Revista Cubana de Plantas Medicinales
versión On-line ISSN 1028-4796
ACOSTA DE LA LUZ, Lérida; HECHEVARRIA SOSA, Isabel; RODRIGUEZ FERRADA, Carlos y MILANES FIGUEREDO, Masgloiris. Optimal time for cultivation and harvesting of Tagetes lucida Cav. Rev Cubana Plant Med [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.2, pp. 201-208. ISSN 1028-4796.
Introduction: it is necessary to set the guidelines for cultivation of Tagetes lucida Cav. and to obtain results about the optimal time of cultivation and harvesting according to the output and the contents of active principles. Objectives: to get as much quantity of biomass from T. Lucida as possible and to find out how the date of cultivation and the time of harvesting influence the concentration of the essential oil. Methods: stake-farming beddings were built on two different dates (10 of May and 10 of June, 2009); they were then transplanted after 30 days. The percentage of rooted stakes that survived after transplantation to the final place was calculated. At the time of harvesting of fully flourished plants, the height of plants and the fresh output of the aerial parts were determined. The total harvested amount was evaluated, that is, percentage of flowers, branches and stems. Harvesting occurred in one flourished plantation at: 9:00 am at 27 °C, at noon at 32 ºC and at 3:00 pm at 29 ºC. Hydrodistillation for 2 h allowed estimating the contents of the essential oil. Thin-layer chromatography identified components using eugenol, linalool and mircene (0.3 %) as reference. Results: on both dates of cultivation, there was good adaptation to the soils, 95%. The plants were harvested at 6 months of age in May and at 5 months in June. There were slight differences in terms of height, total output of the aerial parts, percentages of branches, flowers and stems, and the essential oil. It was confirmed that harvesting in the morning accounted for the highest accumulation of essential oil (1.20 %) compared with the other harvesting times (0.75 %). Conclusions: it is possible to set the optimal date of cultivation of T. lucida in the period from the beginning of May to the beginning of June. This allows transplantation after one month, adequate adaptation to the cultivation conditions in the sunshine, harvesting of the already flowered aerial part in the morning, with abundant supply of vegetal material and high content of essential oil.
Palabras llave : Tagetes lucida; optimal time of cultivation; biomass output; time for harvesting; content of essential oil; eugenol; mircene.