Marigold Flowers are one of the most popular flowers in the world. It has huge demand as it is easily grown as a cut flower. Marigold Flowers are used mainly as the component of the flower vase and making garlands. It also used in different cultural and religious functions. Apart from this, it plays a great attractive role when planted as bedding flower. The leaves and flowers also have medicinal value.
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Scientific name: Tagates spp.
Classification of Marigold
Marigold Flowers are classified into two groups:
a) African marigold
b) French marigold.
The scientific name of African marigold is Tagetes erecta. The plants are 60 – 90cm in height. The flowers come 10 – 15cm or more in diameter. The plants produce light yellow, deep yellow, golden yellow, orange or white colored flowers. Two types of flowers are produced based on their mode of arrangement of petals:
The single types consist of an outer single row of ray florets and a disc in the middle composed of disc florets.
The double flowers are composed full of compact petals and there is no disc or disc floret.
Its scientific name is Tagetes patula. The plants reach 30 – 40cm in height. The plants bear different colored flowers e.g., red, blood red, mahogany, rusty red, striped and mixed color etc. This group also contains single and double flowers.
Marigold flowers are produced during winter months of Bangladesh. Generally, the moderate temperature of 20 – 250C and a day length of 10hrs is the best for its production. High and low temperatures both are detrimental for its development and flower production. For good flower production, the sunny place should be selected. Marigold can be grown in any type of soil. But well drained loamy soil which has optimum water holding capacity is the best for marigold production. The soil pH should be 7.0 – 7.5.
Marigold flowers can be propagated by seed and stem cutting.
Seed propagated plants do not bear genetic purity. But if anyone wants to produce from seed should sow seed in the seed bed during August – September.
In the case of propagation by stem cutting, some plants should be planted in pots at the end of flowering in March – April. These plants are reared properly.
Stem cuttings of 6 -8cm length from the new shoots coming out from these plants are made and seedlings are raised in the beds in August – September.
The land should be cultivated well at the end of rainy season i.e., in the month of October – November. Weeds and stubbles should be removed and during final land preparation 30 – 40t cow dung, 150kg TSP and 100kg MP per hectare should be well mixed with soil. Half the amount of Urea @ 150kg per hectare should be top-dressed after three weeks of planting and the rest half is to be applied at the time of flower bud initiation. In the case of French marigold, fewer amounts of nitrogenous fertilizers should be applied. The excess application will encourage vegetative growth which will hinder flowering.
Stem cuttings developed from African marigold should be planted at a distance of 30 – 45cm and that of French marigold should be planted maintaining a distance of 30cm. he cuttings either should be planted in the field or in long beds. The beds must be kept clean of weeds. Irrigation should be given regularly. The tips of the plants are to be pruned after a month of planting. This ensures the plants to become bushy. Early flowering should be stopped by removing flower buds at the sight.
Disbudding should be practiced if one wants to get large flowers. For this keeping, the center bud side buds are removed. If one wants to get medium size flowers the center bud is removed and two side buds are allowed to grow.
Generally African marigold starts flowering after 2.5 – 3.0 months of planting while French marigold takes 2.0 – 2.5 months after planting. Early morning is the best time of harvesting marigolds. Cold weather prevails during this time. Full-size blooming flower with a long stem should be cut by the help of a sharp knife or scissors. The flowers harvested in this way last for a longer period.