Easy-to-grow calendula flowers greet the morning by blooming, and then close again each night. Calendula is a cool-loving flower used in salves and teas with many health benefits. Learn how to grow calendula with these 5 tips.
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5 Tips for How to Grow Calendula
1. Plant calendula at the right time
Calendula (also called pot-marigold) prefers cool weather. In hot summer areas like Arizona, calendula grows best throughout the cooler months of late fall and spring.
Plant calendula after the last spring frost in cold weather climates.
In the low desert of Arizona:
Start seeds indoors:
August – September
Plant seeds or transplants outside:
September 15 – November
Calendula blooms in Arizona from December through May.
Succession plant calendula every 2 or 3 weeks for a continual harvest.
Flowers to Plant Outside & Seeds to Start Indoors Each Month in the Low Desert of Arizona.
• PLANTING GUIDE: Each month lists annual flowers and bulbs to plant outside & seeds to start indoors.
• BLOOMING GUIDE: Photos show what may be in bloom that month.
2. Plant calendula correctly
- Plant calendula seeds ¼ inch deep. Thin seedlings to 6 to 12 inches apart. Keep soil moist until the seeds sprout. Click here to buy calendula seeds.
- When choosing transplants, smaller is usually better. Smaller plants adapt easier to planting.
- Plant calendula in a location with fertile, well-draining soil.
Plant 4 calendula per square foot in square foot gardening.
3. Care for calendula correctly
- Calendula needs regular water; do not let the plant dry out.
- Keep flowers cut back to encourage more blooms.
- Calendula grows best in full sun.
- Calendula does not require supplemental feeding.
- If foliage looks haggard, cut plants back to about 3 inches to promote new growth.
How to grow calendula in containers:
Calendula is a great choice for containers.
Follow growing guidelines (above) for how to grow calendula.
Calendula in containers does not need additional fertilizer.
4. Harvest calendula often
Harvest calendula blooms when petals begin to open. Calendula petals are edible. The entire calendula flower is used in healing skin ointments, salves, oils, and teas.
Blooms left on the plant quickly develop into seeds. Calendula seeds are ready to harvest when they turn brown.
Calendula reseeds easily due to the large amount of seeds produced on each bloom.
5. Put calendula to work in the garden
Calendula flowers attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators to your garden. Calendula can also be grown as a trap crop. A trap crop attracts aphids and similar pests away from other garden plants.
Calendula is an excellent companion plant for carrots, cucumbers, peas, and tomatoes.