Marigold (Gaenda) is one of the most commonly grown flowers and used extensively on religious and social functions in different forms. Since it is easy to cultivate, it’s adaptability to various types of soil and climatic conditions, its beautiful colours, lasting qualities it is one of the most popular flower with year round demand.


The Marigold (Gaenda) flowers are sold in the market as loose or as garlands. Due to its variable height and colours marigold is especially use for decoration and included in landscape plans.



The Marigold comes in 33 species and numerous varieties. The two most common varieties are:

I) The African Marigold (Tagetes erecta)

II) The French Marigold (Tagetes patula).



The Marigold (Gaenda) is not a native of India. It was brought to our country by the traders from African, Mexico, France and South America.


The African Marigold (Tagetes erecta)

The African Marigolds are generally tall (up to 90 cm) with large sized double globular flowers of lemon, yellow, golden yellow, primrose, orange or bright yellow colours. There are also dwarf varieties (20 to 30 cm) having large double flowers.


The important varieties are:

Giant Double African Orange

Giant Double African Yellow

Cracker Jack, Climax


Golden Age

Chrysanthemum Charm

Crown of Gold, Spun Gold.


French Marigold (Tagetes patula)

The French Marigolds are mostly dwarf, early- flowering and compact with dainty single or double blooms, borne freely and almost covering the entire plant. The colour flowers may be yellow, orange, golden yellow, primrose, mahogany, rusty red, tangerine or deep scarlet or a combination of these colours.


The important varieties are:

Red Brocade

Rusty Red, Butter Scotch

Valencia, Susanna


However, in the market mostly orange colour varieties are preferred and the variety which is dominating is Giant Double African Orange.


They can grow in almost all seasons except in very cold weather, as they are susceptible to frost. Marigolds require mild climate of luxuriant growth and heavy flowering. For seeds germination optimum temperature ranges 18 to 300 C


Since Marigold is hardy plants they can be grown successfully in different types of soils. The French marigold grows best in light soil while the African marigold requires a rich, well-manured and moist soil. However, the soil is deep fertile friable having good water holding capacity well drained having a

pH value of7.0-7.5 and is near neutral soil.


Planting is carried out during rainy season winter and summer season hence flowers of marigold can be had almost throughout the year.


There are two common methods of propagation of marigold:

By seeds

By cuttings


Seed rate:

For raising plants in 1 hectare area the quantity of seeds required is1.5 kg. Seeds can be sown in lines or by broadcast method. Seeds need to be covered with light soil or sand or strained leaf mould.


Nursery beds: The seeds have to be first sown in a nursery 3 x 1m size mixed with 10 kg of well rotten farmyard manure per sq.meter. Nursery bed should be kept moist by watering accordingly. When the new plants have reached the four leaf stage these can be transplanted to the main field.


Sowing Time:



Sowing time

Transplanting time


End of June to 1st week of July

First fortnight of August


Mid of September

Mid of October


First week of January
(under glass house or plastic)

First week of February


Manures and Fertilizers:

The marigold is a good feeder and needs fertilizers application as under:

200:100:100 NPK kg/ha should be applied to get highest flower yield.
100:100:100 NPK kg /ha at the time of land preparation and remaining 100 kg N/ha should be applied one month after seedlings are transplanted.



Marigold takes about 55-60 days to complete vegetative growth and to enter into reproductive phase. At vegetative and flowering period sufficient amount of moisture in soil is essential. The frequency and quantity of water mainly depends upon soil and climatic condition. Though plants tolerate dry weather up to 10 days without irrigation but growth and flower production is affected adversely. From April to June, frequent irrigation at the interval of 4-5 days is required.


Pinching of Marigold Plants:

The shoot is pinch to make the plants bushy and compact. Pinching the plants 40 days after transplanting enabled the plants to yield more flowers. If the terminal portion of shoot is removed early, emergence of side branches starts earlier and more number of flowers of good quality and uniform size are produced.


Diseases and Insect Pests

In general, the marigolds are hardy and almost free from diseases and insects. However, occasionally the following diseases and insect pests having observed:








Damping off (Rhizoctonia solani)


Brown necrotic spots, girdling the radical which later on extend to plumule and cause pre-emergence mortality. Post-emergence symptom appears as water soaked brown necrotic ring, leading to collapse of seedlings.


1. Proper drainage should be provided in the nursery beds.

2. Soil drenching with brassicol (0.3%) should be followed.



Leaf spots and Blight (Alternaria, Cercospora and Septoria)


Minute brown circular spots on lower leaves and enlarge at later stage of infection leading to premature defoliation and ultimate death of the plant.

Spraying of Dithane M-45 fungicide @ 0.2% at fortnightly intervals starting from the first appearance of disease symptoms.



Powdery Mildew (Oidium sp and Leveillula taurica)


The whitish tiny superficial spots appeared on leaves which later on result in the coverage of whole aerial parts of plant with whitish powder.

Spraying with Karathane (40 E.C) @ 0.5% or dusting with sulphur powder at fortnightly intervals.








Red Spider Mite (Tetranychus sp.)


Mites appear on the plants near flowering giving dusty appearance.



Spraying Metasystox 25 E.C. or Rogor E.C. or Nuvacron 40 E.C. @ 1 ml/lit. of water.



Hairy Caterpillar (Diacrizai obliqua)

Polyphagus insect and caterpillar eats away foliage.


Sprays of Nuvon 50 E.C. or Thiodan 35 E.C. @ 1 ml/l of water.


Marigold should be plucked when they attain the full size depending upon the variety. It should be done in cool hours of the day that is either in the morning or evening. Field should be irrigated before plucking productivity of plants is increased considerably by regular plucking flowers.



For the local market marigold flowers are taken into gunny bags whereas from distant market bamboo baskets are used.



Different means of transportation viz. Rickshaws, Buses, Trains are used to carry the flowers to market depending upon the distance.



On an average a fresh flower yield of - 200-225 q per ha during rainy season
150 to 175 q per ha in winter and 100-120 q/ha in summer can be obtained.