I love growing flowers, and I have been trying to learn how to grow them from seed. It saves me money, and it’s fun to experiment. This year I tried calendula. Wow! They are beautiful! Calendula grows rapidly and needs little maintenance. They are edible, medicinal, and pollinators love them. Let’s talk about how to grow calendula in your garden.
Benefits of Calendula
Calendula have been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. The flower heads are used, steeped as a tea, topically, in salves to heal burns, wounds, and rashes. Calendula is even edible. You can throw them right on your salad.
How To Grow Calendula
I like to start my seeds indoors in seed trays, but you can also direct sow the calendula into the garden. If you start indoors, plant them 3 weeks before your last frost date. If you are direct sowing, plant seeds after the threat of frost is over for the spring season. Plant seeds 1/4″ deep, and 10″ apart. Plant the plant starts into the garden 6-10″ apart. Calendula grows to maturity in as little as 6 weeks.
Calendula like full sun but can tolerate some shade. Amend your well drained soil for the season, and that is all the calendula need. No extra feedings.
Pick the flower heads every 2-3 days to promote flowering. If you let your flower heads go to seed the plant will stop producing new flowers.
How To Harvest and Preserve Calendula Flowers
Harvest the flowers after the dew is dried and the flowers are fully open. Clip, using scissors, at the base of the flower head. Make sure to include the green base of the flower (it has medicinal oils in it).
The easiest way to preserve calendula is to dehydrate. Place flower heads on the dehydrator shelves. Dehydrate at 90 degrees until the flowers are dry.
If you have never grown calendula but would like to try to use the dried flowers, you can get them on amazon here.
Now that you know how to grow calendula, read how to save calendula seeds so you can have an endless supply for your garden.