Marigold (Tagetes erecta L.) is one of the most commonly grown commercial flower crops in India. Increased flower production, quality of flowers and perfection in the form of plants are important objectives to be reckoned in commercial flower production. It occupies an important place among loose flowers. It has nearly two third of total loose flower growing area in India. Major growing states are Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharastra.


Botanical Description

Marigold species vary in size from 0.1 to 2.2 m tall. Most species have pinnate green leaves. Blooms naturally occur in golden, orange, yellow, and white colors, often with maroon highlights. Floral heads are typically (1-) to 4–6 cm diameter, generally with both ray florets and disc florets. In horticulture, they tend to be planted as annuals, although the perennial species are gaining popularity.

Species and cultivar

Among 50 species of marigold only for are cultivated. These are

Tagetes erecta (African marigold): cultivating it for medicinal, ceremonial and decorative purposes. This plant reaches heights of between 50–100 cm (20–39 in). The colour range is from white and cream to primose, yellow, gold and orange.

Tagetes patula (French marigold): The flower is an annual, occasionally reaching 0.5 m by 0.3 m.. stem is reddish in colour and the foliage is darker than African marigold. The colour of flower varies from yellow to red, either single or double and borne on proportionately long peduncle.

Tagetes tenufolia( Syn. T. signata); it is a dwarf and bushy plant. Flowers have 5 rays, roundish and obovate with spicy tarragon flavor.

Tagetes lucida (sweet scented marigold): The plants are tender, perennial, leaves are sessile, small and lanceolated. Flowers are usually 2-3 rayed.

Indigenous varieties of African Marigold:

Pusa Narangi Gainda: The plant of this variety is medium strature, grows a heit of 8085 cm. the plant remain vegetative for 100 days and flowers in 125-135 days. The flowering duration ranges from 45-60 days. The colour of flower is orange with big ruffled florets. The yield of variety 25-30 tonnesw/ ha. This is an open pollinated variety and seed can be multiplied in farmers field.

Pusa Basanti Gainda: The plant of this variety are medium strature, which grows a height of 60-65 cm. the plant remain vegetative for 135 days and takes 140-145 days to flowers.the plant need to pinch 45-50 days. The variety sown in October and transplanted during November. It is an open pollinated variety and yield up to 75-100 kg of seeds/ha.

Pusa Arpita: It is summer growing marigold. The plant have dense foliage. It is also an open pollinated variety.

Serakal: this variety was identified in Eastern India. The specialty of this variety is uniform and bushy growth of the foliage and uniform size of flowers as well. The plant is generally grown by cutting. This plant can be propagated throughout the year.


Mild climate of 15-180C for night and 18-250C for Day are favourable for its growth. In severe winter plant dies by frost. It needs full sunlight and in open place it grows well.


Well drained sandy loam soil that are rich in organic matter are best suited for marigold. The pH 7.0-7.5 with EC less than 1.0 mmhos/cm is most desirable.



About 1.0-1.5 kg seeds is required for planting in one hectare whereas 250 g/ha is sufficient in case of F1 hybrid. Seed germinate in 5-7 days. Before sowing the seeds should be treated with captan 2g/kg of seed to prevent damping off. The seeds should be sown in thinly and evenly lines of 5 cm apart. They shoud be covered with FYM. The nursery beds should be kept moist by watering everyday. the sowing time is described below.

The optimum time and transplantin of marigold


Sowing time

Transplanting time

Harvest time




September-October even up to December








March- April


This method is followed for true to the type plats of mother cutivar. About 6-8.0 cm of apicul cutting are taken and are treated with IBA at 500-1000 ppm and then planted in sand beds. The optimum time of cutting is rainy season.


Land should be prepared by 3-4 ploughing before 15 days of transplanting. About 20-25 kg/sq. m. of well rotten FYM should be mixed. Seedings are transplanted by withholding water for 1-2 days, they can be planted in evening time. In general a spaceing of 60 cm X 30 cm cm or 45 cm X 30 cm or 40 cm X 40 cm is recccomended for African marigold. And 30 cm X 30 cm for French marigold.


During the entire growth 3-4 manual weeding are required.


In hot summer it requires irrigation after 405 days interval while at 10-12 days interval in winter months. Rainy season crops are irrigated according to the climate.

Manure and fertilizers

Well decomposed FYM @ 24 t/ha should be mixed before ploughing. In addition reccoomended N:P:K fertilizer dose would be 100:75:75. Halif quantity of nitrogen should be and full of potash and phosphorus should be applied as basal dose, preferably one week after transplanting. The remaining quantity of nitrogen should be 30-40 days after transplanting. Marigold also requires zinc and boron for flower quality and yield.


Pinching is generaaly done for the 40 days after transoplanting, late pinching at 50-60 days proved less effective for branching.


After treansplanting plans take 40-50 days to flower. Loose flowers are plucked when attain full size depending upon the variety. Flowers should be harvested in the morning hours. Irrigation befor plucking gives better flower quality. Plucking of flowers regularlu and removal of dried flowers enhance the yield.


After harvesting, it is better to keep flowers in cool place. The marigold are packed in gunny bags fro local market and for distance market bamboo basket are used.


African marigolds yields about 15-28 t/ha whereas the French marigold yields 1012 t/ha.

Diseases management




Damping off (Rhizoctonia solani)

Brown necrotic spots on young seedlings

Proper drainage and ventilation, avoid over watering

Drenching with copper oxychloride @3g/l

Collar rot (   , Pythium sp., Phytophthora sp. And Sclerotium rolfsii.

Black lesions on main stem. Rotting at the collar region.

Crop rotation for 3-4 years.

Carbendazim @ 1g/l reduces the incidence of disease.

Alternaria leaf spot (Alternaria tagetica, A. zinnia and A. alternate)

Minute brown spot near the lower leaves and then progress upward.

Avoid overhead watering.

Spraying of Dithane  M-45 2 0.2% at fortnightly intervals from the first appearance of disese

Botrytis flower Blight (Botrytis cinerea)

Ashy grey spot on bud scales and stems.

Dying of blooms.


Adequate spaceing

Spraying of mancozeb at 0.2%

Fusarium Wilt (Fusarium oxysporum)

Pale green leaves, wilting of plant.

Crop rotation

Carbendazim (0.2%) is effective

Powdery mildew (Oidium sp. And Leveillula taurica)

It appears as grey or white powder. Leaves turn yellow and fall prematurely.

Kerathane (40 E.C) @ 0.5% or dusting sulphar powder at 15 days interval.

 Viral disease (cucumber mosaic)

 Streaking or motling of leaves

Dimethoate at 2 ml/l

Pest management




Red spider mite (Tetranychus sp.)

They suck the plant sap,

Spraying of Kelthane (2 ml/l)

Hairy cater piller (Diacrisia oblique)

Eat away the foliage.

Spray Carbaryl @ 2 ml/l


Black or brown spot

Spraying of malathion or dimethoate at 2 ml/l

Leaf Hopper (Empoasca fabae)

Cupped leaves, rolled leaveswilting of leaves.

Spraying of Dimethoate at 2 ml/l



Jayoti Majumder,  Puja Rai,  Sellam Perinban and Babita Singh

Directorate of Floricultural Research, IARI, Pusa Campus, New Delhi-110012

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