wikiHow to Grow Calendula

Calendula, also known as "pot marigolds" are annual flowers that bloom constantly throughout the growing season. Originally grown for use as a seasoning or for medicinal properties, calendula have become popular for their cheerful, bright yellow or orange flowers that follow the path of the sun throughout the day in the same way that sunflowers do. This article explains how to plant calendula.


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    Select a spot for calendula that receives full sun. Calendulas do not require any special soil. They can be grown anywhere you're growing other flowers, herbs, or vegetables as long as the flower bed doesn't become waterlogged after heavy rain.
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    Plant calendula seeds in the spring after the last frost in your area. Plant seeds about 1/4 to 1/2 inch (.64 to 1.27 cm) deep and 4 to 6 (10.16 to 15.24 cm) apart. Cover them lightly with about 1/4 inch (.64 cm) of garden soil.
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    Water the seedbed immediately after planting being careful not to wash the seeds out of their spots. Then mist the bed daily to keep it moist for the next 7 to 14 days until the seeds germinate.
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    Water the plants as needed to keep the soil moist, but be careful not to overwater. The soil should not be soaking wet.
  5. Image titled Grow Calendula Step 5
    When the calendula seedlings are about 3 inches (7.62 cm) high, thin them so that the remaining plants are 8 to 12 inches (20.32 to 30.48 cm) apart.
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    Apply a thin layer of compost to the calendula plants in midsummer. They should not require any additional fertilizer because the compost should provide enough nutrients to help the plants continue blooming for the remainder of the growing season.
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    Cut blossoms as they fade to encourage the plants to produce additional blooms.


  • Calendula can survive light frosts and will usually continue to bloom until they are killed by heavy frost. Many times they will be the last of the annual flowers still blooming in late fall.
  • The biggest challenge in growing calendula is that they are prone to insects and plant disease. Aphids are the most common insect problem, however, they can be easily treated with an insecticide or a horticultural soap. The most common disease affecting calendula is mildew, which occurs most commonly under hot, humid or rainy weather conditions. Mildew can be treated with fungicides. Follow all pesticide directions exactly. If you are eating the blossoms, be sure to use pesticides designed for food crops.
  • Add mulch around your calendula for a neater appearance, to retain moisture, and to minimize weeds.
  • Calendula blossoms are edible. Sprinkle the brightly colored petals in fresh garden salads to add a surprising twist. The blooms can also be added to goat and cream cheeses for a unique and colorful display.
  • Select a place in your garden for calendula where they can grow undisturbed for many years since they drop their seeds and will reseed your flowerbed year after year.
  • Calendula are pretty flowers to add to indoor floral arrangements, but be sure to check for aphids before bringing the flowers indoors. They can also have an unpleasant odor which may make them less desirable inside.

Things You'll Need

  • Calendula seeds
  • Shovel or hoe
  • Compost

Article Info

Categories: Growing Flowers