A honeyed hue of sunshine and a testament to nature’s artistry, the humble calendula flower has more to offer than just its undeniable charm.
Widely celebrated not just for its aesthetic appeal but for its companionship with other plants, its host of benefits, and simplistic care, the calendula flower is a delightfully beneficial addition to any garden.
In this article, we will provide you with essential care tips, explore companion plants that pair well with calendula, and delve into the medicinal and edible uses of this beautiful flower.
Get ready to create a stunning and thriving calendula garden that will bring joy and beauty to your outdoor space.
- Calendula Flowers Care: Calendulas are easy to grow, requiring minimal maintenance besides regular watering, deadheading, and ensuring the soil has a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. They flourish in nutrient-rich soil and prefer full sunlight, though they can tolerate partial shade.
- Maximizing Blooms: To maximize the number of blooms, proper spacing of the seeds is essential. Provide them with ample sunlight, ensure the soil stays moist, regularly deadhead spent flowers, and reduce watering as the root system develops.
- Companion Plants: Marigold flowers serve as excellent companion plants for calendulas. They not only add beauty but also deter pests and nematodes, protecting your garden’s health and vitality.
- Medicinal Benefits: Calendula is known for its multiple medicinal properties. Its oil is often used to soothe irritated skin, reduce inflammation, and promote wound healing. Additionally, it has antimicrobial properties, making it beneficial for treating minor cuts, burns, and skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
- Edible Uses: Calendula’s petals and leaves can be used in many culinary creations such as salads, infused oils, baked goods, and herbal teas due to their mild, slightly peppery taste.
Calendula Flower Care Tips
To ensure healthy growth and continuous blooms, make sure you plant and space your calendula plants correctly in the garden. Calendula seeds germinate quickly, so you can directly sow them in the garden bed.
Plant the seeds about ½ inch deep and 10 inches apart. Within 5 to 10 days, you’ll see seedlings emerging.
If you prefer, you can also start the seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost.
Calendula thrives in nutrient-rich garden soil, so choose a well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. It requires minimal maintenance to bloom and thrive.
For maximum blooms in your calendula garden, make sure to space your plants correctly and provide them with adequate sunlight. Here’s what you need to know:
- Proper Spacing: Plant calendula seeds ½ inch deep and 10 inches apart. For established plants, space them 8 to 12 inches apart, with rows spaced 18 inches apart. This allows for airflow and prevents diseases like powdery mildew while ensuring the spread of blooms.
- Sunlight Requirements: Calendulas thrive in full sun conditions, so plant them in an area that receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight daily. While they can tolerate partial shade, full sun produces the most vigorous blooms. Adequate sunlight is crucial for their growth and development.
- Watering: Keep the soil moist when planting seeds and caring for young plants. As the root systems develop, reduce watering frequency. Mature calendula plants are drought-resistant and require less direct care.
- Deadheading: Regularly deadhead spent flowers to promote continuous blooms. This practice encourages profuse flower production and ensures a beautiful, blooming calendula garden.
Companion Plants for Calendula
Marigolds, which are from the same family, also help repel pests and nematodes in the garden. These vibrant flowers not only add beauty to your garden, but they also serve as excellent companion plants for calendula.
By interplanting marigolds with your calendula plants, you can naturally deter common garden pests like slugs. The strong scent of marigolds acts as a natural repellent, keeping these unwanted visitors away from your precious flowers.
Additionally, marigolds can help control nematodes, microscopic pests that can damage plant roots.
By planting marigolds alongside your calendula, you create a pest-repelling barrier that helps protect the health and vitality of your garden.
The Medicinal Benefits of Calendula
The dried petals of calendula can be used as a seasoning, similar to saffron. Its oils are commonly used in ointments for their medicinal properties.
Calendula is known for its anti-inflammatory effects and is often used in skincare products for its healing properties. The oil extracted from calendula flowers can soothe irritated skin, reduce inflammation, and promote wound healing.
It is also believed to have antimicrobial properties, making it beneficial for treating minor cuts, scrapes, and burns.
In addition, calendula oil can be used to relieve dry and itchy skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Its natural properties make it a popular ingredient in natural skincare products.
Whether you’re looking to add flavor to your dishes or take advantage of its medicinal benefits, calendula is a versatile and beneficial plant to have on hand.
Edible Uses of Calendula
If you’re seeking to add some unique flavor to your dishes, consider using the edible petals and leaves of calendula in salads and recipes.
Here are four ways you can incorporate calendula into your culinary creations:
1. Fresh salads
Sprinkle the vibrant orange and yellow petals of calendula on top of your salads for a pop of color and a mild, slightly peppery taste.
2. Infused oils
Create your own infused oils by steeping calendula petals in olive or sunflower oil. Use these flavorful oils to drizzle over roasted vegetables or to dress your favorite pasta dishes.
3. Baked goods
Add dried calendula petals to your homemade breads, muffins, or cookies for a touch of floral sweetness. The petals can also be used to decorate cakes and cupcakes.
4. Herbal teas
Brew a soothing cup of calendula tea by steeping the dried flowers in hot water. This herbal infusion has a delicate, floral flavor and is known for its calming properties.
Final Takeaway: Understanding the Role of Calendula in Your Garden
The calendula flower, with its vibrant hues, plays a multifaceted role in a garden’s ecosystem, going beyond its aesthetic appeal.
It serves as an exceptional companion plant, promoting the growth of various vegetables like tomatoes and sprouts by attracting beneficial insects. Simultaneously, its ability to deter unwanted pests underscores its role as a natural pest-control solution.
Moreover, calendulas significantly contribute to improving soil health. Their unique interaction with soil microorganisms enhances the nutrient availability in the soil, thereby influencing overall soil fertility and promoting healthier plant growth.
Simply put, this garden gem is not just a flower, but a companion, a protector, and a soil enricher that can enhance your garden’s health, harmony, and vibrancy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can Calendula Be Grown in Containers?
Yes, calendula can be grown in containers. Choose a container with good drainage, fill it with nutrient-rich soil, and place it in a sunny spot. Remember to water regularly, and deadhead spent blooms for continuous flowering.
Q: How Long Does It Take for Calendula Seeds to Germinate?
Calendula seeds usually take about 5 to 10 days to germinate. Make sure to plant them ½ inch deep and keep the soil moist.
Q: What Are Some Common Pests That Can Affect Calendula Plants?
Some common pests that can affect calendula plants are slugs and powdery mildew. Regularly cut back and deadhead the plants to prevent pests and diseases.
Q: Can Calendula Be Grown Indoors as a Houseplant?
Yes, calendula can be grown indoors as a houseplant. Provide it with adequate sunlight, well-draining soil, and regular watering. Calendula’s vibrant blooms will add a touch of beauty to your indoor space.
Q: Are There Any Specific Fertilizers or Nutrients That Calendula Plants Require for Optimal Growth?
For optimal growth, calendula plants don’t require specific fertilizers or nutrients. They thrive in nutrient-rich soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Providing proper care, sunlight, and watering is essential for their growth and blooming.
Enamored with the world of golf Jack pursued a degree in Golf Course Management at THE Ohio State University. This career path allowed him to work on some of the highest profile golf courses in the country! Due to the pandemic, Jack began Inside The Yard as a side hustle that quickly became his main hustle. Since starting the company, Jack has relocated to a homestead in Central Arkansas where he and his wife raise cattle and two little girls.