If you are planning on over-wintering your calendula for an early start next year then you will need to know what to do with it over winter. So let’s have a look and find out.
What To Do With Calendula In Winter?
How you keep calendula over winter depends on your whereabouts in the country. It is a semi-hardy plant and can stand a little frost.
It cannot stand a heavy frost though and where I am in Northern England they just don’t survive being left out in the ground over winter.
What I do to protect the plants is grow them in pots and move them into the greenhouse when winter arrives. I then plant them back out into the ground in early spring for a fantastic splash of early colour.
If you are just talking about regular spring-sown calendula that has flowered over summer then this will die off over winter.
Calendula is a very good self-seeder though so you can expect many plants to come back where you grew them if you let some flowers turn to seed.
This is why it is important not to deadhead every single seed if you want some calendula to come back naturally with no effort from you. You can also collect the seeds and sow them yourself.
Calendula Officinalis (pot marigold)
Calendula is an annual herb that is edible and is commonly used in herbal remedies for all kinds of afflictions.
While being an annual it does have a strong self-seeding habit so grows almost as if it was a perennial. Plant some in a garden bed and expect them to readily self-seed and come back year after year.
They are really easy to grow and not too fussy at all. Provide them with a nice sunny spot in good, well-draining soil and they will reward you with ample bright orange blooms.
Benifits of Calendula
Calendula is edible and was commonly known as poor man’s saffron. This is because they can be used to colour food dishes in much the same way as saffron is, although they do not taste like saffron. The flower petals can be added to salads for a splash of colour.
Beyond being edible calendula flowers have been used for many hundreds of years as a herbal remedy.
It has antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties and is used in all sorts of things from topical creams to lip balms.
What is Calendula’s common name?
Calendula is commonly known as pot marigold. Despite this, they are not marigolds but the name stems from them looking very similar to marigolds and either commonly being used in pot-cooked food dishes or the fact that they grow well in pots, depending on who you ask.
How to tell Calendulas and French Marigolds apart
There are a few easy ways to differentiate between the two plants.
The more common marigold is grown as an attractive flower and is not usually considered edible, although some varieties are. This is a whole other topic which is hotly debated and I’m not going to get into it here, for the sake of simplicity I will say they are not edible.
They are grown for their flowers and also as a pest preventive. Marigolds are commonly used in companion planting as they are believed to deter certain pests.
Calendula and Marigolds are from the same family of plants (Asteraceae) but are from different genera. French marigolds are from the Tagetes genus whilst pot marigolds are from the Calendula genus.
They have both been simply referred to as marigolds in the past but now pot marigold is the common name for calendula. To avoid any confusion though I think it is simply best to refer to them as calendula.