Pot Marigold CALENDULA

This old garden plant was once widely used as a kitchen herb but now it is grown as a trouble-free, summer-flowering annual. Like radishes in the vegetable garden, the Pot Marigold is a favourite starter plant for young children. A pinch of seed in spring and in about 10 weeks masses of flowers appear above the hairy, pungent leaves. Pinch out growing points on young stems to encourage bushiness.

VARIETIES: There are now many variations on the flat, orange flowers borne on the old-fashioned C. officinalis of the cottage garden. The colours range from the 1/2 ft ‘Lemon Queen’ (yellow) to the 2 ft Chrysanthemum-like ‘Geisha Girl’ (reddish-orange). ‘Radio’ has orange, fluted petals and ‘Art Shades’ has pastel flowers – apricot, cream, etc. The best compact variety is the 1 ft’Fiesta Gitana’.

SITE AND SOIL: Thrives best in poor soil in sun or partial shade.

PLANT DETAILS: Height 1-2 ft.

Spacing: 1 ft.

Flowering period: June-October.

PROPAGATION: Sow seeds in September or March where they are to flower. Thin to required spacing.

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