How to grow calendula

How to grow calendulas

Find out how to grow calendulas, or pot marigolds, in this detailed Grow Guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow
Sow

Do not Sow in January

Do not Sow in February

Do Sow in March

Do Sow in April

Do not Sow in May

Do not Sow in June

Do not Sow in July

Do not Sow in August

Do not Sow in September

Do not Sow in October

Do not Sow in November

Do not Sow in December

Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does flower in May

Plant does flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does flower in September

Plant does flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Take cuttings
Take cuttings

Do not Take cuttings in January

Do not Take cuttings in February

Do not Take cuttings in March

Do not Take cuttings in April

Do not Take cuttings in May

Do Take cuttings in June

Do Take cuttings in July

Do not Take cuttings in August

Do not Take cuttings in September

Do not Take cuttings in October

Do not Take cuttings in November

Do not Take cuttings in December

Pot marigold, Calendula, is a joyful flower. The simple, daisy-like blooms in yellow and orange come in single, semi-double or fully double forms. These traditional cottage garden plants were often used in healing remedies and have added benefits as the petals are edible and they make good companion plants for vegetables. The nectar-rich flowers of calendula are known for attracting bees, predatory, aphid-eating hoverflies, and other pollinators. You can grow them at the front of borders and use them in containers and window boxes.

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How to grow calendula

Grow calendula in moist but well-drained soil or compost. Keep plants well watered during dry weather sand collect seed in autumn to sow immediately or the following spring.

More on growing calendula:


Where to grow calendulas

How to grow calendula - calendula growing in a raised vegetable bed
How to grow calendula – calendula growing in a raised vegetable bed

For best results, grow calendulas in light, nutrient-poor, free-draining soil in sun or partial shade.


How to plant calendulas

How to grow calendula - sowing calendula seed
How to grow calendula – sowing calendula seed

Calendulas are easy to grow from seed. Sow under cover in autumn for early flowering the following year or in April. Or you can sow directly into the soil from late April. It takes up to 12 weeks from sowing to the first flowers.

Follow David Hurrion’s No Fuss video guide to sowing calendula and other hardy annuals, in a prepared seedbed:


How to propagate calendulas

How to grow calendula - taking calendula cuttings
How to grow calendula – transplanting calendula seedlings

Calendulas will often self-seed quite happily, and you can save seed at the end of the summer to sow the next season. However, the best way to ensure continuity of your favourite variety is to take cuttings in summer.


Calendulas: problem solving

Calendula are generally trouble-free, but some varieties may be more prone to mildew. Make sure you keep the soil around the plants weed-free and well-mulched to retain moisture.


How to care for calendulas

Deadhead spent blooms to prolong flowering and pinch out shoots to encourage bushy growth. If specifically growing for cut flowers, pinch out the terminal buds to encourage more flowers. Cut back after flowering.


Great calendula varieties to grow

How to grow calendula - calendulas to grow
How to grow calendula – calendulas to grow
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  • Calendula ‘Fruit Twist’ – produces bright orange flowers with red tips. It’s perfect for growing in pots on the patio and makes a delightful cut flower
  • Calendula ‘Indian Prince’ – a slightly taller variety, growing to around 70cm, and makes a great cut flower. The orange, daisy-like flowers are tinged with a reddish-brown blush
  • Calendula ‘Fiesta Gitana’ – an early-flowering dwarf calendula with semi-double flowers that are yellow or orange. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM)
  • Calendula officinalis ‘Pink Surprise’ – has delicately ruffled, soft orange flowers, tinged with pink. It’s perfect for growing in pots on the patio and makes a good cut flower