(Calendula officinalis, Linn.)
It’s Latin name refers to the marigold’s flowering habit, signifying blooming through the months. Our word calendar is of the same derivation.
Native of southern Europe.
Marigold grows 1 foot tall
Short stems that branch near the base with lanceolate, oblong and unpleasantly scented leaves.
Marigold flowers are naturally yellow or orange flowers that form in heads. Recent years have brought white flowering varieties.
How to Grow Marigold
(seeds and seed harvest)
Sowing Marigold Seeds
Growing marigolds prefer poor soil that is light and sandy with a sunny exposure. Marigold is a favorite of gardeners because it is so easily grown and blooms from early summer even until hard frosts arrive
Seed is usually started indoors in flats. Keep thinned to maintain a 2 inch spacing between plants. Young growing marigolds can be sown in the open and transplanted when about 2 inches tall. After danger of frost has passed, plant seedlings 12-15 inches apart.
Marigolds are quite often relied upon for their ability to assist other plants. We suggest reviewing our marigold companion planting guide to ensure your take advantage of their beneficial properties.
Harvesting Marigold Seeds
Marigold seeds are fairly large and easy to harvest. Allow the flower heads to remain on the plant after blooming. When the petals are gone and the flower cup is brown, you should see the seeds sitting upright in the cup. The seeds are ripe when they have a straw-colored tail and a black pointed seed.
At one time fresh marigold flowers were used to color butter.
Dried Marigold Flowers.
For culinary use, gather marigold flowers when in full bloom and dry in the shade. Dried marigold flower heads are used in broths, soups and stews.