Aztec marigold / Tagetes Erecta L. / is an annual herbaceous, unpretentious flowering plant that belongs to the Tagetes genus. This is one of the most common plants to decorate the balconies and lawns of people.
The genus contains about 30 species. Aztec marigold originates from Central America, particularly Mexico. In some countries in Central America, Aztec marigold is associated with mystical rituals. In India, garlands of Aztec marigold serve guests and dignitaries.
Growing Aztec marigold
The plant is fast growing, drought-resistant and loves warm temperatures, completely unpretentious to soil conditions. It prefers open sunny places, but develops perfectly in light shade.
Clay-sandy, fertile and lighter (but with plenty of nutrients) soils are best for the growth and development of Aztec marigold. The plant is sensitive to cold temperatures.
Aztec marigold is propagated by seeds. Using pre-produced seedlings, Aztec marigold will begin to bloom earlier, and its colors will delight the eye until late autumn. In late February or early March, sowing must be done indoors.
When the temperature of the soil is about 77°F (25 °C), the seeds will begin to grow within 5 days. If the seeds are planted further apart and in rows, transplanting is not necessary. Aztec marigold is moved to its permanent growing place in early May when the danger of frost has passed.
Aztec marigold can be planted directly in the soil, but after the passing of the frost. Care during the growing season includes regular watering, feeding and weeding.
Aztec marigold is a plant resistant to pests. The leaves emit phytocides that repel insects and pests (even those that penetrate the soil).
The bright colors of Aztec marigold allow it to be used in many spots in the lawn, planting it in portable and permanent flower beds. Low-growing varieties are suitable near curbs, for colorful flower carpets and beds. Low and medium varieties are extremely suitable for the decoration of balconies, terraces and windows. Tall varieties are used for flower cuts. They can survive in a vase between 8 and 15 days.
Composition of Aztec marigold
The composition of Aztec marigold includes flavonoids, tannins, antiseptic substances and essential oils. There are some antiseptic substances which are used in medicine. Furthermore, it contains a large quantity of carotene and pigments.
Types of Aztec marigold
There are hundreds of varieties of marigold, but the most common are the following three types:
Tagetes erecta - has a branched stem that reaches a height of 3.3 ft (1 meter). The cups are large and decorated yellow, or orange-yellow.
Tagetes tenuifolia - compact shrub reaching a height of 11.8″ (30 cm). It has thin stems and small, and divided leaves. The inflorescences are smaller and with various colors, reaching up to 400 per plant.
Tagetes patula - straight and branched stems. Inflorescence can be clove-like and chrysanthemum-like. The flower are dyed differently. A bush can form clusters of 100-200 inflorescences.
Benefits of Aztec marigold
The main effects of Aztec marigold are antiseptic and tonic. In China, it is used for the treatment of coughs, colds and gripes. In Chinese traditional medicine, Aztec marigold is a great tool for removing calluses, swelling, fungal infections and frostbite. In India, oil is extracted from tagetes, which when combined with sandalwood oil, is used in the production of perfumes.
In folk medicine, Aztec marigold is widely used to treat bleeding, mastopathy, uterine inflammation, infertility in women, cysts, and especially fibroids.
It is said that the potion of Aztec marigold gives guaranteed success against fibroids. For this potion, use only the flowers of the herb, harvested before their complete opening during flowering. They should never be picked after full bloom, because they will have lost their beneficial properties.
Three flowers of Aztec marigold (with the petioles) are boiled in 1 2/3 cups (400 ml) of water for 5 minutes on low heat. Once cool, strain the potion. Drink 1/2 cup (120 ml) three times a day, prior to feeding. The treatment should be maintained for three months, with intervals of 5-6 days every month.
Furthermore, it finds use in skin problems such as acne, rashes, pimples and eczema. It is recommended that Aztec marigold be used under medical supervision.