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Plant Care

How to Grow Calendula

Growing calendula, or pot marigolds, is a delightful addition to any garden. These vibrant flowers, blooming from June to September when sown in spring, or from May to July for autumn sowings, are not just visually appealing but also attract pollinating insects. Their edible petals add a splash of colour to salads and have been traditionally used for their healing properties, aiding in the treatment of skin issues and reducing pain and inflammation. Calendula can be used fresh or dried in teas, and its petals are ideal for creating balms. As a hardy annual, it withstands some frost, making it a relatively easy plant to grow.

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Grow Calendula From Seed

Calendula, known for its vibrant flowers, is straightforward to grow from seeds. These seeds don't need pre-treatment like soaking. You can either sow them directly in your garden or start them in trays and transplant them once they're stable. For direct sowing, plant the seeds about 15mm deep, spacing them 50-60cm apart in rows that are 60cm apart. Ensure the soil remains moist, avoiding both overly wet and dry conditions. Germination typically occurs in 7-14 days if the soil temperature is around 20-22°C. Protect the young seedlings from pests and harsh weather until they are fully established.

Sow them directly in your garden.

What Calendula Needs

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Watering: Calendula is drought-resistant but be sure to water in hot weather. Position: Plant calendula in well-drained loam, sand, or chalk soil. Best in full sun or partial shade. Protection: Keep snails away from eating the leaves of young plants.

Growing Calendula Across the Season

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Plant seeds early spring onward or start them indoors and set out the sturdy seedlings.

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Calendulas thrive in consistently moist soil; regular flower cutting encourages more blooms.

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Sow undercover calendula you want to bloom early next year.

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Plan which Calendula varieties you want to grow next year.

Calendula S.O.S.

Calendula plants face challenges like aphids, which are small sap-sucking insects causing leaf discolouration and wilting, managed by hose spraying or soap/alcohol sprays. Rust fungus, marked by orange-brown leaf spots, is controlled by proper plant spacing and avoiding over-fertilisation. Powdery mildew, presenting as white leaf spots, requires watering at soil level and good airflow. Slugs and snails, feeding on leaves, are controlled by habitat removal and traps. Spider mites, causing dry leaves, are managed with pruning and eco-friendly sprays.

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Avoid over feeding Calendula.

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