Marigold is one of the most commonly grown flowers mainly for garden decoration and also used as loose flowers for making garlands for social and religious functions. Nowadays it is gaining popularity among gardeners on account of its wider adaptability and easy culture.
Marigold is often called as Calendula (derived from latin word calendae, meaning “little calendar”). It is so called because the plants bloomed on the first days of the calendar month. It is annual and also perennial. It is a colorant for fabrics, used as an ingredient in food and cosmetics. It is usually grown for its beauty and flowers are extensively cultivated for its herbal medicine.
Plant contains sterols known Calendulin, Calendic acid, Polysaccharides, Linoleic acid, Tocopherols and also it contains Antioxidants and Volatile oils.
- Plant height is 0.1- 2.2 m tall
- Most of the species have pinnate green leaves.
- Blooms usually in golden, orange, yellow, white colors.
- Soil: well-drained loamy soil.
- Soil pH: 5.6- 6.5 (saline and acidic soils are not suitable)
- Optimum temperature: 18-20 ͦ C
- Spacing: 45 × 35 cm
- Watering: once a week ( water stagnation should be avoided)
- Nipping/ Tipping: 30 days after planting terminal portion should be removed to encourage branching.
- Harvest: 60 days after planting
- Crop duration is 120 days.
Marigold plants, besides being eye-catching due to its vibrant hues, has lots of benefits like-
- The herb is used to reduce the fever, to treat indigestion and liver problems.
- It has got anti-inflammatory, antiseptic qualities to ease the skin infections. It has been used for centuries to ease the skin infections, ulcerations, bowel problems, hemorrhoids.
- Used in the treatment of rashes, allergies, and
- Used in the preparation of essential oil for perfumes. The petals are rich in orange-yellow color (carotenoid lutein) used as food color for pasta, vegetable oil, baked and dairy products.
- Used in cosmetics for toning & soothing effects.
- Its foliage has musky, pungent scent. So it is said to repel some of the insect pests like bugs, nematodes.
Preethi completed her B. Sc. from College of Horticulture, Mysore and M. Sc. from College of Horticulture, Bengaluru. She is an avid gardener with expertise across soil based and soilless gardening techniques using substrates.