Flowers and Seasons

Calendula Flowers – Planting Calendula in the Open Ground

Calendula is a flowering herbaceous plant in the Asteraceae family. The flower is found in the common natural environment of the Mediterranean and Western Europe and has about 20 species and varieties of annuals and perennials. Each of the species has its own characteristics and differences. Some have high ornamental qualities, while others are medicinal plants widely used in traditional and folk medicine.

Description of the Calendula Flowers

Calendula plant consists of a strong root system, simple light green leaves of oval or elongated shape, single flowers of bright yellow or orange color, and fruits – seeds. Seeds have a high germination rate for 5 years after collection. In most cases, calendula is propagated by self-seeding. The flowering period is quite long – from the beginning of summer until almost the end of autumn.

Calendula is an excellent green manure, although few gardeners and vegetable growers use it in this capacity. During growth, the plant roots saturate the soil with tannins, bioactive compounds that improve soil structure. Calendula has fungicidal and insecticidal properties that sanitize the soil.

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History of the Flower

The name of the calendula flower is directly related to the peculiar behavior of this plant. The bright yellow flowers, which resemble the sun, turn their heads to follow it. The petals of the Calendula bloom as the sun rises and gather in a bunch at night. The ancient Romans called the calendula a sunflower or sun dial, believing that the plant announced the beginning of a new day and the beginning of the night. Hence the flower’s name, calendae, is translated from Latin as “the first day of the month.”

The ancient Romans and then the ancient Greeks recognized the medicinal properties of this plant and began to use it extensively in medicine. Soon the fame of the wonderful flower reached Europe.
Calendula, in the language of flowers, symbolizes constancy in love. Therefore, for centuries, grooms gave their beloved bunches and baskets of these flowers. Garlands and bouquets of Calendula served as decorations for weddings, and girls decorated themselves with wreaths of “sunny” flowers on various holidays.

Growing Calendula From Seeds

In the garden or the bed, seeds can be sown in the spring (about mid-April) or in the fall (mid-October).

Spring planting requires well-heated and dried soil from the thawed snow. It is recommended to dig it beforehand, approximately 10-15 days before sowing the seeds, introducing a variety of nutrient fertilizers in the process. Each square meter of the land area will require humus – 3-4 kg, superphosphate, potassium chloride – 20 g, and urea – 30 g. If the future flower bed digging is carried out in the fall, then humus is added to the soil, as well as fertilizers containing potassium and phosphorus. In spring, it will remain to feed the flower beds with nitrogen additives.
The depth of planting seeds – is 2 cm at maximum. The scheme of planting differs for different species and varieties. Decorative varieties are sown at a distance of 20-30 cm between rows – of 60-70 cm. Medicinal species – at a distance of 7-10 cm, between the rows – 30-40 cm.

The first shoots will appear in 7-10 days, and in 15-20 days, the first thinning of seedlings is carried out, after which a desert section of about 35 cm should appear between crops. Young plants removed in the thinning process will quickly take root in a new place, so they should not be discarded. The first flowering after sowing the seeds in the open ground can be seen in 2-2.5 months.

Calendula Seedlings

When planting seedlings in the open ground, the flowering of Calendula can begin much earlier. Its cultivation begins from the twentieth of March to the tenth of April. Seeds are sown in planting boxes or small plastic cups filled with soil for garden flower crops. The depth of planting the seeds is 1-2 cm. Soil with the seeds moistened and covered with plastic for 6-10 days until the first shoots appear Containers should be kept in a bright room at room temperature. Seedlings should be protected from direct sunlight. Later, seedlings are grown at a temperature of about 15 degrees Celsius.

Basic care for young plants is to moisten the substrate in containers moderately and regularly application of fertilizers (once every 10-15 days). It is recommended to use a weak concentration of complex mineral fertilizer as a fertilizer. With the appearance of 2-3 full-fledged leaves, you can carry out picking. Seedlings are transplanted into individual cups or thinning, leaving an interval between them of at least 5 cm.

Planting Calendula in the Open Ground

Seedlings should be planted in open flower beds when the weather is warm, and the plants have at least 5-6 fully developed leaves. The most favorable time for this is the second half of May.
Calendula is highly resistant to cold and light frosts, but you should prevent this by hardening the seedlings. Containers in which the seedlings grow, it is recommended within 7-10 days before planting in the open ground every day to take them out into the fresh air for 5-6 hours (for example, on the open veranda or the not-glazed balcony).

Planting Rules

The flower bed should be in an open sunny place with fertile and drained soil. When choosing a site, it is worth remembering that the root system of Calendulanegatively affects the planted nearby basil and radish. Still, it is a reliable protector from pests for many other vegetable and garden plants. The specific aroma of Calendula repels mites and butterflies, so it is recommended to plant Calendula in between the rows in vegetable beds.

The scheme of planting seedlings is similar to the scheme of sowing seeds. It also differs in medicinal and ornamental species and varieties. The first flowering in the seedling method begins in 1.5-2 months.

