Calendula

Common name: Pot or English marigold


An annual plant with long lasting single or double flowers that is suited to both borders and containers.

If required they can be grown in pots under glass for cutting in winter.

They come mainly in shades of yellow and orange although they can be found in red or white and will bloom from mid summer right up until the first frosts of autumn.

Depending upon variety they can grow from around 200mm to 600mm high.

This attribute makes it a good cut flower however, the leaves and stems emit a pungent aroma which might not be to every ones liking.

The Petals have a tangy flavour and can be added to salads.

Calendula is also an excellent skin healer and can be added to creams and used to treat anything from acne to open wounds.

They will thrive on virtually any type of soil, but the best results come from a well-drained, not too rich garden soil.

They like relatively cool growing conditions making them suitable for sunny and/or partially shaded areas.

Constant dead-heading will prolong the flowering period and reduce excessive amounts of self seeding.

It is often grown as a companion plant in the vegetable patch or greenhouse.

It is said to repel insects from tomatoes and can lure aphids away from beans.

It also attracts beneficial predators to the plot such as ladybirds, lacewings and hoverflies, which will eat and control aphid populations on your vegetable crops.

Calendula is susceptible to mildew in warm, moist weather,control this by removing ny affected plants.

Cultivation:

Week 14: Sow seed in pots / trays of seed compost and germinate at 13°C (55°F)

Germination should take around four or five days.

Week 16-17: When large enough to handle, prick out into 75mm (3") pots of potting compost.

Week 18: If preferred seeds can be sown directly into the border soil providing it is not frozen or water logged.

The resulting seedlings can be thinned out to around 200mm (8") apart or transplanted in other parts of the garden.

Due to the prolific self seeding capabilities of this plant the grower might be well advised to keep these plants to one area of the garden otherwise they risk the self seeders taking over the garden!

Week 21: Plant out 200-300mm (8"-12") apart.

Pinch out the terminal bud at this stage, to encourage the formation of side growths.





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