Garden Giveaway: Growing Calendula From Seed

| 7/24/2012 5:06:00 PM

PBHobson2Patsy Bell Hobson is blogging at Oh Grow Up! When not in the garden or on the road, find her in southern Missouri USA. Read more travel stories at Striped Pot. Find more garden, travel and random rants on her Facebook. 

Pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) is in the family Asteraceae. This annual, which is cultivated as an herb and can be grown easily in sunny locations and in most any kind of soil, typically produces flowers quickly from seed in golds, yellows and oranges. It is hardy to Zone 6 and is not frost tender.

Calendula Flowers 7-25-2012
Calendula comes in a variety of rusty oranges and yellows. While dead heading is not necessary, it will extend the bloom time with a flush of new flowers. 

Medicinally, this herb is used to treat burns and open wounds. American Civil War physicians preserved the juice from aerial parts of the plant with a bit of alcohol to use on the battlefield. World War I battlefield doctors poured boiling water over dried flower heads and applied the mixture to soldiers’ wounds to prevent infection and inflammation.

Pick calendula flowers or dead head to encourage more growth. Use the flowers fresh or dry them for later. To dry, cut the flower heads off and spread them out in a shady spot. I use cookie cooling racks and space out the blooms, turning occasionally until they're dry. Once the flowers are papery dry, store in moisture-proof canning jars or Zip Lock bags, away from light.

Calendula Seedling 7-25-2012
Calendula is drought tolerant.