If you want to grow marigolds successfully, read this article. It covers different aspects of growing marigolds from seed to harvest.
The scientific names of marigolds are Tagetes. Marjoram is an important traditional flower crop. Commercially, it is popular as a versatile crop with golden harvests. Generally, less maintenance and a short harvest cycle are the main reasons for the huge popularity of these flowers.
Marigold growing is relatively easy compared to other types of commercial plants. If you have some space for plant cultivation, then you could start this type of business with a small initial outlay.
Marigolds are native to tropical regions of Asia, Africa, and North America. However, they are grown commercially in India, China, Mexico, and the United States.
Marigolds come under several different names. Here are some common ones: Caltha (or Calthaea), Ganda, Gols bloom, Garden marigold, Goldblume, Holliger, Marybud, etc.
Is Marigold Farming Profitable?
First off, marigolds are a very popular ornamental plant for decoration and are also used for bouquets. In addition, they are grown for decorative purposes.
Most people utilize marigolds in floral arrangements at events such as weddings and funerals. Furthermore, the plant has excellent export potential. A number of the biggest marigolds exporters include Mexico, India, South Korea, Indonesia, and Nigeria.
Read: How to start a flower export business
There are several uses for marigolds besides making them into bouquets. They’re also useful for reducing populations of nematodes.
Health Benefits of Marigold Flower
Marigolds are used for treating stomach upsets, ulcers, menstrual disorders, eye infections, inflammation, and wounds.
Furthermore, this is an anti-septic. Applying marigolds to the affected area relieves the painful symptoms and swelling caused by a stinging insect.
It internally treats bladder and kidney diseases, urinary tract infections, heavy menstrual bleeding, and many others.
Things to Consider in Starting Marigold Farming Business
Commercial marigolds require special equipment and facilities. You need to have a good financial plan before starting any commercial marigolds farm.
As with any other flower, Marigolds are also highly perishable. Therefore, you need to store them properly. Otherwise, they must be stored in a safe place.
Different Types of Marigolds & Varieties
African Marigolds (Tagetes erecta L.):
These marigold plants are generally tall and erect growing up to three foot high. Generally, the flowers are globe-shaped and large. Flowers may measure up to twelve centimeters across. African marigold plants are very good bedding plants.
These flowers are yellow, lemon yellow golden yellow, and orange and do not include red color marigold plants. Important varieties are Pusa sarangi gained, Pusa Basanti gained, cracker jack, climax, and yellow supreme. Apollo, moonshot, golden age
French Marigolds (Tagetes patula)
The French marigold (Tagetes patula) is an annual herbaceous flowering plant native to South America. It was introduced into Europe during the 17th century and became widely naturalized throughout much of temperate Europe. In North America, they were introduced in California in 1874.
Inter-Specific /Mule/Triploid Marigolds:
Mules are the sterile hybrid of tall African and dwarf French marigolds. They’re intermediate in height and flower size. Some important varieties include Seven Star, Showboat, and Nugget.
Signet Marigolds (T. Signata ‘Pumila’):
The signet marjoram produces compact, bushy shrubs with finely divided leaves and clusters of small single white flowers. The foliage has an agreeable lemony scent.
The plant can grow to about 6 feet tall and wide. The flowers attract butterflies. The foliage has a pleasing citrus smell. Marjorams are used in cooking and herbal medicine. Some popular varieties include Sweet Annie, White Wonder, and Black Velvet.
Agroclimatic Condition for Marigold Farming
Marigolds require a warm environment for vigorous growth and blooming. During hot summer months, marigolds can grow quite tall and may need staking.
They also enjoy full sun exposure during the day. Warm weather is best for marigolds, so they do not tolerate cold weather. Marigolds should only be planted where they will receive direct sunlight.
Suitable Soil for Marigold Farming
Generally, you can cultivate marigolds on any type of earth. However, good aeration and well-draining soils are the most suitable ones. French marigold grows best in light soils, whilst, rich, well-aeration, moist soils suit African marigolds. Soil pH should be near to neutrality in order (7.0-8.0). An ideal earth for marigolds is good fertile sandy loam.
Read: How to take soil samples for analysis?
Basic Cultivation Basic Steps for Marigold Farming
You can propagate marjoram in two ways. From plants or by seeds. When you grow the plant from seeds, you will get a small, compact and healthy plant.
Therefore, seeding is the best option for growing marjoram. However, if you wish to maintain the purity of your variety, then you should sow the seeds only once.
