Calendula officinalis, often simply called calendula, is an annual blooming plant often grown by gardeners and landscapers because of their cheerful orange and and yellow long stemmed blooms. Interestingly, calendula flowers are also edible, and are frequently added by gourmands to soups, salads and other dishes for flavoring and color. The one downside to calendulas are that not everyone considers the fragrance they emit as pleasant, and for this reason they are more frequently grown outdoors. Learn more about growing and caring for calendula and decide whether this long blooming, easygoing plant will be at home in your garden or landscape setting.
Calendula requires full to partial sunlight and prefers enriched soil, but is not as particular about soil type. Mature calendula will reach two feet high by one half foot wide, so spacing should be at least 12 to 15 inches for air circulation and to avoid overcrowding. Calendula are grown from seeds or young established plants and should be sown early in the springtime for best results. Avoid planting calendula in shade or in areas where there is high heat.
When installing calendula, be sure to thoroughly work through the soil before beginning to remove rocks, soil clumps, and other potential obstructions. Water should be offered by drip hose one to two times per week or as needed to keep soil moist. Fertilizer should be offered at least once per month as calendula grows, but can be stopped during the winter season. Mulching should be maintained between calendula plants to reduce the growth of weeds and hold in moisture. Calendula needs to be deadheaded to encourage reblooming throughout the summer bloom season. Calendula often fall prey to garden pests like aphids as well as fungal issues such as mildews. Water spray can remove aphids, and pesticides or fungicides can further treat disease issues.