Do you want to start a profitable marigold farming business? Here in this article, we intend to explore how to start marigold cultivation in open area and poly house. Also, the article includes different production technology, variety, agroclimatic condition, plant protection, harvesting, and yield.
The scientific name of marigold is Tagetes. And it belongs to Daisy family. Marigold is an important traditional flower crop. Commercially, it is popular as the versatile crop with golden harvest’. Generally, the less maintenance and short harvesting period are the major reasons for the huge popularity of this flower.
Growing marigold is comparatively easier than other commercial flowers. So, if you have land for flower farming, you can consider this business with low startup investment.
Some of the major marigold producing countries are South Africa, India, Brazil, and Australia. However, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Haryana, West Bengal are the major marigold producing states in India.
Marigold is popular with some other names. These are Caltha, Ganda, Gols bloom, Garden Marigold, Gold bloom, Holligold, Marybud, Pot Marigold etc.
Economic Importance of Marigold Cultivation
First of all, marigold is a very popular garden flower for ornamentation and look. Additionally, this is grown for loose flower purposes. Generally, a wide range of population use the flowers in garland making at social functions and religious offerings. Also, the flower has good export potential. Some of the major marigold exporting countries are Vietnam, Canada, Oman, China, Taiwan, Thailand, and Singapore.
The industrial applications include the pigment and oil extraction. Additionally, this flower is highly suitable for herbaceous border and bedding plant. Finally, the marigold plantation as intercrop reduces the population of the nematode.
Health Benefits of Marigold Flower
- First of all, you can use marigold in stomach upset, ulcers, menstrual period problems, eye infections, inflammations, and for wound healing.
- Additionally, this is an antiseptic. Application of marigold leaves in the affected area brings relief in pain and swelling caused by a wasp or bee.
- Internally it is used to treat bladder and kidney problems, blood in the urine, uterine bleeding and many more.
Things to Consider in Starting Marigold Cultivation
- Commercial marigold farming demands infrastructure and cost. So, you must have a proper financial plan for commercial plantation.
- Like any other flower, marigold is also highly perishable flower. So, you need to sell the flowers immediately after harvest. Otherwise, you must have proper arrangements for storing the flowers in the protected environment.
Different Types of Marigold & Varieties
African Marigolds (Tagetes erecta L.):
These marigolds are generally tall, erect-growing plants up to three feet in height. Generally, the flowers are globe-shaped and large. Flowers may measure up to 12 cm across. African Marigolds are very good bedding plants. These flowers are yellow, lemon yellow, golden yellow and orange and do not include red color marigolds. Important varieties are Pusa Narangi Gainda, Pusa Basanti Gainda, Cracker Jack, Climax, Yellow Supreme.Apollo, Moonshot, Golden -Age
French Marigolds (Tagetes patula L.):
The French marigolds are rapidly increasing in popularity. The plants are dwarf in nature, compact and produce single or double blooms. Flower colors are red, rusty red, orange, tangerine, yellow and bicolours or combination of colors. Generally, French Marigolds are ideal for edging flower beds and in mass plantings. They also do well in containers and window boxes. Important varieties are Rusty Red, Petite series, Red Brocade, Danty Marietta, Hisar Beauty and Hisar Jaffri-2218
Inter-Specific /Mule/Triploid Marigolds:
These marigolds are the sterile hybrids of tall African and dwarf French marigolds, hence known as mule Marigolds. The plants are intermediate in character i.e. medium tall (60cm) with double flowers and color combination of red to orange. Important varieties are Seven Star, Show Boat, and Nugget
4. Signet Marigolds (T. Signata ‘Pumila’):
The signet marigolds produce compact plants with finely divided, lacy foliage and clusters of small single flowers. They have yellow to orange colored, edible flowers. The foliage has a pleasant lemon fragrance. Signet marigolds are excellent plants for edging beds and in window boxes. Important varieties are Golden Gem, Lemon Gem, and Paprika.
Agroclimatic Condition for Marigold Cultivation
Marigold require mild climate for luxuriant growth and flowering. At high temperature, the growth of the plant is affected besides reduction in flower size & number. In severe winter, plants and flowers are damaged by frost. The optimum growing temperature is 18.2°C at night.
Suitable Soil for Marigold Cultivation
Generally, you can grow marigold in any kind of soil. However, the well-drained and well-aerated soils are the most suitable. French marigold thrives best in light soil, whereas, a rich, well drained, moist soil suits African marigolds. The soil pH should be near to neutral in reaction (7.0-7.5). An ideal soil for marigold is fertile sandy loam.
Commercial Marigold Cultivation – Basic Steps
You can propagate marigold in two ways. From seeds or by cuttings. When you raise the crop from seed, you will get a tall, vigorous and healthy bloomer. Therefore, the seed propagation is the most preferred method over cuttings. However, you can follow the later one method for maintaining the purity of varieties
The marigold seeds are black in color & remain viable for about 1-2 years. For raising of seedlings, you will need to sow the seeds in pots, seed boxes or raised nursery beds. Prepare the nursery beds by digging area and incorporating well rotten FYM. Before sowing the seeds, you will need to drench the soil should with Captan to avoid the ants, which carry away the seeds. Additionally, you must maintain a seed rate of 400 -600 g/ha.
You can transplant one-month-old seedlings with 3 -4 true leaves. However, you must avoid thin & long seedlings and too old seedlings. Transplanting should be done in well-prepared land and soil is pressed around root zone to avoid air pockets. After planting, you must provide a light irrigation. Spacing is an important aspect of transplantation. However, the spacing depends on the growth habit, cultivar, and the soil type.
For deciding the fertilizer requirement, you must test the soil of your farm. Generally, Marigold doesn’t demand huge fertilization. However, you can apply farm yard manure at the time of land preparation. Sometimes, marigold requires zinc and boron for flower quality and yield.
Marigold needs regular weeding and hoeing, 3 -4 times during crop season to check weed growth and to keep them clean. Irrigate the crop in 7 -8 days interval depending on the soil type, season and weather conditions. In lighter soil, you will need to provide more frequent irrigations than that in heavy soil.
Actually, pinching is the removal of the terminal portion of the crop. In African marigold, you must provide pinching after 30-35 days of transplanting. This practice encourages the development offside shoots and makes the plants more floriferous.
Actually, plant protection is an important activity that you must consider seriously. You must protect your marigold farm from the harmful pests, insects, and diseases. Some of the most potential diseases are Damping-off, Flower bud rot, Leaf spot, and blight etc. Additionally, red spider mite and hairy caterpillars are the most harmful insects for marigold farms.
Harvesting & Yield
Generally, you must pluck the flowers in cool hours of the day either in the morning or evening. Before plucking the flowers, you must irrigate the field so that flowers keep well for a longer period after harvest. Regular picking improves the yield. The yield highly depends on the cultivation practice, far management, and variety. With proper management and care, you can expect 125-150q/ha yield for African marigold and 80-120 q/ha in French marigold cultivation.