Growing Pot Marigold (Calendula)

October 5, 2006

Botanical Name:

Calendula officinalis

Common names:

Pot Marigold


The Pot Marigold is an easy-to-grow, low maintenance addition to any herb garden. Its yellow or orange edible flowers and dark green foliage add a cheerful splash of color from mid summer until past the first frosts of fall. Choose from cultivars with traditional single blooms or large double blooms in whichever size (dwarf, standard or giant) fits your garden.

Life Cycle:

hardy annual


full sun


Pot marigolds will grow in almost any type of soil. Sow Marigold seeds directly into the garden in the spring and in pots and window boxes outdoors. In mild zones, sow in the fall for mid to late spring flowers. Thin seedlings to 6-8 inches apart when they are big enough to handle. Flowers not removed will reseed themselves.



Parts Used:

flowers and leaves

Harvesting and Storage:

Use fresh petals and leaves as needed.

Medicinal Uses:

digestive aid; antiseptic; treatment of cold sores; diaper rash; athlete's foot; menopause symptoms

Culinary Uses

Petals: rice, cheese, meat dishes, wine and salads

Other Uses:

skin care; hair care; garlands; yellow dye (petals); companion plant in the vegetable garden; flowers garden beds, borders and edgings
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July 17, 2008


How much water do Marigold seeds require without over watering? I do not have a green thumb but want to get a garden going.

Hardiness Zone: 5b


Ronald from Crystal Lake, IL


Hi Ronald,

You never know, you may have a greener thumb than you think! Marigolds are easy to start from seed. They sprout readily in pots or you can sow them directly into the soil. Here is all you need to know about growing them:

If you are growing them in pots, start them indoors about six to eight weeks before your last frost date, otherwise plant them directly in the ground in a sunny location. They prefer to grow in rich, well-drained soil, but they are also quite tolerant of less-than-ideal soil conditions. When you go to sow your seeds, the seeds are not fussy about how they lay in the soil, but they do appreciate being covered with _ inch of soil. Keep the soil moist, but not wet, especially until the seeds have sprouted. "Moist but not wet" is a good rule to follow no matter what type of flower or vegetable seeds you are sprouting. For seeds sown indoors, misting the soil with a hand-held spray bottle can be helpful for keeping the soil moist without worrying about washing away the seeds.


Once your marigolds emerge, thin them to 8-18 inches apart. Once established, adults marigolds generally continue to grow quite well even if neglected. Deadhead spent blooms to extend the flowering season. Toward the end of the season, let some of the blooms dry out on the stem and cut them off to save seeds for next year.

Insect pests are generally not a problem with marigolds (they don't like them), but slugs do find them rather tasty and can decimate whole rows of them overnight.

Good luck!



May 31, 20080 found this helpful

Sprinkle with a fine mist several times a day. Let it soak in a little at a time. Seeds should be kept moist, but not wet.

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