Calendula, Orange

 Calendula Calendula Officinalis

Please note the seeds will look broken into segments, this is normal for this plant and the small pieces will germinate.  Plant all the small pieces for best results. Calendula has bright yellow and orange flowers, historically used for medicinal and culinary purposes, result from easy calendula care when growing this simple flower. Commonly called the pot marigold, the calendula flower has long been a staple in British cottage gardens. Petals of the calendula flower are used in cooking and were used as yellow coloring in cheeses and butters in centuries past. When used in stews, broths and salads, petals of the calendula flower add a spicy taste similar to saffron to many dishes.

All parts of calendula plants are useful in many ways. It is said to stimulate the immune system and is currently used as an ingredient in many cosmetics. Flowers and leaves of the calendula may be dried and stored for later use. In the vegetable garden, calendula draws aphids away from valuable plants.

Planting Calendula

While starting seeds of the Calendula is not necessarily difficult, the right conditions will make the process successful. Sow Caledula seeds directly in the ground in the spring when the threat of frost has passed or start in containers several weeks before transplanting into soil. Keep the ground moist but not wet for the first couple of weeks. When the seedlings stand about 3 inches tall, thin them out to at least 8-10 inches apart. Pick a sunny, well-drained spot for planting for the best performance. Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position.

Height: 12-18”" inches Spacing: 8-10" inches Depth: 1/2  inch Germination: 10-15 days Starting from Seed Indoors

Place a few seeds (5 to 10) into each pot and push them into the soil with your finger. Cover the seeds to a depth of approximately 1/2 inches of the potting mix. Mist each  pot with water until the soil appears moist. Place the pots in an area which will provide both light (which is required for germination) and heat, preferably about 65 to 70 degrees F and at least 8 hours of light each day. Check on the seeds every day and keep the seeds damp but not drenched by misting with your plant mister. You should see sprouting in about 10 to 15 days. Once your seedlings have reached about 2 to 3 inches in height, choose an area in your garden to transfer them. You can also use containers like barrels or clay pots. Dig holes twice the width and depth of each of your pots. Fill up each hole with water then let it drain off. Place a pot in the hole center and level so that your seedling is at the same level as the surrounding soil. Push dirt in carefully all the way to fill the hole back up. Water each seedling carefully so as not to soak the leaves or stem.

Direct-seeding into the Garden

Turn over the area you've selected to a depth of approximately 1-2 inches. Rake the area until it's level and smooth. Water the area until the soil is damp but not saturated. Scatter the seeds in the area. Gently rake the area to distribute the seeds further and protect them from birds. Or, press the seeds into the soil and cover with no more than 1/2 inches of soil. You can also place 2 to 3 seeds every 3 to 4 inches in rows approximately 8-10 inches apart, and cover seeds with 1/2 inches of soil. Place planting stakes around the area so you will know where to water. Check on your seeds about once a day. Make sure to mist the soil whenever it appears dry. Germination for Calendula flower plants is approximately 10 to 15 days, depending on the warmth of the soil.   

Germination Problems

Growing plants from seeds successfully depends on a lot of factors and this makes it impossible to guarantee success on every batch of seeds planted.  Factors include, soil composition, PH, temperature, moisture levels, seed depth, soil density, seed viabilty, seed storage and many others.  We tested the germination of all our seeds and this seed variety is around 80%, but your results may vary based on exactly how you plant and all the environmental factors.  Good luck.