Growing Tips: Calendula

Quick Reference:

Annual, a plant that completes it’s life cycle in one season. Germinates in 10 days when the soil temperature is between 50 and 59 degrees F. Seed requiress darkness to germinate, In the garden space seed 2 to 3 inch apart and cover seed with 1/4 inch fine soil. Ideal spacing for mature plants in the garden is 9 to 10 inches. Mature plant height: 12 to 16 inches.

When and where to plant: Calendula is an easy to grow annual that will bloom in late summer in Alaska when the seed is planted directly in the garden. It is recommended that the seed of this easy to transplant flower be started indoors 4 to 5 weeks before the last frost to provide bloom over a longer season. Fill a container that has drainage holes with a sterilized potting soil, sprinkle seed on soil surface, cover seed completely, darkness is needed for germination, firm soil over seed, water well and keep moist at all times until seedlings emerge. When seedlings show their first green leaves water with a liquid solution of plant food. Soon after the seedlings have their first true leaves transplant to individual plastic pots, water with a liquid solution of plant food every two weeks and grow in a sunny area that is cool at night, 50 to 55 degrees F, until the garden is ready. After the last frost transplant seedlings to a sunny area with rich, fertile soil after it has been prepared and enriched with plant food and organic matter.

Care: Keep soil well watered and apply plant food four weeks after the seedlings have been transplanted to the garden. Pick faded blooms to promote more flowers. Blooms over a long season and is tolerant to a light frost.