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Pot marigold is an easy to grow, prolific and very pretty hardy annual flower. The flowers are edible, use them fresh in salads and for colouring rice. The plants bloom fairly quickly, normally in 2 months. Prefers sunny location, can be grown in any soil type. Recommended as a companion plant by many gardeners to grow around tomatoes, peppers to repel black and green flies and other harmful insects.
Very easy to grow from seeds and the seedlings are the cutest you can imagine. And the flowers produce lots of seeds which can be saved easily. Wait until the flower heads get swollen and leave them on the plants to dry out. Just before the seed head completely dry pick them and expose the seeds by gentle rubbing the head between your palms. Place the seeds on a newspaper and put them in a dry, airy place in your shed or house. In about a week the seeds will be completely dry and ready to store in a cool and dark place. This is an easy method to save your flower seeds for next year, most flowers can be left on the plants and seeds can be saved from them very easily.
The plant extract is widely used in cosmetics. Calendula officinalis ointment is used in the treatment of skin disorders, for pain, and as an antiseptic.
Sow the Calendula officinalis seeds from late March onwards inside or outside from May, in small pots, or in fine seedbed. Sow the marigold seeds about 1 cm deep and keep them at a temperature of 18-22 Celsius. The best place to start them off is an unheated greenhouse in April. Can be sown directly outside from late May onwards all the way till July for late flowering.
Transplant outside from late May, to a sunny/partly shady position. Acclimatize the young plants to outdoor conditions before planting to final position. Leave 20-30 cm between the plants. Remove the dead flower heads continuously during the summer months, this will encourage the plants to produce more and more flowers throughout the whole growing season. Pot marigold reseed easily and the next spring you will have small marigold seedlings popping up where you had the plants the previous year.
Pot marigold is really a very useful plant and. It can be used as an insect repellent around tomatoes, beans, peppers. It is an attractive addition to your vegetable patch or flower border and also the flowers are edible giving a wonderful orange colour to your summer salads.