Gardening Questions And Answers
Does Calendula Attract Pests? Calendula tends to be a pest magnet. This may sound like a bad thing, but look at it this way: If you grow calendula as a “trap crop,” the flowers will draw aphids, thrips, whiteflies, and other harmful pests away from more susceptible plants, like roses or vegetable plants.
The calendula flower or flowering herb is an annual which will readily reseed. Poor to average, well draining soil and only occasional watering after plants are established is the secret to growing prolific calendula plants. Like most herbs, calendulas are adaptable and do not require a lot of maintenance.
Additional problems with calendula include the fact that these plants may be susceptible to powdery mildew. This fungal disease causes white fungal patches on the leaves that easily spread to other plants. It is fostered by cool, wet weather. For fungal diseases, apply a fungicide and practice good garden sanitation.
Regular pinching keeps the 1-3 foot (30-90 cm.) plant bushy and prevents tall, spindly stalks. Now that you’ve learned how to grow calendulas, take advantage of their long-lasting blooms in the herb garden or light shade area. Experiment with use of calendula flower petals to replace saffron in recipes.
If sowing directly outdoors, put them in the ground a couple of weeks before you expect the last frost. The second important factor to note when planting calendula seeds is that light will disrupt germination. Make sure you cover the seeds with soil to a depth of about one-quarter to one-half inch (0.5 to 1.5 […]
In herbal medicine, calendula has been used to heal rashes, burns, and wounds, and the flower itself is edible. Bees love the plant’s flat, easy landing pads and profusion of pollen- and nectar-rich flowers. Calendula blooms all season long from spring through fall, and even moreso when picked and deadheaded regularly.
Diseases. Additional problems with calendula include the fact that these plants may be susceptible to powdery mildew. This fungal disease causes white fungal patches on the leaves that easily spread to other plants. It causes plants to become stunted with yellow-green leaves and flowers and eventual death.
It Depends on Your Climate. Technically a short-lived perennial, calendula is typically grown as an annual. It prefers cool temperatures and in warmer regions plants may stop blooming in temperatures above 85°F. In cold climates, plants will die off in a hard frost and seeds will need to be resown the following year.
Calendula plants require regular watering but never water so much that the soil becomes soggy. Calendula prefers a rich soil but will tolerate poor soils of many types. Calendula is monecious and has both male and female flowers on the same plant. It’s pollinated by bees, but can also self-pollinate.
Calendula plants are not frost tolerant, but they do prefer cooler temperatures. In the south, calendulas may bloom from late winter into spring then die back during the extreme heat of summer. In warm climates, most calendula are still treated like annuals because of their intolerance of the summer heat.
Potting and Repotting Calendula Most varieties grow well in containers, particularly shorter cultivars. Use any well-draining, organic potting soil, or make a mixture with a blend of half garden soil and half compost. Make sure the pot has plenty of drainage holes since this plant does not like to be soggy.