Calendula, or pot marigold, is an old-fashioned hardy annual herb that has been updated with large-flowered cultivars in sunny shades of yellow, buff, orange, and apricot. Seeds are large and easy to grow.
Description: Leaves are green rosettes that sport multiple stems of single or double daisylike flowers, which are sometimes crested in form. Height can be anywhere from one to two feet, and flowers may be two to four inches wide. Plants bloom and grow best during cool weather, but flowers close on cloudy days.
Propagation: In regions with hot summers, 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, start seeds indoors in summer for fall plants. In areas with mild summers, sow seeds directly in the ground in spring, after the danger of frost passes. In areas with mild winters, sow seeds in the ground or in pots in December. Seeds germinate in eight to ten days at 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Uses: Use in beds, containers, and toward the front of borders. The flowers appear on strong stems and make good cut flowers. The edible petals can be used either fresh or dry to add color to rice and salads.
Scientific name: Calendula officinalis
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