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There are two species of marigold, namely, African marigold (Tagetes erecta) and French marigold (Tagetes patula). Inter-specific hybrids between these two species also have been evolved, which are known as Red and Gold hybrids. Varieties under this group are Nugget, Show Boat and Red Seven Star.

African marigold varieties

Apricot, Primrose, Sun Giant, Guinea Gold, Fiesta, Golden Yellow, Hawaii, Crown of Gold, Honey Comb, Cupid, Pusa Narangi Gaintha and Pusa Basanti Gaintha.

French marigold varieties

Rusty Red, Naughty, Marietta, Flame, Star of India and Harmony.

Soil and climate

Marigold requires mild climate for luxuriant growth and flowering. The optimum temperature range for its profuse growth is 18-20°C. Temperatures above 35°C restrict the growth of the plants, which leads to reduction in flower size and number. In severe winter, plants and flowers are damaged by frost.

Marigold can be grown in a wide range of soils, as it is adapted in different soil types. French (Dwarf) marigolds are best cultivated in light soil whereas a rich well drained, moist soils are best suited for African (Tall) marigolds. Sandy loam soil with pH 5.6 to 6.5 is ideal for its cultivation.

planting materials

Seeds and seedlings are used for raising the crop.

Management and care of seedling

Seedlings are prepared by sowing the seeds in the nursery beds as follows: Prepare nursery beds of 6 m length, 1.2 m width and 10-20 cm height. Apply 30 kg FYM along with 0.5 kg of 15:15:15 fertilizer mixture and mix them well in the soil. Sow the seeds in rows 7.5 cm apart. Cover the seeds with fine FYM and irrigate. The seedlings will be ready for transplanting within one month.

Method of planting

Transplant the seedlings at a spacing of 30 x 30 cm in case of French marigold and 45 x 45 cm in case of African marigold on one side of the ridge and irrigate.


For the main-field, the land should be ploughed well and FYM @ 20 t/ha should be incorporated to the soil. Apply a basal dose of fertilizers @ 112.5 kg N, 60 kg P2O5, and 60 kg K2O per ha. Transplant the seedlings at a spacing of 30 x 30 cm in case of French marigold and 45 x 45 cm in case of African marigold on one side of the ridge and irrigate. Topdress the crop with 112.5 kg N per ha at the time of pinching (30-45 days after transplanting) and earth up.


Irrigate once in 4-6 days depending upon soil moisture and weather conditions.

Weed management

Weeds have to be removed at monthly intervals.

Intercultivation practices

Pinching is done to increase the total yield. It consists of removing terminal portion of the plant 30-45 days after transplanting.


Marigold flowers will be ready for harvest in about 2.5 months time from the date of transplanting. The plant continues to bear flowers for another 2-2.5 months from the date of first harvest. The flowers are harvested when they have attained full size. Harvest the flowers in the evening along with a portion of stalk. Field should be irrigated before plucking so that flowers keep well for longer period after harvest. Regular picking improves the yield. Fresh flowers are packed in bamboo baskets or gunny bags for transporting to the local markets.

Yield of French marigold will be 8-12 t/ha and that of African marigold 11-18 t/ha.