If gardeners want long-lasting color and easy-to-grow annual plants for your garden, the pot marigold is a great choice. Plant lovers have used calendula plants for centuries both because of the many medicinal uses and because of the beautiful, sun-loving flowers.
Botanical and Common Name: The scientific name of the pot marigold is Calendula officinalis and they often go by the common name calendula in addition to pot marigold.
Plant Category: Calendula plants are hardy annuals.
Bloom Time and Color: Pot marigolds bloom from late spring to autumn and can have yellow or orange colored flowers.
Foliage: The lance-like leaves are fragrant and grow rather long, about 6 inches in length.
Growth Habit: Calendula is an upright, bushy plant although it can get rather leggy in too much shade. Pinch back flowers, or cut the plant back in mid-summer to encourage bushy regrowth.
Dimensions: Pot marigolds grow about 1 to 2 feet in height and spread.
Maintenance: Calendula plants prefer cooler growing seasons so gardeners might want to provide slight afternoon shade in areas with hot climates, or be prepared to cut the plant back in the hottest weeks to revive the plant for autumn.
Pests or Diseases: No real pests or diseases except powdery mildew if over-watered or too crowded.
Propagation Methods: Pot marigold is easily grown by seeds planted directly outdoors in early spring before the last frost date.
Preferred Conditions: Calendula plants prefer full sun, although in areas with hot summers they will appreciate light afternoon shade. Pot marigolds will tolerate somewhat poor soil but should not be left in standing water so make sure the dirt is well-draining.
Companion Plants: Calendula combines well with other butterfly-attracting or fragrant plants such as lavender, butterfly bush, monarda, echinacea, or moonflower vines.
Seasons of Interest: Pot marigolds provide interest in spring through autumn unless the heat of summer causes the plants to fade.
Uses in the Garden: The pot marigold is the natural addition to any fragrance garden, heirloom cottage plot or medieval herb garden.
Other Uses: Calendula has been traditionally used as an edible flower in pot stews, rice, and salads. It is also used medicinally in skin cream preparations and other herbal remedies.
Calendula Plant Cultivars:
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