In this article: Calendula is a medicinal herb with many uses, learn how to grow calendula in your own garden!
Calendula is my very favorite herb/flower to grow in the garden. It’s just so happy to look at, and it’s got so many medicinal uses and benefits.
Calendula, or Calendula officinalis, is also known as the pot marigold. It’s important to not mistake calendula for the french marigold, or Tagetes. These are 2 totally different plants and do not have the same benefits and properties.
Calendula is an annual herb, that self seeds readily. It is pretty hardy in the spring and fall, and can withstand a light frost.
It is an easy to grow herb, that doesn’t need a lot of care and isn’t too picky about it’s location.
How to Grow Calendula in Your Home Garden
Calendula is easy to grow from seed, and starting it from seed will give you more options and save you money. So let’s start there.
How to Grow Calendula From Seed
Calendula can be started from seed either indoors and then transplanted to the garden or directly sowed into the garden.
I have had great luck doing it both ways.
Regardless of where and when you start your calendula seeds, you will plant them about 1/4 -1/2 inch under the soil and keep the soil moist until the seeds sprout. Germination usually only takes a couple of days.
If starting indoors, be sure to keep them in a sunny location or under grow lights for the best results. Here’s a seed starting troubleshooting guide if you need help with your seeds.
Once the plants are 3-4 inches tall and have a few sets of leaves you can transplant into the garden, as long as the threat of frost has past.
If starting outdoors, water the soil for quicker germination. But I have had seeds sprout after sitting in dry soil for a week or more waiting on rain. They really are not fussy seeds and not a lot of pests bother the seeds.
My Favorite Calendula Varieties
You should only need to buy seeds the first year and then you can let your flowers go to seed and collect your own each year. You’ll have plenty!
How to Care for Growing Calendula Plants
Calendula is a really low key plant- really! It doesn’t require much and is happy with most locations and conditions.
Plant calendula throughout your entire garden. It makes a great companion plant for most crops. I plant it throughout my tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and squash.
Learn more about companion planting and how it can help you garden with my Companion Planting Guide and Binder.
The biggest thing to remember when growing calendula is to keep up with the harvest. The more you harvest, the more blooms you will get.
Just like you want to dead head many flowers, the same is true for calendula. Snip off the blooms, when they are fully opened and dry. I cut mine right up by the base of the bloom- leaving no stems. It just makes it easier to dry them.
And that’s about it when it comes to how to grow calendula! At the end of the season, stop harvesting and let some of the flowers go to seed. You can let it self seed in your garden or collect the dry seed heads and store for next year.
Here’s how to save the seeds: How to Collect Calendula Seeds for Next Year
Using Your Home Grown Calendula
Now that you have a garden full of homegrown calendula, it’s time to use it!
I use it fresh in soups, dried in salves and balms, and in calendula tea.
Check out the following articles on using your calendula: