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April 2012
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Calendula officinalis L. also known as pot marigold belongs to daisy family.

Image of Calendula officinalis L. plant at Google

Calendula officinalis L. which is also known as Pot Marigold is a species of flowering plant that belongs to the daisy family which is also known by the common name field marigold.

It is native to southern Europe. It is also widely naturalised further north in Europe (north to southern England). It is an aromatic perennial plant that can grow up to a height of 80cm. The leaves are about 5-17cm long and are oblong-lanceolate. The leaves are hairy on both sides. The inflorescence is yellow. The flowerhead is 4-7cm in diameter. The disc florets are orange-yellow in color.

Other recorded English names include:
• Ruddles,
• Common Marigold,
• Garden Marigold,
• English Marigold,
• Scottish Marigold

Pot marigold florets are considered edible. They are often used to dishes as a garnish and in lieu of saffron. They are used in salads. Flowers were used in ancient Greek, Roman, Middle Eastern and Indian cultures as a medicinal herb. It was as well as a dye for fabrics, foods and cosmetics.

St. Hildegard of Bingen in the 11th Century dedicated the Calendula to the Virgin Mary and gave the flowers the name Mary’s Gold.

Calendula extracts have properties that are:
• anti-viral,
• anti-genotoxic,
• anti-inflammatory
• anti-tumor (cytotoxic) activity
• immunomodulatory properties

Growing/Caring conditions for Calendula officinalis L. – Pot Marigold

• This plant needs Full sun to partial shade to grow well.
• Sow seeds 5mm (¼”) deep.
• A spacing of 15-45cm (6-18″) should be there between plants.
• The plant grows well in Zone: 2-10.
• They are an annual in most places.
• Direct sow in early spring or Sow the seed in early summer.
• Put them right into the soil in your garden.
• One can also start them in seed trays.
• It is an easy way to start them and then transplant them.
• Put one or two of them in each tray.
• Fill two third of the tray first.
• Once you have got them in the tray, barely cover them up about a half an inch.
• Water them.
• Don’t use heavy pressure as it will just force the seeds back out.
• You can put a little cloth or piece of wet sheet on top.
• The water will just drip down or mist it.
• They will come up in the Summer time very quickly within two weeks.
• They will bloom through the Fall.
• Save the seeds in the Fall.
• Restart them again in the Spring.
• Transplant the seedlings in April.
• While starting indoors, one should maintain darkness and a soil temperature of 21°C (70°F).
• Germination occurs usually in 6-14 days.
• Supply bright light to keep seedlings compact.
• Calendula thrives in a pH range of 5.5-7.0.
• Pinch back young plants to encourage bushy growth.
• Occasional feeding is rewarded.
• Keep plants watered.
• Avoid overhead watering as plants are susceptible to mildew. Deadhead regularly to prevent self-sowing.

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