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7 Reasons You Want to Plant Calendula

7 Reasons You Want to Plant Calendula!

Calendula is one of those amazing and versatile plants that I started growing a few years ago. It had always held a fascination, the medicinal properties, the edible-ness of its bright, cheery blooms, and its tough ability to grow anywhere and adapt.

The best part is that it self-sows, throwing seeds abundantly all around itself to come back in the spring. It is a ‘plant once’ type of seed, and you never have to worry about it again.

7 Top Reasons to Plant Calendula!

  1. It forms a nice dense mat, if left to its own devices that works as a mulch, helping to smother weeds. At the same time, it’s not invasive. It’s very easy to pull up at any stage and to clear for other plants. There are no underground roots that spread unendingly, like mint.
  2. You can transplant the plants to other areas if you don’t want them growing where ever they pop up. 
  3. They are drought-hardy, cool wet weather hardy, and just about everything else you can think of in the hardy department. I have found them popping up in the deep shade of the hardy kiwi vines, and out in the hottest parts of the garden. They seem to grow in all varieties of soil. 
  4. Calendula is a wonderful companion plant for other plants, drawing in beneficial predator insects as well as pollinators to your garden. 
  5. Once they start blooming, usually around the beginning of summer, they go right to the end of the season. I have pictures somewhere of them still in bloom in the first sleety snowfalls of late autumn. They are frost hardy to be sure. 
  6. Because they are this frost-hardy, they are a good source of food for the bees in late autumn before they go into their hives for the winter.
  7. The best part is the variety of uses it has. All parts of the plant is edible. The flowers were traditionally used in cooking pots, providing a beautiful yellow coloring, and mild flavor, and were known as ‘poor man’s saffron’. Hence the term pot marigolds.

Traditional Medicinal Uses for Calendula

Disclaimer: Always check with your doctor before using herbal teas or medicines, as they can interact with your current medications. Do not use if you are pregnant or nursing, or trying to get pregnant. 

  • It is traditionally used in salves, and skin creams, and is said to have a mild soothing effect. It was used to help treat skin conditions, like acne, and other issues. If you like making your own salves and lotions, you can make an infusion with the flowers and add it to your recipe. 
  • A cup of tea -no more than 2-3 cups per day – was said to help fight colds and flu.
  • A poultice of leaves on bruises and injuries was thought to help with healing and have antiviral and antibacterial effects. 

How to Make Calendula Salve

A simple recipe to use the properties of the flower for scrapes and mild bruising, this is one of the easiest recipes you will ever find.

  • Collect 4 good handfuls of calendula blossoms and wash in cool water
  • In a glass bowl, put the blossoms, and 1 cup of vasaline or coconut fat, or a similar fat that is solid at room temperature.
  • You can add other dried or fresh herbs and flowers if you like, like lavender, or herbs like rosemary or thyme for a more herbal scent.
  • Put the glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, not a rolling boil, but just at a simmer. Let the fat melt, and mix with the blossoms, and cover. Let simmer for at least a half hour.
  • Remove from the heat and strain through a strainer into sterile jar. When its cooled some but still able to be stirred, add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil, like chamomile or peppermint to add a little bit of a tingle to the mixture. 
  • Add Arnica oil to the mixture to help with aches and bruising.

It makes a soothing ointment for scraped knees and elbows, or hands that have been worked too much in the garden.

Does this inspire you to plant and use Calendula? Let me know in the comments below! I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

 

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “7 Reasons You Want to Plant Calendula

  1. I love the plant. It does all you say. So cheerful in the garden and lasted so long. I use it in cooking, salads and to make a wonderful salve

  2. Yes, I love Calendulas as well. 🙂 Last year we were very dry in my area and only a few lonely Calendulas showed up. They may do better this year since my particular area has been getting more snow and thus may have more ground water. If not, I will plant more Calendulas. They’re so bright and cheerful in addition to all their other goodness.

    1. Oh I hope you have lots. It is very coastal and damp where I live so maybe that’s why they explode in the spring so well. Once they are established though, and the summer gets hot, I find they are very drought tolerant. Granted, I don’t live in Arizona or places that are desert either. Thanks so much for sharing Debbie!

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