Calendula officinalis. Fiesta Gitana calendula seeds are a dwarf selection of double flowers in a rich, warm range of colours from deep orange to pastel cream. Plants are compact, growing to only 30-35cm (12-14") tall, so they are perfectly suited for containers or edging the garden bed. The flower petals are edible, and look superb sprinkled over salads and smart drinks for your summer parties. Keep Fiesta Gitana calendula deadheaded for the tidiest look and the longest flowering period. Simply pull or snip off any flowers the day after they fade. Once established, Calendula need little care, so they make good candidates for xeriscaping.
Annual flowers also known as English marigolds or pot marigolds. Calendula repels a number of bad nematodes in the soil, but may attract slugs. Plant with tomatoes and asparagus. Follow along with this handy How to Grow Calendula Guide and grow some sunshine in your garden this summer.
Season & Zone
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Direct sow in early spring (around the end of February on the coast), when light frost is still a possibility and continue to sow until early summer for fall flowers. Calendula is easiest from direct sowing, but can also be started indoors late February to mid-March for transplanting in April. If starting indoors, maintain darkness and a soil temperature of 21°C (70°F) until germination occurs in 6-14 days, and then supply bright light to keep seedlings compact. Or direct sow in early autumn in Zones 8-10.
Sow seeds 5mm (¼”) deep, and aim for a spacing of 15-45cm (6-18″) between plants.
Calendula grows easily in any regular garden soil, and thrives in a pH range of 5.5-7.0. Pinch back young plants to encourage bushy growth. Occasional feeding is rewarded, but unnecessary. Keep plants watered, but try to avoid overhead watering as plants are susceptible to mildew. Deadhead regularly to prevent self-sowing.
Calendula repels a number of bad nematodes in the soil, but may attract slugs. Plant with tomatoes and asparagus.
More on Companion Planting.