Africa is a continent with many different cultures and peoples. Some of them are very primitive while others have developed their own unique culture over time. There are some cultures which use flowers as gifts or decorations at weddings, funerals, etc… Afrocentricity is not just a social movement but it’s also a way of life. Many Africans believe that they are descended from ancient civilizations such as Ancient Egypt and Ethiopia. They believe that these civilizations were destroyed by Europeans during colonization. These beliefs are often linked to African traditions such as wearing colorful clothing, dancing, singing and making music.
African Marigolds (Morus alba) are native to Africa. They have been cultivated since prehistoric times for medicinal purposes. The plant was used for centuries in traditional medicine in various parts of Africa including Nigeria and Ghana where it is known as “Kola Nut”.
Today there are several varieties of African Marigolds grown commercially.
The leaves of African Marigolds contain compounds called flavonoids which are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. The leaves may also provide other health benefits such as reducing cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure.
In addition to its medicinal value, the flower buds of African Marigold have been used in traditional medicine for centuries in Africa and elsewhere.
Some people use African Marigold petals to make a tea. This tea is traditionally consumed for its antioxidant properties.
The petals are also used to make a dye which can be used to color foods such as butter and cheese.
The leaves of the plant have a texture similar to that of spinach and are sometimes used as a substitute for spinach in recipes.
The flowers are also edible and can be used to add a unique flavor to dishes such as salads.
Other uses of the African Marigold plant include making necklaces, bracelets, rings and other jewelry ornaments from the petals.
You can grow African Marigolds from seed just like any other flower. Soak the seeds for 24 hours before you plant them because this will help the seeds germinate faster. African Marigold seeds need sunlight to grow so make sure you plant the seeds in a sunny location.
It’s always a good idea to prepare your soil before planting anything. Add fertilizer to the soil you’re planning to plant your African Marigold seeds in because this will help your plants grow faster and stronger.
The soil should be loose and well aerated which will help the roots of your plants grow properly. African Marigold seeds cannot grow properly in compacted soil.
Add some water to the soil and use your hands to lightly mix the soil and water together. You don’t want to turn your soil into a swamp but you also don’t want it to be too dry or too dense.
Somewhere around a “creamy peanut butter” consistency is perfect for African Marigold seeds.
Now you’re ready to plant your African Marigold seeds.
Using the bottom of a glass container (or something similar), gently press your finger into the soil to create a small hole for the African Marigold seeds.
Once you have created a small hole, drop one African Marigold seed in the hole and lightly cover it with soil. Keep doing this until all of your seeds have been planted.
Keep the soil slightly moist until you start to see the African Marigold seeds beginning to sprout. At this point you can start watering your African Marigolds on a regular basis.
African Marigolds typically take between 7 to 21 days to sprout. It’s best to plant your African Marigold seeds in the spring time so they have enough time to sprout and grow before it gets too hot out.
Once your African Marigolds have sprouted, provide them with as much sunlight as possible and water them whenever the soil gets dry.
African Marigolds grow best in soil that is rich with organic material such as manure or compost. You can also improve your soil by plowing it before planting your African Marigold seeds. This will aerate the soil and allow space for air and water to reach your plants roots.
Don’t add too much fertilizer when planting your African Marigold seeds because this can damage their roots.
Your African Marigold seeds should begin to bloom within four to six weeks. These beautiful flowers can be used in a variety of different ways such as making tea, salads and more.
Once the flowers begin to die, it’s just about time to plant new African Marigold seeds.
You can harvest these flowers and replant them in their original location or you can take the African Marigolds out of their original soil and transplant them in another location.
If you choose to do the latter, make sure the new location gets at least six hours of sunlight a day. If it doesn’t get enough sunlight, your African Marigolds won’t grow very well.
African Marigolds are easy to grow and can really spice up any boring old garden you might have in your backyard. Try planting some for yourself and see just how easy they are to maintain.
These gorgeous flowers will make you the envy of your neighbors.
Other Names: African Cornflower, African Daisy, Aztec Tulip, Bohemian daisy, Caffey’s Flower, Californian Poppy, Cupid’s Paintbrush, Danish Flag, Eyeries, Field Marguerite, Fluit, Gold Tag, Island Moonlight, Kiss-Me-On-The-Mountain, Lagoon Flower, Leopard Plant, Love-In-A-Mist, Maui Sunrise, Mexican Brown Daisey, Mexican Tea Flower, Moonbeam, Morning Mist, Mountain Death Camas, Ocean’s Heart, Ornamental Cornflower, Painted Daisies, Poverty Weed, Primrose Daisies, Queensland Tag, Red-Streaked Pink, Rock Daisy, Salzburg Flower, Sea Pink, Sky Flower, Slender Mountain Daisy, Small Wreath Plant, Spanish Eyes, Spotted Marguerite, Sulphur Cosmos, Sulphur Flower or Sunflower.
Scientific Name: Dimorphotheca species
Sources & references used in this article:
Suppression of Pratylenchus penetrans populations in potato and tomato using African marigolds by SA Alexander, CM Waldenmaier – Journal of nematology, 2002 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Influence of growing marigolds, weeds, two cover crops and fumigation on subsequent population of parasitic nematodes and plant growth by PM Miller, JF Ahrens – Plant disease reporter, 1969 – agris.fao.org
Responses of marigold cultivars to saline water irrigation by Y Sun, G Niu, C Perez, HB Pemberton, J Altland – HortTechnology, 2018 – journals.ashs.org
Marigold cultivars vary in susceptibility to iron toxicity by JP Albano, WB Miller – HortScience, 1998 – researchgate.net
Using marigold (Tagetes spp.) as a cover crop to protect crops from plant-parasitic nematodes by CRR Hooks, KH Wang, A Ploeg, R McSorley – Applied Soil Ecology, 2010 – Elsevier
Cold aqueous extracts of African marigold, Tagetes erecta for control tomato root knot nematode, Meloidogyne incognita by N Natarajan, A Cork, N Boomathi, R Pandi, S Velavan… – Crop Protection, 2006 – Elsevier
Endoroot bacteria derived from marigolds (Tagetes spp.) can decrease soil population densities of root-lesion nematodes in the potato root zone by AV Sturz, J Kimpinski – Plant and Soil, 2004 – Springer
Amendment of soil with African marigold and sunn hemp for management of Meloidogyne incognita in selected legumes by OK Adekunle – Crop Protection, 2011 – Elsevier