Calendula: Sow August to February
Common Name: Calendula
Scientific Name: Calendula Officinalis
Seed Saving Level: Advanced
Planting: Calendulas are an easy-to-grow annual that reseeds readily. Plant ¼ inch deep and space rows about a foot apart. Enjoys lots of sun and can be grown in containers. Water moderately.
Harvesting: Calendula blossoms are edible and can be easily added to rice or salads. Stocks may reach 15-18 inches and flowers bloom from December through May. Deadhead to encourage additional blooming – grasp the stem under the flower and allow the stem to snap naturally, which can aid in healing. If harvesting for herbal use, cut stems during peak blooming periods.
Seed Saving: Allow some of the flowers to go past their peak, letting the seed heads dry. Once dry, hold a bag under the plant while you gently run your hand across to remove seeds. Store in a cool, dry, dark place for next year or donate to the Seed Library.
- The University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Flower Planting Guide for the Low Desert
- Gardening with Soule: Easy to Grow Calendula
Calendula Salve Recipe
Calendula contains antioxidants that can calm inflammation. It’s often used as a remedy for itchy, irritated skin and rashes.
16 oz extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
1 c dried calendula flowers
4 oz beesewax pellets
Combine in a double boiler on low. Simmer for about 30 minutes until it becomes yellow and gives off a sweet scent. Strain with a cheesecloth. Place strained oil back in the pan and add beeswax pellets, stirring until melted. Pour into a small lidded container and let sit. Will store up to a year.
- Sansone, Arricca Elin, “Natural Benefits of Calendula,” Prevention, May 2020, 72(5).