Targetes erecta L, Asteraceae
Marigold is one of the most important flowering crop cultivated in India. Flowers are attractive red, yellow or orange in colour. These are solitary(Single) or may be clustered(in group). Because of the pungency of some varieties, they are especially good for repelling insects and pests from garden plants.
Marigold has gained popularity on account of its easy culture and wide adaptability, attractive colour, shape, size and good keeping quality.
There are two cultivated species of Marigold.
- Targetes erecta(African Marigold)
- Tagetes Patula(French Marigold)
Varieties and hybrids
Giant Double African Yellow, Giant Double African Orange, Golden Age, Spun gold, crown of gold, Pusa narangi gainda, Pusa Basanti gainda.
Marigold requires well drained loamy soil for cultivation. The soil pH should be 7.0 to 7.5. Saline and acidic soils are not suitable for cultivation.
It requires good climate for high growth and flowering. It requires temperature of 14.5° – 28.6°C which greatly improves flowering while higher temperature of 26.2° – 36.4°C adversely affects flower production. Marigold can be grown in all seasons like rainy, winter and summer seasons depending on the environment.
Land should be ploughed 2 to 3 times to bring the soil to a fine tilth. Nursery beds should be prepared by applying well rotten FYM
Marigold is mainly propagated by seeds. But it can also be propagated by herbaceous cuttings.
Seed rate and sowing
Seeds can be sown throughout the year. Nursery is raised with 1.5 kg seeds/ha and the seedlings are transplanted after four weeks on one side of the ridge at 45 x 35 cm spacing.
Water can be applied once in a week or can be done whenever required. Water stagnation should be avoided.
During last ploughing, incorporate 25t/ha of FYM. Apply 45kg/ha of Uread, 90kg/ha DAP and 75kg/ha MOP as basal and 45 kg/ha of Urea as top dressing 45 days after planting.
One month old seedlings with 3-4 leaves are fit for transplanting. Watering of nursery bed one day prior to uprooting will decrease the damage to root system.
Terminal portion should be tipped / removed 30 days after planting to encourage the branching.
The total crop duration is about 130 – 150 days
Marigold flowers are plucked when they attain full size. Plucking of flowers should be done once in 3 days from 60days after planting in cool hours of the day. The field should be irrigated before plucking so that flowers keep well for a longer period after harvest. Plucked flowers are collected in polythene bags or bamboo baskets for carrying to markets.
The corresponding ranges of variation in the weight of flowers were 8 to 12 tonnes/ha in French marigold and 11 to 18 tonnes/ha in African marigold. The average yield is about 18 t/ha.