Care of Calendula in the Garden

You can spend a little free time and effort on cultivating Calendulas. The unpretentiousness of this flowering plant allows you to do it with minimal effort.


    Regular watering is not required for the plants; the only exception is prolonged dry weather.


    It is recommended to loosen the soil and remove weeds in time throughout the flowering period.

    Fertilizer and nutrients

    Comprehensive mineral fertilizers should be applied once a month throughout the summer and autumn seasons.


    Prolong the flowering period will require regular pruning of the opened inflorescences – baskets. Without this procedure, the Calendula will stop flowering after a month. Continuous removal of the opened flowers will promote the formation of many new buds and abundant and prolonged flowering.

Calendula After Flowering

To prevent self-seeding, putting small bags of gauze or thin chintz fabric over the ripening seeds is recommended. This way, the seeds can be collected after they are fully ripe in one piece. We recommend storing the seeds in small paper or cloth bags in a dark, dry place.

Annual species of Calendula after the end of flowering are removed from the bed and disposed of. The ground should be recultivated, fertilized, and left until the following season.

Types of Calendulas

1. Calendula Officinalis

The Calendula species that is most well-known is Calendula officinalis. Calendula officinalis is also known by common names: marigold, pot marigold, Scotch marigold, and ruddles. It comes from southern Europe. It is a short-lived herbaceous perennial that only reaches a height of around 80 cm. Calendula officinalis has either upright stems or branching branches. Pot Calendula leaves are oblong-lanceolate and range from 2 to 7 inches. Both the outside and inner surfaces are covered in hair. Additionally, the leaves have edges that follow their entire length. The blooms are grouped in yellow flower clusters.

2. Calendula Arvensis

Field Calendula is the common name for Calendula arvensis. It is a species that has been imported to other parts of the world but is native to Southern and Central Europe.

It is an annual or biennial herb and reaches a height of around 50 cm. Field Calendula has lance-shaped leaves. They are produced by petioles that appear on slender, hairy stems.

A solitary, approximately 4 cm broad flower head makes up the inflorescence. Around yellow disc florets in the inflorescence is a brilliant yellow-orange floret ray. Field Calendula produces achene, which can have any shape, including a ring shape.

The plant Calendula arvensis is flexible and low-maintenance. They function well in average to poor, well-drained fertility soil. They require periodic watering. They thrive in situations with both direct sunlight and shade.

They thrive in shaded settings because they like chilly temperatures. Deadheading, on occasion, can encourage blooming from the spring until the fall.

3. Calendula Maritima

The Sea Marigold or Trailing Marigold is another name for the plant Calendula maritima. A highly rare species known as calendula maritima has been listed as endangered. Only the Sicilian coast contains it (only 5 small cities in East Sicily).

A perennial plant is called calendula maritima. It can reach heights of 20–40 cm. The surface of the leaves is covered with short, sticky fur. The leaves are meaty and smell rather strongly. The leaves can be either egg-shaped or linear. On the undersides, the stems are lignified.

Calendula maritima plants require little upkeep. In relatively fertile soil, they can grow. Regularly, they require little watering. They can flourish in neutral, basic, or acidic soil pH. Both the sun and regions with some cover don’t bother them.

4. Calendula Palaestina

Palestine Marigold is the common name for Calendula Palestina. They are annual plants with a 40 cm maximum height. The leaves range from 2.5 to 10 cm long and up to 20 mm broad. The margins of the flat, hairy, and rough leaves are wavy and toothed. The leaves have pointy points. The petals and centers of Palestine Marigold flower heads are yellow.


Usually, calendula blooms 3-4 weeks after sprouting, and immediately you can collect its medicinal inflorescences-baskets. Interestingly, the concentration of medicinal substances in the inflorescences depends directly on the brightness of the color – the brighter the flowers, the higher the concentration in them.

The more flowers you pick, the more new ones will bloom, and the more the blooms will last up to frost. If you do not remove the calendula flowers, the flowering will end in July. In August, the ripe seeds must be collected to prevent unwanted self-seeding.

The unfolded inflorescences are collected in dry weather, selecting only the marginal baskets that have taken a horizontal position. Dry the flowers in the shade until they disintegrate from light pressure on them with the fingers. It should be noted that collecting calendula is not recommended for people suffering from bronchial asthma, as the plant’s pollen can provoke allergies.


Where is the best place to plant calendula?

Choose a sunny place on your plot. Calendula needs to be more present and more relevant to the quality of the soil. You can do without mineral fertilizers. It is enough to apply 3-4 kg of compost to each square meter of the bed, dig the soil to the spade bayonet, and level the surface with a rake.

What month does the Calendula bloom?

Calendula blooms from June to November. The medicinal Calendula grows in the Mediterranean and surrounding areas in its wild form.

How to plant calendula at home?

Calendula seeds are sown in the ground at a depth of 1-2 cm at intervals of 25-30 cm from each other, and the distance between the rows leaves about 60-70 cm if you grow calendula because of its decorative qualities, but if you need calendula as a medicine, the interval between the rows can be less – 30-40 cm.