Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is in the family of Asteracea (Compositae), which is the aster and daisy family. A warm-season annual, it requires planting after signs of cool weather have left your region. Because calendula is a hardy plant that is easy to grow, either by using plants or seeds, it is a favorite with gardeners around the country. Calendula produces yellow to orange flowers on plants that can reach 18 to 24 inches in height. Many gardeners plant calendula inside their vegetable gardens to deter insects.
Planting Calendula Plants
Select an area to plant your calendula plants that receives full sunlight to partial sun conditions throughout the day. Warmer regions may benefit by planting in areas that receive partial afternoon sunlight, which is approximately four hours of sunlight each day.
Choose a planting site that has soil that drains well. Mix peat moss into an area that is prone to retaining water. Calendula will tolerate growing in poor, sandy conditions, but proper drainage is imperative for the plant to live.
Dig a hole that is large enough for the calendula's root ball to fit into it. Do not place the plant deeper into the ground than it was in its container. Fill the soil around the plant and pat it down firmly with your hand. Space plants approximately eight inches apart for good air circulation.
Water the calendula when planted. Keep the planting area moist but not soggy for the first two weeks. This will allow the root system to begin to establish itself. Cut back to two to three times per week once established.
Fertilize the plants with a water-soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer once per week. This will promote more blooms and hardier foliage growth.
Planting Calendula Seeds in Containers
Select a container that is large enough to hold mature plants and has a drain hole in the bottom. Three-gallon containers should be large enough for one to two plants.
Fill the container with a lightweight, well-draining potting mix. Do not use heavy potting soil, as it will have a tendency to retain water.
Plant the seeds in the soil at a depth of ¼ inch. Water the seeds well. Continue to keep the soil moist but not saturated. The seeds should emerge within seven to ten days. Water the container when the soil feels dry once the seedlings have started to mature.
Fertilize with a water-soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer once per week.
About this Author
Joyce Starr is a professional writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawn care and gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.