Calendula is such a universal flower that every gardener grows it on a flower bed or on a lawn with great pleasure. Calendula is a herbaceous perennial plant, but grown as an annual one. Calendula Officinalis has already settled in many gardens of the world as an ornamental and medicinal plant. Its petals are often used for cooking food dyes. Calendula has medicinal properties and is found in many herbal teas and medicines.
Calendula has a compact shrub up to 2ft (0.6 m). Its flowers are bright yellow baskets with a diameter of 2.8 inches (7 cm). They can be double, semi-double, and simple. The leaves are slightly hairy, but rough. To keep a bush as decorativeas possible all summer long, it’s important to remove deflorate flowers regularly, as it prolongs the flowering of calendula. In fact, calendula flowers throughout the summer, and its seeds grow gradually by autumn.
Calendula Growing Conditions
If a few calendula varieties are planted next to each other, they are then easily re-pollinated. If these seeds are not collected, they fall off and calendula grows through self-seeding. In this case, the plant loses its varietal quality. The flowers become smaller and not double. Therefore, in order to preserve the calendula varieties, a single type should be planted in a flowerbed.
Calendula seeds have a period of rest, causing them to germinate within only 6 months after their collection.
Calendula is an amazing plant, because its vitality is striking. It can grow in poor and drought-resistant soil. But, if you put it in some fertile soil and water during the dry days, a bush of calendula can turn into a luxurious decorative plant, sick-sown with bright orange or yellow flowers.
Calendula is grown in USDA areas 2-10.
Calendula grows well and blooms in the full sun; it can tolerate light shade. Calendula starts flowering 2 months after it is planting. If the summer is very hot, it slows its growth and the plant continues to bloom when the temperature is more comfortable. In temperate climates, calendula bush appears picturesque all the season, but only with periodical watering. The soil for calendula can vary, but it grows best in acidic with pH 5.5 - 7.0.
To make the bush slightly hairy, the main offshoot is pinched at a height of 16 inches (40 cm). If you cut the flowers, calendula will bush and flower more intensely.
Popular Varieties of Calendula
There are many varieties that look spectacular on a flower-bed. There are popular medicinal varieties with dark-orange single flowers, such as ‘Alpha’, ‘Indian Prince’ flowers with a red tint, ‘BC Glow’ with bright-yellow flowers, and ‘Lemon’ with soft lemon colored flowers. Flowers like ‘Pink Surprise’ have outer petals with a lighter shade, but the ‘Pacific Beauty’ variety has ones that are yellow, double, and large.
There are some varieties with variegated leaves of yellow color, for example, ‘Variegata’.
How do you Plant Calendula?
Calendula is planted by seeds. Sow calendula close to the winter and in the spring. In order to get a luxurious bush, sow the seeds into the moist soil at a distance of 16 inches (40 cm). In 7-10 days, it is important to bury them at a depth of 1inch (2. cm). Planting can also be done before the winter.
Caring for calendula requires cleaning the soil from weeds, cultivating it, and periodical watering. During flowering, you have to remove all deflorate baskets.
The useful properties of calendula allow for storing up its flowers. The brighter the color of the flower is, the more healing substances are present in the calendula.
If a person is allergic to pollen, it is important to collect plants with caution.
Useful Properties of Calendula
Calendula is useful for the soil in which it grows, especially regarding the surrounding plants and the person who has planted it.
1. Calendula disinfects the soil from plant pathogens. It is useful to plant it among the garden crops, strawberries, and roses. Calendula prevents root rotting as well.
2. When planted among vegetable crops, calendula’s smell scares away cabbage flies, caterpillars, and nematodes. Calendula is planted far from radish and basil, as it slows down the development of these plants.
3. Calendula is used as a constituent of soup garnish. To do this, calendula flowers are collected, dried in the shade, and then dried in an oven. After that, they are crushed and added to food to improve taste.Calendula petals can be added to salads.
4. Officinal properties of calendula are confirmed by pharmacological studies.
5. Calendula has anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties. It prevents harmful effects of various toxic substances that cause genetic mutations and cancer.