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Growing Hydroponic Marigold – A Full Guide

Hello gardeners, would you like to grow marigolds in water? yes it is possible to growing hydroponic marigold at your home. Marigold is one of the flowers that do well in hydroponics. The flower’s recognition possibly derives in part from its ability to bloom brightly all summer long. Marigolds have flower heads similar to daisy- or carnation that are produced singly or in clusters. Best flowers for indoor hydroponics because it doesn’t require any strict care.

A step by step guide to hydroponic marigold growing, care

Marigolds have been quite stereotyped, but they offer remarkable variety. Both the American and French marigolds are usually aromatic, too. Although Marigold represents a single type of flower but their variety is endless. They can be single or double and come in many shades which can range from orange, yellow, bi-colour even white. Indian names used for marigold are Genda/Gainda (Hindi),  Chenna Mallige/Chandu Mallige (Kannada). They also play the role of being a natural mosquito-repellant.

Marigold in Hydroponics.
Hydro Marigold Flowers.

Marigold plant features:

Life-Cycle: Annual.

Height: about 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm).

Width/Spread: up to 2 feet (60 cm).

Flowering season: all-season plant summer, autumn, winter (usually from mid-June to October).

Flower colours: creamy white, yellow, maroon, orange, or bi-coloured.

Foliage: fern-like along with a musky scent.

Propagation for growing hydroponic marigold

Marigolds are best raised by using seeds. You can sow seeds directly into the system or transfer seedlings by sprouting them in grow media plugs. You can also start seeds indoors, but they can also germinate so easily outside that there is really no greater advantage. Marigolds sprout within days in warm weather and plants flowers in about 8 weeks. Marigold seed germination generally takes 5 to 7 days. You should separate your seedlings when they are about two inches tall. When all chance of frost has passed, you can transplant your marigolds in an outdoor hydroponic system if required. When you are planting marigold seeds outdoors, choose a location that receives full sun. Marigolds can grow in grow media easily, but they prefer moistened grow media with good water retention capacities like perlite,coco-coir, and rockwool. Simply scatter your seeds on the media and cover them. Water gently and regularly over the next week to keep the growing media from drying out. Marigold seeds preferably germinate at 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and can be transplanted outside when the overnight temperatures are constantly above 65 degrees. Pre-treating the hydroponic grow media with a 1/4 strength nutrient solution is supportive as the seeds germinate.

By herbaceous cuttings

There are few varieties like Gaint African Yellow, Gaint African Orange that do not set seed. Therefore, these are usually propagated by using herbaceous cuttings of healthy and disease free mature plant. Apical shoots of 10 cm long are usually used for vegetative propagation. Herbaceous cuttings each with one or two pairs of leaves are inserted in the grow media. Before putting the cuttings in the grow media you can apply rooting inducing growth regulators to the basal portion of the cuttings if available to encourage profuse and early rooting. Shade should be provided initially to the cuttings and regular watering should be done to keep the grow media in moistened conditions. Within 8-10 days, rooting can be observed in the cuttings which are later used as the planting materials.

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The nutrient solution for growing hydroponic marigold

Marigolds are an easy crop to grow in a hydroponic system it requires a low to medium level of fertility at 100 to 200 ppm. The ideal pH range is between 5.8 to 6.2. This will help to avoid low substrate pH induced iron and manganese toxicities which take place if the pH drifts lower than 5.5. Both nitrogen deficiency and phosphorus deficiency is common with marigolds. Nitrogen deficiency can have symptoms like overall yellowing of the lower foliage or overall plant. This disorder can occur even when the fertilization rate is too low. Also remember, water stress and tight spacing can also result in yellowing of the lower leaf. Phosphorus deficiency generally appears as lower leaf purple colouration. It is most frequently observed when the growing temperatures are cool and low fertilization rates are used. To counter all these issues best solution is to buy ready to use nutrient solution designed for hydroponic marigolds which are easily available in stores. Room or growing temperature should be in the range of about 60-70 F for day cycle and 45-55 F for the night cycle. Nutrient solution temperature should be within a few degrees of 70 F as marigolds will not withstand cold.

Marigold plant care in hydroponics

Once the marigolds have established themselves, pinch off the tops of the plants so that it encourages them to grow bushier. This will keep the plants from becoming leggy and will promote more blooming.

Marigolds usually don’t require deadheading, but if dying blossoms are removed on a regular basis, it will encourage the plant to continue blooming plentifully.

When you water marigolds, allow the growing media to dry somewhat between watering, then water well and repeat the process. Frequency of watering should be more in high heat.

Do not water marigolds from the overhead. Watering should be done at the base of the plant. (Excess water on leaves can cause powdery mildew.)

Do not fertilize marigolds during growth. A diet that’s too nitrogen-rich stimulates lush foliage at the expense of flowers.

The dense, double flowerheads of the African marigolds have a tendency to rot in wet weather.

Deadheading encourages the plant to produce more blooms, extending the flowering season. Deadheading marigolds is quite simple:

When a flower starts to turn bad, pinch (cut) its stem back to the nearest set of the leaves.

The plant will be encouraged to generate new flowers.

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Harvesting of hydroponic marigold flowers:

Marigold flowers should be plucked when they have attained full size. Plucking of flowers should be carried out during the cool hours of the day. The field should be irrigated before harvesting so that flowers keep well for a longer period after harvesting. After transplanting it takes plants about 40-50 days to flower. Loose flowers are plucked when attaining full size depending upon the variety.

If you want to grow the same flowers from seeds, you should save seeds from the plants that you have grown. These seeds will breed true the next year and give the same flower you had in the last planting. Saving seeds for next planting is easy you will just need a paper towel to lay out the harvested seeds for drying, paper envelopes to keep the seeds, and a cool, dark place to store them during the winter until you are ready to plant them. As the marigold plants begin to dry out, wait for the right time to collect the seeds. Its best time to harvest the seeds is when the petals are brown and dried out and the base (the seed pod) is turning brown. Remove the dried marigold flower head from the stem. Lay a sheet of paper towel to collect seeds. Hold the base and pull off and remove the dried petals and leaves. You will observe the slender, pointy, two-coloured seeds inside attached to the base. Marigold seeds are long, slender, sharp, and pointy, dark-coloured on one end and light-coloured on the other. Pull them away from the base and discard the base. Separate them and spread them on the paper towel. Permit your seeds to air dry by keeping uncovered on the paper towel for about a week. This will preserve them so they don’t mold or rot during storage.

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