Marigold (Tagetes erecta or Tagetes patula) comes from the daisy family, Compositae or Asteraceae. They have pretty flowers and are easy to grow. They are stout and branching and can grow up to 60 cm tall. They have finely segmented green leaves which are strongly scented. They are cultivated all over the world and have a lot of hybrid varieties.
The scented flowers of marigold occur in different colors – golden, orange, yellow, white and often maroon or can be in mixed colors. In horticulture, they are planted as annuals, although the perennial species are gaining popularity. The most commonly cultivated varieties are Mexican marigolds or African marigolds or French marigolds. It is widely grown in the Valley of Flowers, Ranthambore National Park in India. The plant is propagated by the seeds and it has branching stem.
Benefits of Marigold:
- Marigold flowers and leaves are used in many religious purposes.
- Dyes are extracted from the flower, by boiling.
- The leaves of its flowers are used as salads.
- The plant prevent some common insect pests, as well as nematodes.
- Marigold is used in the essential oil for perfumes and is known as marigold oil.
- The extracts from their flowers are used as food color.
- Since marigolds are good food for caterpillars and a nectar source for other butterflies, they are often part of butterfly gardening plantings.
- Marigold is used for stomach upset, ulcers, menstrual period problems, eye infections, inflammations, and for wound healing.
- They are used as antiseptic.
- It is used in the treatment of alopecia.
- Marigold is considered as highly valued herbal healers.
- They are used as ailments in headaches, toothache and swelling.
- They have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
- It stimulates the cells that protect the body from infection.
- It can stops bleeding with its astringent actions.
- Lotions and ointment from marigold are widely used for various diseases.
- The water distilled from marigold flower is used for treating eyes.
- Pregnant women are not advised to use the internal preparations of this plant.
How to Grow Marigold Plant:
- Marigolds can be planted much closer in containers than in the ground.
- Water the marigolds immediately after planting and keep the soil moist.
- After the growth of the plant, occasional watering is needed.
- Fertilizer is important for container-grown marigolds, as the plants are unable to draw nutrients from the ground.
- Pinch off dead leaves and blooms regularly. This will increase the blooming of the plant.
- They are not much infected by pests.
In the Ukraine, Eastern Europe, they are regarded as one of the national symbols. Marigold is used in making garlands and is used almost everywhere. They are used in decorations for weddings, festivals and other events.
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