I love growing calendula up at my allotment, let me tell you why.
Reason 1: Beautiful Flowers
Calendula flowers are bright and cheerful, adding colour to any garden.
They come in shades of yellow, orange, and gold, and have a distinctive, daisy-like appearance.
Calendula can be grown in containers, in the flower garden, or among vegetables. They also do great in with the herbs.
Reason 2: Medicinal Properties
Calendula has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. It is known to have anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.
Calendula is often used in herbal remedies to treat skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and sunburn.
Many people use calendula to make their own balms and soaps.
Reason 3: Attracts Beneficial Insects
Calendula flowers are a magnet for beneficial insects such as bees, butterflies, and ladybirds.
These insects help to pollinate other plants in your garden and keep pests under control.
Reason 4: Easy to Grow
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced gardener, calendula is an easy plant to grow.
It can be grown from seed and requires minimal care. Calendula is also tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions, making it a great choice for all types of gardens.
Reason 5: Versatile Uses
Calendula has many uses beyond the garden. It can be used to make natural dyes, soaps, and lotions.
Calendula petals can also be added to salads and soups for a pop of colour and flavour.
Reason 6: Edible Flowers
Calendula flowers are edible and make a beautiful addition to salads and other dishes.
They have a slightly sweet, slightly bitter flavour and can be used fresh or dried.
Reason 7: Drought Tolerant
Calendula is a drought-tolerant plant that can thrive in hot, dry conditions.
This makes it a great choice for gardens in areas with limited water resources.
Reason 8: Self-Seeding
Calendula is a self-seeding plant, meaning it will drop its seeds and return year after year. This makes it a low-maintenance plant that requires minimal effort to grow.
How to Grow Calendula
Choosing the Right Location
Calendula grows best in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. Choosing a location with well-draining soil is important, as calendula does not like to sit in water.
Calendula also thrives in containers, which is not surprising for a flower named the pot marigold.
Planting Calendula Seeds
If starting from seed, plant them indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date. Transplant the seedlings outdoors when they are 3 to 4 inches tall and show first leaves.
Space the plants 8 to 12 inches apart and 18 inches between rows. Plant the seeds ¼ to ½ inch deep in the soil.
Watering and Fertilising
Calendula needs regular watering to thrive, especially during dry spells.
Water the plants deeply once a week, or more often if the soil is dry. Fertilise the plants with a balanced fertiliser once a month during the growing season.
Harvesting Calendula Flowers
Calendula flowers can be harvested when they are fully open. Cut the flowers in the morning, after the dew has dried and before the sun is too hot. The flowers can be used fresh or dried for later use.