Where to plant:
Grow in full sun, or partial shade if your summers are hot. Calendula will self seed, so make sure that you’re happy with the long term placement. Well-draining soil is always recommended. Calendula will get up to 2 feet tall, so be sure that they won’t shade other plants that need sun!
When to plant:
You can start Calendula seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before your last frost date, or they can be directly sowed into the garden. Calendula are decently hardy and can take light frosts. Seeds germinate in 5 to 15 days.
How to plant:
Loosen your soil 6-8” down, mixing in compost and removing rocks from the soil. Initially, you will plant Calendula about 12” apart and about 1/2” deep. Thin plants to 18” apart when they are larger. Mulch will help to retain water, and calendula can be hungry feeders. Use liquid fertilizer a few times throughout the season to promote blooms. Once the flowers are spent, pinch off the heads to extend the flowering season.
How to use/harvesting Calendula
Calendula can be considered both an herb and a flower and has MANY uses! Calendula has edible flowers and leaves - the leaves tend to be spicier like dandelion or arugula, and the flower petals provide pops of color to salads and other items. Calendula are often added to stews (hence their nickname of “pot” marigolds).
Calendula also have anti-inflammatory properties. You can collect resin for salves, use in teas, dry the flower heads for tinctures or to add a fragrant smell to baths or potpourri.
Last, but certainly not least, Calendula have similar insect repellant properties as marigolds. You can plant Calendula near other plants to help ward off harmful pests.