Annual Overview: Calendula (Pot Marigold)

Calendula Stats at a Glance

Botanical Name: Calendula

Common Name(s): Pot Marigold, English Marigold, Poet’s Marigold

Height: 10 to 20 inches

Bloom Time: Early summer

Soil Conditions: Rich, well-drained soil

Sun: Full sun

Soil pH Conditions: 5.5-7.0

 

Notes: There are 15 species of Calendula with C. officinalis being the most popular.

 

Best use: Calendula is an ornamental plant, but is also edible.  The dried petals of this plant are often used medicinally due to the high flavonoids content. Common uses include its use as a digestive aid and as a relief for menstrual cramps.  It has been shown to heal wounds faster and is often applied topically for this purpose.  Additionally it is used as an antiseptic, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory.

It is used medicinally as an antiseptic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and digestive aid.

Starting Calendula from Seed

Calendula can be planted from seed indoors 6-8 weeks prior to the last frost of the season.  Light inhibits germination so keep the seeds covered lightly by soil.

Calendula is easily grown from seed sown directly into the soil.  Prior to planting, prepare the soil by working three inches of rich compost and one teaspoon of an all purpose fertilizer per square foot, six to eight inches into the soil.  Plant the seeds ¼ deep.

Days to emergence: 7-16

When to Plant

Calendula seeds can be planted when the soil has reached 60°F.  Transplants can be planted as soon as last threat of frost has passed.

Where to Plant

Calendula plants require well-drained soil and perform best in full sun to partial shade.

Plant Spacing

Plant transplants 8-12 inches apart.  Thin seedlings once they emerge to allow 8-12 inches of space between the seedlings.

Care and Maintenance

Calendula performs well with regular watering. 1 to ½ inches of water per week during the summer will result in optimal growth.  Immediately deadheading spent flowers will encourage bushy plants.  If flowering dwindles, cut back plants severely.

Diseases

Common diseases are powdery mildew.

Pests

The most common pests of the Calendula plant are whiteflies, aphids, slugs, and cabbage loopers.

Companion Planting

Calendula deters nematodes and general garden pests making it a great companion plant for tomatoes and potatoes.  It is also believed to deter beetles so works well planted among beans and squash.

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