Cultivation of Marigold (Gainda); A Complete Information Guide

Cultivation of Marigold (Gainda); A Complete Information Guide

Marigold ( Tagetes spp. ) is an annual flowering plant that belongs to the family  Asteraceae family and is popularly known as “Gainda”, It is cultivated as an ornamental crop for loose flowers and as a landscape plant. It has gained popularity in India due to its easy culture and wide adaptability, wide attractive colors, shape, size, and good keeping quality. Marigold is considered pure and traditionally offered to honor God. Marigold is native of Central and South America, more especially Mexico.  The name Tagetes was given after Tages, a demigod, known for his beauty.

Cultivated Species of Marigold; 

The cultivated marigold species are mainly two. ;

1) Tagetes erecta (African marigold): 

The African marigold plant is hardy, annual that grows up to 90 cm tall, erect, and branched.  Its leaves are pinnately divided and leaflets are lanceolate and serrated. Flowers of this species are single to fully double with a large globular head. The florets are either 2-lipped or quilled. Flower color varies from lemon yellow to yellow, golden yellow, or orange.
2) Tagetes patula (French marigold): 

The French marigold is a hardy annual and it grows up to 30 cm in height and forms a bushy type plant. Foliage is dark green with a reddish stem. Its leaves are pinnately bifurcated whereas the leaflets are linear, lanceolate, and serrated. Flowers of French marigold are smaller and it has either single or double borne on proportionately long peduncles. The color of the flower varies from yellow to mahogany red.

Climate Requirement for Marigold Crop ;

It requires a mild climate for its Vegetative growth and flowering it gives a better result under the temperature range between 15 to 30-degree Celsius. High temperature adversely affects the production of the crop.

8 Important Uses of Marigold Flowers;

8 Important Uses of Marigold Flowers

1)Marigold Flower Extract (MFE) is a natural source of carotenoids as a feed additive in the poultry diet.

2)It decreases the egg cholesterol by 43.15% and increases egg yolk color by 20.50%.

3) It uses as a companion plant with nematode-susceptible vegetable crops like tomato, pepper, beans, and okra.

4) Patels of the marigold is used as a substitute for the saffron it gives a strong yellow color to dishes.

5) It is beneficial to eye health and it also exhibits antioxidant and anti-cancer effects.

6) Marigold flower tea is used to lower down the symptoms caused by inflammatory bowel diseases or colitis. Its tea is also helpful in treating gastritis, acid reflux, and ulcers, as well as reducing stomach or menstrual cramps.

7) It has natural antiseptic properties. Extract of marigold is used to cure ear infections.

8) It Naturally Repels Bugs due to its pungent smell, anti-oxidant content, and volatile oils.

Soil and its Preparation for Marigold Cultivation ;

It can be grown in a wide range of soils However it gives good results in well-drained fertile sandy loam soil with a pH range of 6 to 7.5  Land should be plowed thrice and apply the FYM at the @25 t/ha. Ridges are formed 60 cm apart. The nursery bed is prepared by digging the field three to five times to have fine tilth and apply FYM. Marigold requires full sunlight under the shady condition it gains more vegetative growth and does not produce flowers.

Important Varieties of Marigold ;

a)Tagetes erecta (African marigold):
Giant Double African Orange, Giant Double African Yellow, Crackerjack, Climax, Doubloon, Golden Age, Chrysanthemum Charm, Crown of Gold, Spun Gold.
b)Tagetes patula (French marigold):
Red Brocade, Rusty Red, Butter Scotch, Valencia, Succana.
c)Tagetes tenuifolia:
Golden Gem, Lulu, Pumila, Ursula.

Seed and Sowing of Marigold Crop;

a) Time of Sowing; Marigold can be grown throughout the year Three main seasons are as follows ;  

Flowering Season

Sowing Time

 Transplanting Time


Mid of June

Mid of July


Mid of August

Mid of September


Ist Week of Jan

1 week of Feb

b) Seed Rate; Seed rate of marigold is 1 kg per acre.

c) Sowing Method of Marigold; It is majorly grown through seeds but it can also be propagated by vegetative cuttings.

1) By Seed;  It takes about 5-7 days for germination. Seeds can be sown on nursery beds in lines in shallow furrows. During the preparation of nursery beds 8-10 Kg of well-decomposed farmyard manure per 1sq.m bed should be thoroughly mixed with the soil. The width of the seedbed should be 1.2 m or less than 1.2m and the height of the nursery bed should be 15 cm. Apply folidol dust to the nursery beds just before sowing the seeds,  to avoid ant or termite infestation. In winter sowing the nursery beds must be covered with a layer of straw to fasten the germination process. The straw covers should be removed over the beds as soon as the seedlings are visible above the soil. Seeds germination normally takes  5-7 days after the sowing.

2)By herbaceous cuttings
a)Varieties like Gaint African yellow, Gaint African orange does not set seed. Therefore these are usually multiplied by herbaceous cuttings. Apical shoots of 10cm long are commonly used for vegetative propagation.
b)Spacing; Tagetes erecta requires 40 × 30 cm spacing while T. patula requires 20 × 20 cm or 20 × 10 cm spacing for high yield. 
c) Herbaceous cuttings each with one or two pairs of leaves are inserted in sand medium either in a seed pan or nursery bed. Before putting the cuttings in a rooting medium the basal portion of the cuttings is treated with a hormone powder which is marketed as seradix B-1, Rootex-1 to encourage profuse and early rooting. 
d) Initially the Shade should be provided to the beds. Regular irrigation should also be provided to maintain the proper moisture conditions in the beds. Within 8-10 days, rooting can be observed in the cuttings which are later used as planting materials.
d) Transplanting: Plant  should be uprooted and transplanted in the field in the evening hours for better establishment. One-month-old seedlings with 3-4 leaves are fit for transplanting. Apply water to the nursery bed one day prior to uprooting it will lessen the chance to damage to the root system.

