Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Have You Checked Your Calendula Lately?

These cute little flowers resembling daisies are called calendulas.  They are sometimes called pot marigolds.  They are basically a cool season annual in the Deep South because they just can't take our hot summers.  Calendulas come in various shades of yellow and orange and some have more full blooms than others.  They close up at night and open back up the next day when the sun comes out.  I don't detect any fragrance on them at all.  I've been told that they can be used as a food garnish, but I've never tried it.  The good thing about them is how easily they are grown from seed.  Just buy a cheap pack of seeds, throw them on the ground in a sunny location and water.  They will come up profusely in a few days.  When they start getting some size to them, thin them to about 8" apart.  Keep them weeded and watered and watch the show.  That's it!  Down here, you should plant them in October or November.  You can try to plant them in early spring too.  If you live north of zone 8, then definitely plant them in the spring.  They also make a fine potted plant and are a great companion to other flowers.  After seeing the ones I have, it makes me wish I'd planted more of them. 

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