Learn How to Grow Tagetes Minuta in India – a delightful journey into aromatic gardening in simple and easy ways.
Tagetes Minuta is a species of flowering plant in the sunflower family, Asteraceae. It is native to South America, specifically Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay, and has been introduced to other parts of the world as an ornamental and medicinal plant. Here’s all about this plant and how to grow them.
Have a glance at How to Grow Cleome Viscosa in India here
Tagetes Minuta – Key Facts
|Height||0.5 – 2 Feet|
|Origin||Southern half of South America.|
|Water||Once a week|
|Sunlight||6 to 8 hours daily.|
|Flowers||Small, enclosed within a green sheath, in dense terminal clusters.|
Tagetes Minuta Information
Tagetes Minuta is an annual herb that grows up to 2 Feet tall. The plant has finely divided leaves that are highly aromatic, emitting a strong odor when crushed. The leaves are alternate and have a fern-like appearance with linear leaflets, which can be up to 8 cm long. The plant produces clusters of small yellow or orange flowers from late summer to early fall.
In traditional medicine, Tagetes Minuta has been used to treat various ailments, such as digestive disorders, respiratory infections, and skin problems. The plant contains several compounds, including thiophenes, flavonoids, and sesquiterpenes, responsible for its medicinal properties. Tagetes Minuta is known to have antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a natural insecticide to repel or control pests such as nematodes, aphids, and whiteflies.
In culinary applications, the leaves of Tagetes Minuta are used to flavor dishes, particularly in South American cuisine. The plant has a unique and strong flavor, with notes of citrus and anise. The leaves can be used fresh or dried to flavor soups, stews, and other savory dishes. In some parts of South America, flowers are used to make tea that is believed to have medicinal properties. Tagetes Minuta has also been used in religious and cultural practices.
Common Names: Huacatay or Wacatay, and in other regions it is common as chinchilla, chiquilla, chilca, zuico, suico, or anisillo.
Tagetes Minuta, known by various names in different Indian languages:
Hindi: Daao, Naipatri (दाओ, नाइपत्री)
Bengali: Ondho Mili Pushpo (অন্ধ মিলি পুষ্প)
Kannada: Asukambole, Kashiru Soppu (ಅಸುಕಂಬೊಳೆ, ಕಷಿರು ಸೊಪ್ಪು)
Tamil: Aaru Manjal, Sem Manjal (ஆரு மஞ்சள், செம மஞ்சள்)
Telugu: Pacha Kunkudu (పచ్చ కుంకుడు)
Gujarati: Khairu, Van Thumdo (ખૈરુ, વન થૂંદો)
Marathi: Bhaji, Ranatgeru (भाजी, रणतगेरू)
Malayalam: Poduthalai, Aarkam (പൊടുതല, ആർകം)
Oriya: Daao (ଦାଓ)
Punjabi: Khakra, Daao (ਖਕਰਾ, ਦਾਓ)
Assamese: Daao, Kuppi
Urdu: Khaira (خیرہ)
Explore How to Grow Abrus Precatorius in India here
How to Grow Tagetes Minuta in India
You can easily grow Tagetes Minuta from seeds in India and enjoy its many benefits. To grow them from seeds in India, follow these steps:
- Purchase fresh seeds from the store and choose a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight. If the soil is heavy, mix in some sand to improve drainage. Add compost or well-rotted manure to the soil to increase fertility.
- Sow the seeds in early spring after the last frost date. Scatter the seeds on the soil surface and lightly cover them with soil or compost. Water the soil gently to keep it moist.
- Once the seedlings emerge, thin them out to a distance of 15-20 cm apart to allow them room to grow.
- Water the plants regularly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged. Feed the plants with a balanced fertilizer once a month to promote healthy growth.
- Tagetes Minuta will start flowering in late summer. Harvest the flowers before they set seed to encourage more blooms. You can also harvest the leaves at any time and use them in cooking or as a natural insecticide.
- This is an annual plant, which means it will die after one growing season. However, you can collect the seeds from the plants in the fall and sow them again the following spring.
Read Ahead on How to Grow Erythrina Indica in India here
Requirements to Grow Tagetes Minuta
Tagetes Minuta requires full sun to grow well. It needs at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily to thrive. It can grow in partial shade, but the plant may not flower as prolifically as it would in full sun.
The soil for Tagetes Minuta should be well-draining and fertile. It grows best in a sandy or loamy soil. If the soil is heavy, mix in some sand to improve drainage. Adding compost or well-rotted manure to the soil will help increase fertility.
Explore How to Grow Crinum Latifolium in India here
Do water Tagetes Minuta regularly to keep the soil moist, not waterlogged. Water deeply once a week and more frequently during hot and dry weather. Make sure to water at the base of the plant, avoiding wetting the leaves as this can lead to fungal diseases.
It is a hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. It grows best in warm climates, and temperatures between 10°- 30°C are ideal. However, it can survive light winters. Keep them indoors in cooler climates.
Tagetes Minuta Care
Tagetes Minuta does not require a lot of fertilizer, but adding a balanced fertilizer once a month will help promote healthy growth. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of flower production.
The plant does not require much pruning. Pinch back the tips of the plant to encourage bushier growth and more flowers. Deadhead the spent flowers regularly to encourage new blooms.
Pests and Diseases
Prevent it by keeping the plant dry and avoiding overhead watering. Spider mites, whiteflies, and aphids can also affect them. Control it with neem oil or insecticidal soap. If necessary, apply a fungicide.