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Calendula

Calendula - Organo Republic

Calendula, also known as Pot Marigold, is a beautiful flowering plant that produces vibrant yellow and orange flowers. The petals are edible and often used in culinary and medicinal applications. Calendula plants have a bushy habit and grow up to 18-24 inches tall. They are known for their bright and cheerful blooms.

Origin: Calendula is native to the Mediterranean region.

Usage: Calendula is a versatile plant used in flower beds, borders, containers, and herb gardens. Its flowers are prized for their beauty and are often used in herbal remedies, teas, and skincare products.

Interesting facts: Calendula flowers are known for their medicinal properties, including anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing effects. They are also commonly used in companion planting to attract beneficial insects.

 

HOW TO GROW

General requirements: Calendula is an easy-to-grow plant that thrives in various conditions.

Temperature and Light: It prefers cool to moderate temperatures between 55°F and 70°F (13°C to 21°C). Calendula can tolerate full sun to partial shade. In hot climates, provide some afternoon shade to protect the plants from excessive heat.

Soil: It grows well in most soil types but prefers well-draining soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. Incorporate organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, into the soil before planting to improve fertility and drainage.

Water: Calendula has average water needs. Water the plants regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Avoid overhead watering, as it can lead to fungal diseases. Water at the base of the plant to keep the foliage dry.

Planting: Start Calendula seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date or sow them directly outdoors after the last frost has passed. Plant the seeds ¼ to ½ inch deep in well-prepared soil. Space the seeds or seedlings about 12-18 inches apart to allow for proper growth and airflow.

Maintenance: Calendula requires minimal maintenance. Remove weeds that compete with the plants for nutrients and water. Mulching around the plants can help conserve moisture and suppress weed growth. Deadhead spent flowers regularly to encourage continuous blooming.

Fertilizer: Calendula doesn't require heavy fertilization. If your soil is poor, you can apply a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer once or twice during the growing season. However, excessive fertilization can lead to lush foliage but fewer flowers.

Pests and Diseases: Calendula is relatively resistant to pests and diseases. However, keep an eye out for aphids and snails. If necessary, use organic pest control methods such as handpicking or insecticidal soap.

 

HARVESTING AND SEED SAVING

Harvesting: Harvest Calendula flowers when they are fully open for the best color and potency. Cut the flowers just above a leaf node using sharp scissors or pruners. Avoid harvesting more than one-third of the plant's flowers at a time to ensure continuous blooming.

Seed Saving: Allow some flowers to remain on the plant and go to seed. As the seed heads dry and turn brown, they will start to split open, revealing the seeds. Carefully collect the seeds and remove any debris or chaff. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place in labeled envelopes or airtight containers for future planting.

 

FAST FACTS

  • Common name: Calendula, Pot Marigold
  • Latin name: Calendula officinalis
  • Growth habit: Bushy, compact
  • Life cycle: Annual
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