How To Grow Calendula

Are you interested in growing your own medicinal plants at home? Calendula, also known as pot marigold, is a great option for beginners as it is easy to grow and has many health benefits.

One of my favorite flowers to grow in my garden alongside the tomatoes and regular marigolds is pot marigold or calendula. This herb is a great addition to your vegetable garden and your herbal medicinal garden.

The Benefits of Growing Calendula

Growing Calendula (Calendula officinalis) can provide several benefits, both practical and aesthetic. Here are some advantages of growing Calendula:

Medicinal Uses: Calendula has been traditionally used for its medicinal properties. It contains compounds with anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and healing properties, making it useful for various skin conditions such as rashes, burns, cuts, and insect bites. The flowers can be harvested and used to make salves, oils, creams, soaps or teas for these purposes.

Edible Flowers: Calendula flowers are edible and can add color and flavor to salads, soups, or garnishes. They have a slightly tangy and peppery taste, which can be a delightful addition to culinary creations.

Attract Pollinators: Calendula flowers are rich in nectar and attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects to your garden. By growing Calendula, you can support pollinators, which play a vital role in the ecosystem and help with plant reproduction.

Pest Control: Calendula has natural pest-repellent properties. It can help deter pests like aphids, whiteflies, and nematodes from your garden. Planting Calendula near susceptible crops can act as a companion plant, providing a natural form of pest control.

Easy to Grow: Calendula is generally easy to grow and care for, making it suitable for beginner gardeners. It tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, prefers full sun to partial shade, and is relatively drought-tolerant. It’s an annual plant, meaning it completes its life cycle within a year, and self-seeds easily, allowing for continuous growth in subsequent seasons.

Ornamental Value: Calendula flowers come in vibrant hues of yellow, orange, and gold, making them visually appealing. They can brighten up your garden beds, borders, containers, or flower arrangements. Their cheerful blooms are especially valuable during the cooler months when many other flowers are not in season. these make a great addition to your landscaping for curb appeal.

Cut Flowers: Calendula flowers make excellent cut flowers due to their long vase life. You can enjoy their beauty indoors by arranging them in bouquets or floral displays.

Herbal Tea: The petals of Calendula flowers can be dried and used to make herbal tea. Calendula tea is believed to have soothing properties and may offer benefits for digestion, relaxation, and overall well-being.

Growing Calendula can provide a range of practical and aesthetic benefits, making it a valuable addition to any garden or herbal remedy collection.

Choosing the Right Location for Calendula

You’ll want to choose a sunny spot with well-draining soil for your calendula to thrive. These plants love the sun and need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day. If you live in a region with hot summers, it’s best to choose a spot that gets some shade in the afternoon to prevent the plants from wilting.

Calendula also prefers soil that is well-draining, as they don’t like to sit in water. Make sure to choose a location that has soil with good drainage, or amend the soil with compost or sand to improve drainage. Avoid areas with heavy clay soil or areas that tend to be waterlogged, as this can lead to root rot and other problems.

By choosing the right location for your calendula, you’ll set them up for success and ensure that they thrive throughout the growing season.

Preparing the Soil for Planting

To get started on preparing the soil, it’s important to loosen the dirt and remove any rocks or debris. This will help the soil to be aerated and free of any obstacles that might impede the growth of your calendula flowers. You can use a garden fork or hoe for this task, but be gentle so as not to disturb the roots of any existing plants in the area.

Once the soil is cleared of debris, it’s time to add some organic matter. Compost, well-rotted manure, or leaf mold are all excellent choices. Spread a layer of the organic matter about 2 inches thick over the soil, then use a garden fork or tiller to work it in.

This will help to improve the soil structure, add nutrients, and promote good drainage. With a little bit of effort in preparing the soil, your calendula flowers will have a healthy foundation for growth.

Sowing Calendula Seeds

Get ready to start sowing those beautiful calendula seeds by selecting a sunny spot in your garden and preparing the soil with organic matter.

Calendula seeds prefer a warm and moist environment, so make sure the soil is moist but not waterlogged. You can scatter the seeds directly onto the soil and cover them lightly with a layer of soil or compost. If you prefer, you can also start the seeds indoors in seed trays and transplant them later.

When sowing the seeds, make sure to space them about 6 inches apart to allow room for growth. Water the seeds regularly and keep the soil moist until the seedlings emerge.

Once the seedlings have grown a few inches tall, thin them out to about 12 inches apart to give each plant enough space to grow.

With a little patience and care, your calendula seeds will soon sprout into beautiful and vibrant flowers that will add color and joy to your garden.

Caring for Calendula Plants

Maintaining healthy and vibrant calendula plants requires regular watering and careful attention to the soil’s moisture levels. Be sure to water your plants deeply and regularly, especially during dry periods.

That said you need to be careful not to over-water, as this can lead to root rot and other problems.

In addition to watering, be sure to fertilize your calendula plants regularly to ensure they have the nutrients they need to thrive. Use a balanced fertilizer, and follow the instructions carefully to avoid over-fertilization.

Pruning your plants regularly will also help keep them healthy and vibrant. Be sure to remove any dead or damaged leaves, as well as any spent flowers, to promote new growth and prevent disease.

With proper care and attention, your calendula plants will provide you with beautiful blooms all season long.

Harvesting and Using Calendula Flowers for Medicinal Purposes

You can benefit from harvesting and using the vibrant flowers of calendula for various medicinal purposes. Calendula flowers have anti-inflammatory properties and are known to aid in wound healing making it great for homemade soaps.

You can use them to make a healing salve or oil that can be applied topically to skin irritations, cuts, and bruises. To harvest calendula flowers, wait until they’ve fully bloomed and the sun has dried the morning dew. Then, gently pluck the flower heads from the stem and allow them to dry completely before storing them in an airtight container.

To make a healing salve, melt beeswax in a double boiler and add in some calendula-infused oil. Pour the mixture into containers and let it cool and solidify. You can also use calendula flowers to make a tea that can help soothe digestive issues and menstrual cramps.

Simply steep the dried flowers in hot water for a few minutes and enjoy the calming benefits.

Growing calendula can make a great addition to any garden space from your regular landscaping to helping with pest control in your veggie patch and even joining in on your Day of The Dead celebrations alongside classic Mexican marigolds.

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