Fertilizer Required for Marigold Cultivation ;

Apply well-decomposed FYM  @ 50 tones/ha at the time of field preparation. Apply  400 kg N, 200 kg P, and 60 kg K per hectare. The doses of fertilizers are similar for the  African as well as for  French marigolds.
Nitrogen should be given in two or three split doses during the plant growth period.

Irrigation Requirement for Marigold Cultivation ;

The frequency and quantity of irrigation mainly depend upon various factors like soil and season. In the case of lighter soil, more frequent irrigation is required in comparison to heavy soil. Weekly irrigation is essential from September-March in sandy loam soil. Frequent irrigation at the intervals of 4-5 days is extremely essential during the  summer ( April to June ) 

After Care;

In marigold control of weeds is an important operation. If the weeds are not removed in time, a great loss would occur in terms of the growth and productivity of marigold, particularly during the rainy season. Hoeing and weeding should be done 3 to 4 times during the crop period to make the soil loose and weed-free. Chemical weed control is also recommended.

Pinching in Marigold Crop:

In tall cultivars of African marigolds, plants first grow upwards to their final height and later on, produce a terminal flower. After the formation of terminal flower buds, axillary branches develop which also bear flowers. However, if the apical portion of the shoot is removed early, large numbers of axillary shoots arise resulting in a well-shaped bushy plant bearing more uniform-sized flowers. Removal of the apical portion of the shoot is known as pinching. It is seen that pinching after 40 days of transplanting increases the flower yield. Marigold varieties like Giant Double African Yellow and Orange do not require pinching as the plants are bushy and branching types.

Disease and Pest Management in Marigold Cultivation;

Management of Pest in Marigold ;




Bud caterpillars

Eggs are laid singly on young buds. Larvae feed on developing flowers by damaging florets. Larvae of Phycita sp. feed on heads of buds and flowers.

Collection and destruction of infested buds and flowers can prevent the further spread of the disease. Sprays of Endosulfan 0.07% or Methyl Pathion 0.05%.


Aphids majorly infest the lower portion of flowers and the base of petals. Nymphs and adults suck the sap from the flowers causing discoloration and withering.

Spraying of Oxydemeton methyl 0.05% or Moncrotophos 0.05%.


Thrips majorly infests the young leaves, buds, and flowers of the plant and suck the sap. Affected leaves of the plant get fully distorted, while petals of flowers turn brown and dirty.

Two or three sprays of Oxydemeton methyl, Diemthoate 0.05%, at 10 days interval.

Red spider mite

These mites sometimes appear on the plant near flowering time. Plants give a dusty appearance.

It can be controlled by the application of Metasystox 25 E C, or Rogor or Nuvacron 40 E C or Kethone @ 1 ml/l of water.

Hairy caterpillar

his caterpillar eats away foliage. This caterpillar can be controlled by Nuvan or Thiodan at 1 ml/l of water.

Hairy caterpillar can be controlled by Nuvan or Thiodan at 1 ml/l of water.

Management of Diseases in Marigold ;





It is caused by Rhizoctonia solani and appears as brown necrotic spots girdling the radicle, later on, extends to plumule and pre-emergence mortality. If  infected seedlings are pulled, the root system appears fully or partially decayed.

Seeds should be treated with Captan @ 3 g or Carbendazim @ 2.5 g per kilogram of seeds before sowing.

Flower bud rot

It is caused by Alternaria dianthi. This disease majorly appears on young flower buds the plants and results in dry rotting of buds. The disease symptoms are less prominent on mature buds but these buds fail to open.

To control flower bud rot disease regular application of the crop with Dithane M- 45 @ 0.2% should be followed.

Powdery mildew

Oidium sp. causes powdery mildew in marigold. Whitish, small, superficial spots appear on the plant leaves, later on, they spread over the whole aerial parts of the plant is covered with whitish powder.

The powdery mildew disease can be stopped by spraying with Karathane (40 E C) @ 0.5% or dusting with sulphur powder at fortnightly intervals.

Wilt and Stem rot

The fungus infests the roots and collar region of the plants. In the nurseries beds, the infection results in damping-off and it is majorly aggravated by high soil moisture content. In the field the infected plants show wilting.

Treat soil with Captaf, Mancozeb and Metalaxyl.

Collar and root rot

Rots are caused by a number of pathogens and the most common ones are Phytophthora sp. Rhizoctonia solani, Pythium sp. Collar rot is an infestation that can be observed either in nursery or in grown-up plants. It can be controlled by soil sterilization or by using healthy seedlings. Rotting of root and collar portions is resulting in wilting of the plant.

Soil fumigation and planting healthy seedings

Leaf spot and blight

Brown circular and brownish grey spots appear.

Spraying fungicides regularly.


Harvesting of Marigold Crop;

Marigold flowers are harvested when flowers of the plant attained full size. The plucking process of flowers should be accomplished in cool hours of the day. The field must be irrigated well before the actual plucking so that flowers keep fresh for a longer period after harvest. Harvested flowers may be collected in polythene bags or bamboo baskets for carrying to markets.

Marigold Flower Yield:

The yield potential of flowers in African and French marigolds not only varies with cultivar but also cultural practices including planting, spacing and fertilization showed a marked variation in flower number from 6 to 8 million and from 1.5 to 2.5 million per hectare, in French and African marigold, respectively. The corresponding ranges of variation in the weight of flowers were 8 to 12 tonnes/ha in French marigolds and 11 to 18 tonnes/ha in African marigolds.


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