Cheerful and bright, use Calendula alone or in combination with other flowering annuals and perennials in beds, borders or containers. Calendula is prolific and durable and so are perfect candidates for cutting and flower arrangements. Like most hardy annuals, it is easy to grow and can be simply sown where it is to flower. It is tolerant of any well-drained soil, even quite poor ones.
A common name for the calendula is 'Pot Marigold' because the florets (outer petals of the flower) are used in cooking as both flavouring and colouring agent in soups, stews, cheeses, and margarine. The edible flowers can be used to decorate cakes and salads. It is currently one of the top herbs used for medicinal use.
Sowing: Sow directly in March to April or in August to September Easily sown directly into soil in late summer or early autumn in milder climates. Will do well in moist soil, but requires good drainage. The optimum growing temperature is 18 to 20°C (65 to 70°F). Germination will usually take 14 to 21 days.
Sowing Direct: Sow thinly, 6mm (¼in) deep in drills 30cm (12in) apart in well-cultivated soil which has been raked to a fine tilth. Water ground regularly, especially in dry periods. When large enough to handle, thin out seedlings until they are finally 30cm (12in) apart in spring
Sowing Indoors: As a Hardy Annual, it can also be sown August to September for an earlier spring flowering next year. Sow either directly as above in mild areas, or, for overwintering sow in pots. Use pots or trays of moist seed compost and cover with a very fine sprinkling of compost or vermiculite. After sowing, do not exclude light as this helps germination. Keep the surface of the compost moist but not waterlogged; When transplanting Calendula, try not to damage the taproot. When large enough to handle, transplant seedlings into 7.5cm (3in) pots or trays. Overwinter plants in cool, light, frost-free conditions before planting out the following spring, or grow on as greenhouse pot plants.
Cultivation: Sowing to flowering takes about 18 weeks, grow in full sun for best blooms. The flowers are perfect for cutting, pinch out the terminal buds to encourage more flowers. Keeping the plants well dead-headed makes them practically perennial.
Harvesting: The flowers can be harvested anytime they are in full bloom. If the stem, leaves and flower are to be dried for an arrangement, snip the stem near ground level. If only the flower is to be dried, snip it off from the stem just below its' base. Whole plants and flowers can be easily dried, especially in a dehydrator. Whole plants should be dried separately from the individual flowers as the plants will take much more time to dry. Arrange the plants or flowerheads on a drying rack such they do not touch one another. Once dried, the flower petals will retain their bright colour indefinitely. If only the dried flower petals are desired, remove the petals from the head and store the petals in an airtight container away from bright light. The petals can then be used anytime for culinary purposes or for skincare products.
Medicinal Uses: Calendula has a long history as a medicinal herb. Calendula was grown in monastery gardens throughout medieval Europe and was highly valued for its ability to heal wounds. Historically, Calendula flowers have been considered beneficial in reducing inflammation, promoting wound healing and was used as an antiseptic. Externally, the flowers and leaves can be made into an ointment or powder to treat a variety of skin diseases and has been seen effective in treatment of skin ulcerations and eczema. Calendula has been effective in treating juvenile acne and dry psoriasis. Improvement has been seen in as little as 3 to 4 days of treatment according to the Universitatea de Medicina si Farmacie. Try running bath water over a mesh bag full of Calendula flowers for a refreshing and stimulating bath that is good for the skin. For bee stings, rub the fresh flowers directly on the sting to relieve the pain. As a beauty aid, a Calendula rinse made of unsweetened tea brings out the highlights in blonde and brunette hair.
Edible Uses: The flowers have a pungent, spicy flavour. Only the flowers petals should be eaten as the centre is quite bitter. The petals are used to flavour fish and meat soups, to add flavour and interest to cakes, breads, puddings, egg dishes and salads and in rice as a substitute for saffron. They make a bright and zesty addition to tossed salads or use them to decorate cakes Note - Calendula should not be confused with the African or French Marigolds which are actually members of the Tagetes botanical family. Both the flowers and leaves of the Pot Marigold are edible while those of the African and French marigolds are not.
Companion Planting: They are good for companion planting because of their insect repelling properties. Plant liberally in the vegetable garden to deter pests.
Plant Uses: Coastal, Flower Arranging, Flowers Borders and Beds, Container Plants. Cut flowers last for about a week in a vase.
Other Uses: Calendula flowers can be fed to chickens to produce wonderfully dark-coloured yolks. Marigold blossoms give shades of yellow and wheat, when used as a natural dye.
Nomenclature: The genus name originated from the Latin calendae
|Average Seed Count||100 Seeds|
|Common Name||Pot Marigold, English Marigold|
|Other Common Names||No|
|Flowers||Shades of orange in spring to summer|
|Natural Flower Time||No|
|Time to Harvest||No|
|Aspect||West or south facing. Exposed or sheltered.|
|Soil||Light, poor, free draining soil|
|Time to Sow||Late spring to early summer.|
|Germination||14 to 21 days.|