Calendula – How to Grow and Care for a Pot Marigold in the Garden

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.

Cultivation Information and How to Grow Calendula

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.

How to Use Calendula in the Garden


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:


  • ‘Antares Flashback’ Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis ‘Antares Flashback’) – Creamy orange or peach colored with dark centers, these calendula plants grow nearly two feet tall.
  • ‘Calypso Orange’ Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis ‘Calypso Orange’) – Beautiful open flowers with large center disks, this calendula variety is a bright spot in sandy soil.
  • ‘Bon Bon Mix’ Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis ‘Bon Bon Series’) – Pom-pom form calendula flowers in a bright yellow or light yellow color, these calendula plants barely grow a foot tall. Use ‘Bon Bon’ mix pot marigolds in small container plantings or as edging plants for a border.
  • ‘Zeolights’ Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis ‘Zeolights’) – These calendulas grow 12 to 18 inches tall and have pink-toned petals with creamy yellow backs and darker, maroon-colored centers. They would make attractive garnishes for salads and other gourmet dishes.
  • ‘Indian Prince’ Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis ‘Indian Prince’) – A larger cultivar, these calendula flowers make good cutting flowers because they grow up to 2 feet tall. ‘Indian Prince’ blooms are bright orange with contrasting maroon backs and centers, creating an exciting two-toned effect in the garden.

About the Author

With the endless passion for organic living, I - Ann Sanders has come up with the idea of creating A Green Hand. Being the founder and editor of A Green Hand, my goal is to provide everyone with a wide range of tips about healthy lifestyle with multiform categories including gardening, health & beauty, food recipe,...

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