The marigolds are yellow in color and last for around two years. They can be grown in containers, garden beds, or window boxes. You may also grow them outdoors where they require full sun exposure.
They do not tolerate frost very well so ensure your plants receive adequate sunlight during winter months. To keep pests out of the garden, cover the bed with fine mesh netting before planting.
You can plant seeds of lettuce in late April or early May. Plant in small pots (about 4 inches deep) filled with potting mix and water. Keep the soil moist until germination occurs.
Seedling emergence may take 7 days after planting. Once emerging, keep the plants watered daily. When the plants reach 1 inch tall, they’re ready for transplants into larger containers.
For determining the fertilizer requirement, one should test the soils of the farm. Usually, Marigolds do not require huge fertilization. However, you can add farmyard manure during the time preparing the ground. Sometimes, Marigolds require zinc and boron to enhance the flower qualities and yield.
Marigolds require regular weeded and hoeing at least three to four times per growing season to check for weeds and to maintain their cleanliness. They prefer well-drained soils but they can tolerate some moisture in the root zone. Water marigolds every seven to eight days.
Pinching is the cutting of the terminal shoot at the base. It is done in African marigolds so that they produce more flowers. This practice helps develop side shoots and increases their flowering capacity.
Actually, pest control is an important activity that one should take seriously. One needs to protect his/her marigold farm from harmful pests, insects, and viruses. Some of the most common pests are damping off, flower bud rots, leaf spots, blights, etc. Also, red spider mites, hairy caterpillars, and whiteflies are the most damaging insects for marigold farming.
Harvesting & Yield
You should pick the flower before they start blooming. To do this, you need to water your plants regularly. Watering helps them grow better and produce more fruit.
When harvesting, make sure you only take one stem per plant. That way, you’ll get more fruit. Your yields will increase if you continue to pick the fruits.
If you’re in commercial marigolds, you need to keep them healthy. Here we include a list of important marigol pest and disease issues, and how to prevent them. We also cover a full plant protection manual.
Most marigolds are fairly disease-free, but sometimes you may see some of these diseases or insects on the farm.
Potential & Harmful Diseases in Marigold Plant
1. Damping-off (Pythium sp.)
The disease is most common during the seedling stage. If you don’t take care of them properly, they may die.
You can use formalin (2%) for controlling weeds before planting seeds and applying distance z-78 (2 g / liter) of water.
2. Flower bud rot (Alternaria Dianthi):
The fungus infects young flowers, causing them to wither and die. Infected buds turn black and fall off the plant. Older, diseased foliage turns yellow and dies.
Spraying mancozeb (2 g /liter of water) effectively controls fungal diseases on roses.
3. Leaf spot &blight (Alternaria, Cercospora, and Septoria sp.)
Brown necrotic lesions appear on leaves, which become larger and eventually kill the plant. These symptoms result in poor vegetative growth and eventual death.
Spraying Dythane M-45 @0.2% at regular time intervals is helpful.
4. Wilt and Stem Rot (Phytophthora Cryptogea)
The fungal infection affects the collar portions of plant stems. In nurseries, the infection causes dampening off and is aggravated by soil moisture. In fields, the affected plant stems exhibit wilt. French marigolds and dwarfs are less susceptible whereas African types are highly susceptible.
You can treat the disease by applying pesticides to the plants’ roots.
5. Collar Rot (Phytophthora sp.; Pythium sp.)
The cause of the disease is in the form of black spots which develop on the main stems. When these spots rot, they kill the plants.
Soil sterilization helps control diseases by preventing them from spreading.
6. Powdery Mildew (Oidium sp.; Leveillula Taurica)
The signs of powdery mildew include white fluffy growth on plants’ leaves.
Spraying sulfa drugs (3 grams per liter of water) can be effective at controlling diseases.
Marigold Pests & Insects Attacks & Control
7. Red spider mite
Mites may cause dustiness on the leaves of certain types of flowers. Dusty-looking flowers include daisies, dandelions, marigolds, sunflowers, z
You can usually adjust this by spraying Metasytoxin 25 SE/ Rogor@ 1 ml per liter of water.
8. Hairy caterpillar
Caterpillars feed on plants by chewing leaves. To prevent them from eating your plants, spray than 35EC at 1ml per liter of water.
It’s important to observe the symptoms of an infestation before taking any action. If necessary, you should use specific pest control measures to prevent further damage.
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