We Indians use marigold flowers as offerings to the gods and anything auspicious but then we buy them from the market every time. We rarely grow them at home. There are many who have gardens but they don't plant marigolds. However there are many reasons why they should be grown in everyone's personal gardens.
Easy To Grow
Marigolds just need a lot of sunlight and they will grow easily. They can grow on almost any soil so they are fuss free in that sense. They can be started from seed around 4-6 weeks and they generally germinate within 2 weeks.
These flowers are edible. Many Bollywood movies have shown actors eating them. Remember Mr. Dubey from "Monsoon Wedding"? They can grown among fruits and vegetables easily. They are and their petals can be eaily used in a range of salads.
Produce Chemicals Effective Against Nematodes
Marigolds are great companion plants. They kill harmful nematodes which are known to cause problems. Nematodes are tiny roundworms that many of your plants can't afford to be infected with.
When these flowers bloom, they attract bees and pollinators throughout the season.
Attracting Predatory Insects
Not just pollinators, marigolds attract insects whicg are great for heping as natural pest control. They bring in hoverflies, ladybugs, parasitic mini-wasps awhich eat aphids and other pests that can damage your crops or other plants.The ecosystem remains balanced and you don't feel guilt of killing anything as such.
Marigolds attract butterflies to your garden nad the sight is lively and beautiful.
Natural Yellow Food Colouring
Oh yes this is something we Indians make use of a lot in naturally colouring fabrics. Marigold petals are also knwon as a ‘poor mans’ saffron alternative. The natural yellow colour in them can be used in our food. They can be used in soups, even confectionary.
Is there any other reason that you know why we should have "genda phool" growing at home? Do share with us on our Facebook page and stay tuned to HerZindagi for more such interesting facts.