pot marigold, common marigold, English or Scottish marigold, garden marigold, ruddles
Herbaceous perennial in the daisy family (Asteraceae) with hairy, oblong to lanceolate leaves (5-15 cm long). In favourable growing conditions, Calendula officinalis flowers for most of the year (except in the heat of summer in warm areas) with pale yellow to bright orange flower heads (4-8 cm across). Depending on the cultivar, the flower-heads may have a definite centre (where the outer ray-florets are absent in the centre of the flower head) or they may be 'double' (where central disc florets are absent). The flowers are edible and petals (ray florets) can be added to salads and other dishes as garnish. Dried petals are sometimes treated as a substitute for saffron. The flowers also have various medicinal applications, and are used in dyes and cosmetics.
Calendula officinalis is very easy to grow from seed in a sunny or partially shaded position. Sow in spring in pots or directly in the garden. Any soil is suitable as long as it doesn't get waterlogged. Flowering can be prolonged by removing dead flower heads. Water during dry spells, but avoid spilling water on the leaves to prevent mildew. In mild climates, Calendula officinalis persists in the garden, but it does not survive the frosts in colder climates. In areas with extreme heat during summer, it also behaves as an annual, but since it self-seeds readily, even in such climates, Calendula officinalis usually becomes a permanent garden addition. Remove spent flower-heads before they go to seed if you are trying to confine them to a specific part of your garden.
Calendula officinalis is one of the most rewarding plants if you like bright colours. They flower for a very long time and multiply easily unless you deadhead them before they get a chance. They also make good cut flowers in particular the cultivars with long stems, lasting about a week on water.
Type of plantHerbaceous - Perennial
Size0.4-0.8 m tall depending on the cultivar
Landscape Useflower display, coastal gardens, cottage gardens, cut flowers, edible flowers, bedding plant
- Temperature: Frost tender
- Light: Medium High
- Moisture: Medium
- Soil: Light Medium Heavy
- Wind tolerance: Average
- Coastal tolerance: High