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Calendula flowers have had a permanent home in my kitchen garden for many years. Each year, I add more varieties and the pollinators have helped to cross most of them, creating the most wonderful colour combinations.
I love calendula for the pollinator benefits, their skin healing properties in salves and creams, their gorgeous petals for use in tea and home recipes, and for cut flowers. In the past year, I have been pleased to see many new colour combinations, in addition to many of the old.
This most current calendula seed collection includes colours of picotee yellow, picotee orange, double orange, double yellow, rose tinged and now pinks, burgundy tinged petals, reds and more! All are medicinal and may be harvested as soon as the flowers open.
For the highest essential oil content, harvest your flowers in the morning, after the heads have opened and the morning dew has dried. Lay flowers flat to assist in drying open-faced, uniform flowers. I either dry them on racks, trays or directly in the dehydrator at a low temperature for quick drying. Store flower heads in airtight glass jars or remove the petals first. Either method is effective.
For more information on calendula, its uses, health benefits, growing tips and more, check out my recently published book, Tea Gardening for Beginners. There I cover calendula, along with 28 other plants, that may be grown to brew your own delicious cup of herbal tea.
Grow your own herbal medicine and tea and feed the pollinators. They make beautiful cut flowers and add an abundance of colour to your vegetable garden.
Sow seeds indoors at least 6 to 8 weeks before the final frost date, or sow directly in the garden 2 to 3 weeks before the final frost.
Deadhead spent flowers often to discourage seed production and to encourage continuous bloom.
Days to Maturity: 37
Packet: 1g (approximately 100 seeds)
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