Calendula is a popular herb grown for both its looks and medicinal properties. If you are thinking of growing this attractive herb then growing from seed is definitely the way to go. Calendula is not a hard plant to grow from seed but if you are growing it for the first time then my how-to grow and care for calendula seedlings guide is for you!
How to grow Calendula from seed
Sow a few seeds per pot in early spring in a sheltered spot. A greenhouse or sunny windowsill is ideal. Seeds should germinate in 1 – 2 weeks.
They are good germinators and not overly fussy, just plant them under a thin layer of compost. You can use seed compost or just general purpose compost to sow Calendula.
As with most small seeds I find it better to water the soil to get it nice and moist before planting the seeds so you do not risk moving them with a deluge of water.
Once the seedlings have developed a good set of leaves I will tip them out from the pot and start separating them. The aim is to break the soil apart softly and keep as much of the root of each seedling as intact as possible.
You can then pot them on into individual pots or a couple of seedlings per pot if you are running short!
I will then grow them on in pots until all risk of frost has passed. At this time they can be planted out in the garden.
If you have grown your Calendula in a heated area, such as a heated greenhouse or inside your home then you will need to gradually acclimatise them to outside life before planting out.
Calendulas will happily self-seed in place and give you new plants the following spring without you having to do anything.
Because of how well they self-seed they grow almost like a perennial. As long as you leave a few of the flowers to go to seed at the end of the growing season then you can expect new plants next year.
When to plant Calendula seeds
Calendula is commonly planted in spring here in the UK. You can start sowing in April in a greenhouse or indoors, if you are growing outside then you should wait until mid to late May.
You can also sow Calendula seeds in the autumn and overwinter them for an early flower display in the following spring.