Blooming calendula ready for harvest
image by xandert/morguefile.com
Some gardeners know calendula by the name "pot marigold," although it is not the same as the annual marigold flower. Calendula is an herb with daisy-like flowers that grows easily in an herb garden. When the calendula plant begins to bloom, watch daily for flowers at their peak of perfection. Pinch these blooms off carefully and dry them to use in cooking, teas and in some homemade skincare products.
Watch the calendula plants every day to find flowers at their peak of bloom and freshness.
Remove flowers by pinching the blossoms from the stems, leaving approximately 1 inch of stem attached to the blossoms. This preserves the quality of the blossoms.
Line the baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels. Place the calendula blossoms onto the paper towels so that they are in a single layer and are not touching each other.
Cover the blossoms with a single layer of paper towels. This will absorb the moisture of the blossoms as they dry.
Place the baking sheet in a spot where it will be out of direct sunlight and will receive air ventilation. The blossoms may take up to one week to dry, depending on the moisture in the air.
Test the blossoms to see if they are adequately dried. Pull a petal and if it easily comes off the flower and is crumbly in your hands, the blossoms are dry. Remove all of the dried petals and place them in a sealed container. Keep the container in a cool, dry location.