Other than the rose, the marigold is one of the most commonly used flowers in local wedding celebrations and decor. It adds vibrant hues of yellows and orange to the backdrop of the stage and is symbolic during cultural events such as mayun and mehndi.

Adhering to the family Asteraceae, the herbaceous plant of marigold is scientifically known as 'tagetes'. Interestingly, the flower is also favoured by kitchen gardeners for its benefits. The flower is believed to repel any likely pest attacks and many consider the marigold as a potential source for attracting predatory insects including ladybugs, wasps, hoverflies and lacewings.

These predatory insects, in turn, eat up the pests, including aphids that may damage the kitchen garden. Many kitchen gardeners grow marigold plants around their organic herbs, fruit and vegetable plants. Marigold also helps in pollination of other vegetables by attracting pollinators such as butterflies and honeybees.

Marigold seeds are rather thin and black in colour with a white bottom. There are different types of marigold seeds for varieties such as dwarf, tall, hybrid, desi and French, with different colours including white, yellow and orange. The best time to sow marigold seeds is during spring.

The marigold flower is especially beloved in the subcontinent, not only for its brilliant gold and orange hues but also for a number of other beneficial reasons

To grow a number of marigold plants simultaneously, well-drained soil is required, preferably in a 4 by 4 inch-sized container. The seeds are then sprinkled on the surface of the soil while covering it with a thin layer of compost.

When sowing the seeds, be sure to gently water the pot in such a way that it starts draining through the bottom drainage hole of the pot. If the seeds become visible again after watering, you may cover them with a fine layer of compost again.

If the weather is dry, you may cover the pot with a plastic bag and keep it aside to hinder water evaporation. In humid conditions, it may be kept in a cool, dry place. The seeds are likely to germinate in seven to 10 days. After germination, the plastic bag covering the pot should be removed to ensure normal growth. These seedlings should be carefully watered from here on as they are very fragile at this stage.

In two to three weeks, the sprouted seeds will be in their sapling stage. In this phase, the plant is in need of constant nitrogen-rich fertiliser supply to guarantee healthy growth...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT