Also called pot marigold is often confused with members of the genus Tagetes which go by the same common name Marigold.
Marigolds in the Tagetes genus are in the same family as Calendula – the Asteraceae family (Sunflower) but they are not interchangeable with calendula. Calendula officinalis is a medicinal and edible flower whilst Tagetes erecta is a companion plant and not used so much for either edible or medicinal purposes. However, they both can be used as a natural dye yielding a range of yellows and greens.
How to Grow Calendula
Calendula is best grown from seed. Sow seeds directly into the soil from late March – April or September – October on a prepared ground that is free from weeds and raked over to a fine tilth. Sow in shallow drills 1cm deep and cover with a fine layer of soil and water well. Calendula germinates easily. When large enough to handle thin the young plants out about 20cm apart in their final growing position.
As a hardy annual it can be sown August to September for an earlier spring flowering next year. Sow either directly as above in mild areas. or, for overwintering sow in pots of moist seed compost and cover with a very fine sprinkling of compost or vermiculite. After sowing, do not exclude light as this helps germination. Keep the surface of the compost moist but not waterlogged. When large enough to handle, transplant seedlings into 3-inch pots. Overwinter plants in cool, light, frost-free conditions before planting out the following spring.
Position in full sun or partial shade.
Flowers from June – October.
Dead head old blooms throughout the season to allow new flowers to form. Towards the end of the summer leave the old flower heads to develop seeds for flowers next year. Water in dry conditions.
1g approx. 140seeds – £3.25