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(For some reason, I regularly companion these with tomatoes!)

  • Easy to grow indoors (start 6-8 weeks before last frost) or sow outdoors after last frost
  • Offer full sun and compost-rich soil or potting soil
  • Bloom all season long; deadhead and fertilize to increase blooms
  • Like marigolds, will help repel insects, so are great for companion planting

Plants prefer full sun but will tolerate light shade in warmer areas. Calendula is best planted in prepared garden beds or large containers filled with organic potting soil. Prior to planting in beds, work a shovelful or two of well-aged manure or compost into the ground to improve soil conditions. Calendula will self-sow yearly in many gardens and don't mind crowding. Direct-sow the seeds in early spring or late fall, as they can withstand some frost.

Water well throughout the gardening season. If desired, apply a liquid bloom fertilizer several times during the gardening season to promote big, beautiful blossoms. Pinch off spent flowers on a regular basis to extend the blooming period. Mulch to prevent weeds, conserve moisture and help keep roots cool.


Pick at peak, and pick frequently, as soon as the first flower opens. Harvesting flowers, pick as close to the flower as possible.

The best part is, the more flowers you pick, the more flowers your plant will produce. In peak conditions, that might mean every 3-4 days.


Drying Calendula is the most popular way to preserve the flowers. Do not wash the flowerheads. Dry small batches, immediately after harvest, in the dark by spreading flowers on a screen. Use of a dehydrator is an option as long as it does not exceed 95'F -- Calendula is very heat sensitive.

Seed Saving

If you do not harvest the flowers, the plants will dry and wither, and then go to seed.

Calendula will produce lots of seed in a similar fashion to a zinnia or marigold. When the blooms dry out, cut them off and hang upside down in bundles. The seeds are contained in the heads, and once dry and crisp, they can be lightly hand-crushed and winnowed from the seed chaff.


Use the entire flower head, not just the petals, in preparations for healing cuts, scrapes, burns, diaper rash, sores, ulcers, varicose veins, chapped skin and lips, and insect bites. Salves, oils, creams, and other preparations can be found in drugstores and natural food stores alike. Science shows that extracts of the flower heads have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects. And herbalists have long recommended tea infusions of calendula to help heal ulcers in the digestive tract, soothe gallbladder inflammation, and treat enlarged, sore lymph glands.


There’s no way to find or make 100 percent pure calendula extract. Calendula oil is extracted by making an oil from the flowers. Once it’s properly dried and placed in a high-grade carrier oil like extra-virgin olive oil or sunflower oil, it usually takes about a month for the calendula to thoroughly infuse into the carrier oil, producing a beautiful, richly colored final product.



Calms Muscle Spasms

Antimicrobial & Antiviral


1. Drinking calendula tea can help in the treatment of urinary tract infections.

2. The healing and anti-inflammatory properties of calendula make it very soothing on the throat. Use it as a gargle when your throat feels sore.

3. Rinsing with a calendula tea can also help with other inflammations of mouth, such as canker sores, ulcers or thrush. It can be very healing after dental work.

4. Calendula can help with digestion when taken internally by healing ulcers, calming the GI tract and stimulating the production of bile.

5. Use calendula tea in a sitz bath to help soothe hemorrhoids, yeast infections and other swelling.

6. Pour calendula tea into a spray bottle or use cotton balls to calm skin irritations such as diaper rash, insect bites or stings.

7. Using clean cloths or cotton pads to apply a calendula tea compress to deeper wounds, injuries and burns to prevent infections, promote healing and reduce scarring*

8. Calendula has anti-septic properties that can help skin conditions such as acne. Wash your face with calendula tea if you are prone to breakouts.

9. Many women find that drinking calendula tea regularly helps to regulate menstruation. It can also help with painful menstruation.

10. Add calendula tea to your homemade baby wipes solution to help alleviate and prevent diaper rash.

11. Use calendula tea as an eye rinse for itchy eyes due to allergies, dryness and viral pink-eye. My daughter had pink-eye last year and applying a calendula tea compress and wash to her eyes throughout the first 2 days, it was gone!

12. Soak your feet in calendula tea to help treat fungal conditions such as athlete’s foot.

13. Rinse your hair with calendula tea after washing to soothe itchy scalp conditions.

14. Calendula tea can help reduce fevers by causing a sweat- only 2-3 cups per day maximum.

15. Use cooled calendula tea as an astringent skin toner that is hydrating and healing.

16. Calendula tea can also be used on most non-pregnant animals- household or farm animal variety. It can be used for flea bites, scratches, scrapes, or to help clean and heal small wounds.

17. For dogs with itchy skin that often get hot spots or raw areas, calendula tea can be applied or sprayed on the area.

Dried Calendula keeps really well and can be used the same as fresh. I use my dehydrator for quick drying of herbs. Check out my dehydrator buying guide to choose the best model!

Fat-Based Calendula Salves or Creams

Calendula is a miracle herb with some amazing uses. Learn 30 different uses for calendula- from acne to curing bacterial infections!Save

Sometimes you need something oil or fat-based to help sooth the skin along with your calendula. An calendula oil infusion is easy to make- it is simply cover your dried calendula with oil and allow to infuse for a couple week (solar) or hours (using heat). The Herbal Academy of New England has a nice article on how to make infused oils. The combination of calendula and healing oils and butters can not be beat. Here are a few ideas on how to use your calendula oil, salve or cream:

Related Reading: How to Make Calendula Lavender Lip Balm

18. To treat ring worm. Calendula cream or oil- especially when infused in coconut oil- works as an anti-fungal.

19. Calendula salve massaged into sunburn skin can help soothe and prevent peeling.

20. Calendula oil or cream can help reduce the appearance or existing scars or stretch marks– and prevent new scars from forming when used on healing skin.

21. Calendula infused creams can calm red, hot eczema patches on your skin

22. Calendula creams can help in treating varicose veins. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to improve circulation and strengthen capillary and vein walls.

23. Calendula oil makes a gentle eye make-up remover that soothes the sensitive skin.

24. Calendula oil can also be used to treat ear aches. Drop a few drops and massage into the ear. *

25. Salves or lotions made with calendula are wonderful for chapped hands and faces and can be especially soothing in the colder months.

26. If you have a dog with ear mites, try massaging in a bit of calendula oil to help kill the mites and soothe the area.

Fresh/Dried Calendula Flower Petals

Calendula is a miracle herb with some amazing uses. Learn 30 different uses for calendula- from acne to curing bacterial infections!Save

You can also use your calendula petals fresh straight from the garden or dried straight from the jar. No infusions or steeping required.

27. Boiling the flowers can create a nice yellow color to dye fabric/wool. Don’t forget a fixative though!

28. Add petals to salads to add both color and nutrition. Calendula is great source of Vitamin A– so add it to any number of dishes!

29. Throw it in the soup pot! It is called a “pot marigold” for a reason!

30. Use it as a substitution for saffron in your favorite dishes