Captivating calendula

Kitchen Garden|August 2020

Captivating calendula
With its vibrant colours and shades, its edible flowers, its merits as a pest repellent and its medicinal properties, what's not to love about the cheerful calendula? Annabelle padwick discovers more
Annabelle Padwick

Also known as marigold, pot marigold, or common marigold, calendula is a popular annual flowering many gardens for an instant pop of orange color. I do think it can sometimes be a little under-appreciated though and here’s why.

Calendula is the wonder plant! It’s easy to grow, looks beautiful, protects your delicious vegetables, and is highly valued for its vibrant, restorative powers. Oh, and let’s not forget that the petals are edible too!

SOWING

In April-May, you can sow seeds directly where you want them to flower. Thinly sow 1cm (½in) deep in drills spaced 30cm (12in) apart into well-prepared soil, then germination takes around 5-10 days. Calendula seeds can also be started early indoors by sowing into moist seed compost and keeping them at temperatures of 18-23C (64-73F). For early flowering the following year, you can also sow them in autumn, then overwinter in a conservatory or greenhouse.

AFTERCARE

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August 2020