How to Grow Marigold (Calendula)
The flower petals of the Calendula plant have been used for medicinal purposes since at least the 12th century. Native to Mediterranean countries, Calendula is now cultivated across the globe. Calendula is typically added to salves and other topical preparations and has been shown to speed the healing of wounds, where it appears to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial effects.
Annual (zones 3-10)
7 to 14 days
Rich, fertile soil
Full sun or partial shade
6" apart, Rows 18"
DAYS OF HARVEST
55 to 60 days
Calendula can be direct-seeded outdoors in spring, or started indoors 4-6 weeks before warm spring weather. The small seeds should be planted ¼" deep, and kept well watered while awaiting germination which should occur within 7-14 days. If starting indoors, allow plants to grow to a height of 3-4" and show first leaves. When transpanting, space plants 6" apart from each other in rows 18" apart. Once established, Calendula is hardy, easy to grow and will self-sow freely.
Harvesting can begin with the first blooms of the season and continue throughout the warm season and into fall. To collect, cup flower stem between fingers and twist to snap off flower. Flowers are typically dried before use by placing onto a well-ventilated screen out of direct sunlight and allowing to desiccate for approximately one week.
After collecting seeds from marigold flowers, lay them out for a day or so to dry. Storing marigold seeds is best done in a paper envelope, so any additional moisture can escape. Plant them in the spring, and you’ll have a whole new generation of marigolds. One thing to remember: when you’re collecting marigold seeds, you can’t necessarily depend upon getting a true copy of the parent’s flowers. If the plant you’ve harvested from is an heirloom, its seeds will produce the same kind of flowers. But if it’s a hybrid (which is likely if you’ve gotten cheap plants from a garden center), then the next generation probably won’t look the same
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