Calendula officinalis. Noted for its doubled double row of flower petals, Indian Prince Calendula has a bright golden colour on its surface. The bottom of each petal is a darker orange, so it takes on a unique two-tone effect viewed from the side. The petals are edible, with quite a mild flavour, so they add visual pop to recipes without effecting the overall taste. This unusual annual reaches a height of 60cm (24"), and blooms from early summer right into late August if spent flowers are removed. Try it in containers or any flower bed in full sun to partial shade. It looks grand in mass plantings. In the right setting, this plant may self-sow and return again the following year.
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.