Calendula- a sunny little flower also known as the Pot Marigold- is taking over my kitchen right now. It’s easy to grow and tolerates many different conditions from sun to shade, warm to cool, poor or fertile soils. Of course a rich soil and full sun with yield the best results. Cutting the blooms often will increase the flower production of the plant. Calendula is an annual, but can self seed for the following year. You can also allow some blooms to dry on the plant and go to seed sou can save them for next year.
I pick mine about every 3 days, in the middle of the day when the blooms are opened wide. Cutting them like this makes them put out even more blooms. I have a tray full of blooms drying on my counter. And a collection of some already dried. It’s best to dry them on some sort of towel or paper- I use brown paper shopping bags- or on a screen in a shady location with good air flow. Set them so they are not touching each other and turn them every once in a while until they are dry.
Once they are dry you can save them, make oils or salves. You can make tea with the petals when fresh, or dry. We have even successfully cleared eye infections/conjunctivitis using a calendula tea. I wrote an article recently about all the amazing properties of calendula. If you have a variety of ailments- from dry skin and scratches to UTIs and sore throats- calendula could be very helpful in your treatment. If you are interested in reading it, you can find it here: The Healing Properties of Calendula.
How about you? Do you grow calendula? Do you take advantages of it’s amazing healing abilities?