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How to Grow Calendula Flowers
Also known as "Pot Marigolds", Calendulas are prolific producers of orange, yellow, and lemon colored flowers. This easy to grow, prolific bloomer is perfect for beginning home gardeners and kids. Flowers begin to bloom in early to mid-summer, and will continue until frost. Calendulas reseed readily, for future years.
Thanks to a long, sturdy stem, Calendulas are a good cut flower for indoor arrangements. Make sure to check the flowers for aphids, before bringing them indoors. They would be more popular in vases, but they give off a strong, unpleasant odor.
Calendula plants are grown from seeds. Sow seeds directly into the flower garden, early in the season. Cover the seeds with 1/4" of garden soil. The seeds germinate in 7-14 days, and begin growing quickly. Flowers will start blooming by early to mid summer.
After the flowerheads have died, you will see many large seeds. They readily fall to the ground and reseed the flowerbed for next year. Or, harvest and dry seeds, to plant next year.
How to Grow Calendula Plants and Flowers:
Growing Calendula is easy. They prefer full sun to partial shade. They prefer rich, well drained soil, but will grow in average to slightly poor soils. Improve soil quality prior to planting with compost. Add a general purpose fertilizer once a month, especially if the soil is poor.
Water the plants during dry periods, once or twice per week. Avoid wetting the leaves, as disease problems can be a problem.
Add mulch around the plants for appearance, and to keep weeds down.
Early in the summer, your plants will begin to produce large flowers on long stems. They will continually produce flowers, even after the first light frost. As you pick the flowers for indoor arrangements, look carefully on the stem and the undersides of the leaves for aphids.
Pinch back plants for bushier growth. Remove dead flowers to promote more blooms, and to maintain an attractive appearance.
Calendula is hardier than most annuals. It will continue growing, until a heavy frosts or freeze arrives.
Insect and Disease:
Insects like Calendulas. Aphids are a big, common problem. Treat regularly and often with insecticides, or repellents.
Check flowers closely before bringing indoors.
Plant mildew problems are also common in hot, humid weather or rainy weather. Use fungicides as soon as mildew problems appear.
Calendula petals are used in soups, stews and salads. Now, I bet you didn't know that!!
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