Orange is the color of October and November in Mexico.
The streets, the shops, the markets are stained with marigold flowers on the occasion of the arrival of the Day of the Dead.
This flower, known as the 20-petal flower, is part of the tradition of offering to the deceased and is used everywhere for decorative purposes.
Tradition says that the light of these flowers illuminates the path of the deceased so that they can return home to visit their families.
With quite affordable prices, the sale of marigold flowers has become one of the businesses that revolve around the holiday of November 1 and 2.
They are sold in bouquets or the whole plant in a pot and can be bought in any corner, in the supermarket, in nurseries or in flower shops.
Despite being maintained, flowers and plants usually last a very short time alive, why do they get so sad as we bring them home?
CARE OF THE CEMPASÚCHIL AND THE REASONS WHY THEY ALMOST ALWAYS DIE
In the Day of the Dead offering, the marigold can never be absent, since it is the light that illuminates the dark abode of those who left.
What we never understand is why they live so little, I open the thread 🧵 pic.twitter.com/xlEOe0bD9L
- The Lord of the Plants (@wonder_m_r) October 26, 2020
It turns out that everything starts with the seed.
The marigolds that we normally buy come from hybrid seeds genetically modified to have the largest and brightest flowers, but precisely for this reason, the plant does not usually adapt well to the conditions in our departments and they wither very quickly.
Most of these seeds come from China, the country that produces 75% of marigold in the world.
So we start from the fact that most marigolds are not made to last, but to be exuberant for a few weeks and thus secure the market for next year.
we spoke with the Mexican landscaper Armando Maravilla, known on Twitter as The Lord of the Plants, to tell us why this fragility is due and what are the recommendations to extend the life of our marigolds.
"Mexico is one of the countries with the greatest diversity in marigolds in the world with 35 different types," he says.
A child picks up a large bouquet of marigolds in a field in Puebla.
"The survival of the hybrid seed becomes uncertain, unlike the native seeds accustomed to the climate and the soil here", describes Maravilla.
Although most hybrid seeds do not survive, some do manage to adapt.
To begin with, it is important to know that the marigold is not an indoor plant, so if you can place it in a garden or on a balcony where it receives a lot of light, you will have something gained.
Most marigold seeds are hybrids.
"At least they should have six hours of sun a day and water them three times a week, it is important that the soil has very good drainage. In places where it is very hot, watering must be increased to four times a week until it adapts ", indicates the specialist.
The landscaper remembers that it is also important to feed the soil with nutrients.
"In the nurseries they use a lot of chemical fertilizers, so when they get home many wither. To counteract this we can use compost to nourish the soil, we must continue to maintain the soil with these nutrients," he says.
The nurseries of Xochimilco (CDMX) are filled with cempasúchil flowers these days.
Maravilla explains that it is important not to harm local producers, so that if the plant dies it can still be used, since it is a species used for many uses.
"The cempa is used as a colorant and natural insecticide. Our ancestors also used it as a medicinal plant, it is made pulque, it is an edible plant. So if it dies, better make natural insecticide with the cempa and use it for your other plants so that it is not a waste, "he remembers.
The pantheons and offerings are stained orange.
Tradition indicates that the light of these flowers guides the deceased on their return home.
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