The annual calendula (Calendula officinalis), often called the English marigold or pot marigold, grows well during cool summers. Varieties range in size from 12 to 30 inches. Foliage is a bright green. Flowers appear either in single or double form. The blossoms resemble a daisy in appearance. The colors are often yellow, cream or orange. The center is dark brown, dark orange or simple yellow. Flowers offer a long life in a cut bouquet and are edible in salads or other culinary dishes. The plant is widely used for herbal tea. The calendula easily germinates from seeds, and grows well in both the garden and in containers.
Sow calendula seeds in the spring, in a starter tray. Start seeds six weeks prior to the last frost of the season.
Sprinkle calendula seeds across the top of your starter potting soil. Plant the seeds no deeper then 1/4 inch under the soil.
Place the starter tray in a window with full light. Water the seeds regularly. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
Thin the seedlings as they appear, or transplant them to individual small starter pots. As the seeds grow, transplant them into their permanent potting containers.
Set the containers outside during the day to begin hardening the seedlings off, helping them adjust to the weather. Once all danger of frost has passed, leave the container outside in full sunlight.
Fertlize the calendula seedlings once they are in their permanent pot using a water-soluble fertilizer mixed at half strength. Monthly fertilizing of the calendula plants is ideal.
Things You Will Need
- Starter trays
- Starter potting soil
- Potting containers
- General-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer
- Collect the calendula seeds to plant the following year. Hang the dead flower heads upside down until dry, then harvest dried seeds from them.