calendula. And, part of the Asteraceae family.

According to Wikipedia, it is a hardy annual plant. If you are not sure what I mean by “annual plant”, let me explain. Well, annual is a term used for a plant that completes its entire lifecycle within one growing season. This means, from germination right up to producing its seeds, are you with me?

Common varieties and a cool fact

There are many different varieties of the marigold flow including:

  • African (or American) Marigold,
  • French Marigold
  • Signet Marigolds
  • Mule Marigolds
  • Pot marigold (Calendula)
  • and more…

Regarding the last one mentioned above, the Calendula, it has an interesting fact. According to Dr. Axe, The name comes from the Latin word “Calend”, which actually means every month.

It signifies the starting of a new moon cycle. Which, coincidentally, matches the blooming cycles of these marigolds.

Nutritional facts about marigolds

Strictly speaking, marigolds are not food sources that are analyzed for their nutritional content, such as oatmeal, but there are some active ingredients that may interest you if you are evaluating if its a good idea for your Bearded dragon.

Source: Dr. Axe

Plant sterols (calendulin)
Calendic acid
Linoleic acid
Triterpenes saponins, such as triterpenoid
Oleanolic acid glycosides

Are there any health benefits of marigolds for Beardies?

e.g. Alternative Medicine. Marigold infusion.

e.g. Alternative Medicine. Marigold infusion.

Now that you know some facts about Marigolds, you may be wondering if they have any health benefits. This is important to know to help you evaluate if they are a consideration for your bearded Dragon.

For that reason, in this section, I will reveal some health benefits with Marigolds. These are general health benefits that are mainly known for us humans.

Human skin treatment

According to The flower expert, Marigolds are quite a good treatment for skin issues. In particular, inflammation of the skin. This can be in two ways, physical damage and indirectly from infection. Such as:

  • Varicose veins
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Impetigo
  • And more…

This sounds great for you and me, but for your Beardie I can’t see any evidence that it can help in the same way. But still worth you understanding its uses in general.

The qualities of the Pot Marigold

Earlier I talked about Calendula,  The Pot Marigold, and how it was linked to the moon cycle, remember? Well, aside from that, it is also known to be used in healing ointments, teas, etc. They say that it is useful for treating rashes, allergies, Eczema, etc.

As you can imagine, any of these issues can cause people discomfort, and any help will be helpful. But, for a Bearded dragon, I can’t see any evidence to suggest it does the same.

Conjunctivitis and eye inflammation

There have also been animal studies performed that have concluded that Marigolds can help with conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is an eye condition. It is typically caused by infection or even allergies. It is often caught by babies and causes them to struggle to open their eyes.

The Marigold is believed to help with this due to its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.

Natural Antiseptic

There has been researching on Marigolds that have concluded that it has natural antiseptic qualities. According to Wikipedia, antiseptic is an antimicrobial substance that is applied to living skin tissue to reduce the chances of infection.

Which is a good quality to have and reinforces some of the benefits of this magical flower. However, it is not known how this affects Bearded dragons.

Are there any health-related risks with marigolds?

Now that you know about the health benefits related to Marigolds and the fact that there is little known proven benefits for Bearded dragons.

You may be curious to understand if there are any known risks for your Beardie, right? For that reason, in this section, I will explain what risks, if any, may be there for your reptile.

Should be avoided if you have these allergies

As you have seen earlier, the Marigold is part of two genera and part of a family. This family has man different variations of Marigolds and related to similar flowers.

My point is, if you have allergies to some related flowers, it is not advisable to handle Marigolds. Let alone feed them to your beardie, are you with me?

The flowers in mind are the following…

  • daisies
  • chrysanthemums
  • chamomile
  • echinacea
  • and any other flower in the Asteraceae family.

Should Bearded Dragons eat marigolds?

After digesting all of these facts and info about Marigolds you may still be wondering if you should be feeding them to your Beardie, right? Well, in this section I will answer this directly for you.

No, you should not feed Marigolds to your Beardie. The reality is Marigolds offer no real nutritional benefit. your pet and, to be honest, the chances are he won’t even like them. So it has no real benefit. Many other options offer better options for him.

Is it a good idea to offer a Baby Beardie Marigolds?

Now that you understand that it’s not a good idea, believe it or not, some owners may still wonder if its any good for their baby Bearded Dragon. So, to be clear on this, I will answer this directly as well.

No, you should not feed Marigolds to your baby Bearded Dragon. And, this is for the same reason as stated above. In fact, for baby beardies, I would be even more careful. They need a good supply of insects (Click here to see why ants are a bad idea) as well as nutritional vegetables, with a small portion of fruit.

Can Bearded Dragons even eat flowers?

Now that it is clear that Marigolds are not ideal, it may make you wonder if any flowers or plants, such as mint leaves, can even be served to your pet, right? Well, let me clarify this for you now in this section.

According to VCA Hospitals, flowers can be given to your Bearded Dragon. However, it should be more of a treat. And, they list a few that are acceptable, such as the following:

  • geraniums
  • carnations
  • dandelions
  • hibiscus
  • nasturtiums
  • and roses

Have you noticed one thing? There is no mention of marigolds, right? Just more reason to leave them out of his diet.

They also mention that you can provide homegrown flowers or purchase them from a pet shop. Also, they explain that you sometimes get them from flower shops, in particular ones that are wilted or aging that are to be thrown out.

However, one important thing, you need to make sure that no chemicals have been put on them.

The problem with chemicals on Flowers

This is one of the problems with flowers, they are often treated with chemicals to preserve them and protect them from bugs and rodents (pesticides). So, it is important to avoid this. If in doubt, don’t feed him it, are you with me?

Related Questions:

In this section, I will answer some questions related to your Bearded Dragons diet. If you have more questions feel free to contact me.

Q: Can Bearded Dragons eat other meats, instead of insects?

No, it is not a good idea to try and feed your Beardie other meats,  such as turkey. This is because they prefer live food that they can catch, and insects are in line with their natural food source they are used to from their natural habitat.

Q: Can Bearded Dragons eat citrus fruits?

No, citrus fruits, such as clementines, are not good for your Bearded Dragon. This is because they have high phosphorus to calcium ratio and have high sugar content.

According to VCA Hospitals,  fruit should only represent 10% to 20% of their diet anyway.  They say that fruits, such as bananas, can be consumed.  However, in general, they should consume way more vegetables (Click here to see if radicchio is a good vegetable food source for them) than fruit to maintain a nutritious and healthy diet to lead them on to long lifespan.


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