“ Calendula is a genus of about 12-20 species of annual or perennial herbaceous plants in the daisy family Asteraceae, native to the area from Macaronesia east through the Mediterranean region to Iran. For other plants also named 'marigold', see marigold. It is also the flower of the month October. Pot Marigolds are considered by many gardening experts as one of the most versatile flowers to grow in a garden, especially since it is hardy and easy to grow. Seeds sown in the spring, in any soil, will germinate freely in sunny or half-sunny locations. They do best, however, if planted in sunny locations with rich, well-drained soil. The leaves are spirally arranged, 5-18 cm long, simple, and slightly hairy. The flower heads range from pastel yellow to deep orange, and are 3-7 cm across, with both ray florets and disc florets. They have a spicy aroma and are produced from spring to autumn in temperate climates. It is recommended to deadhead (removal of dying flower heads) the plants regularly to maintain even blossom production. „
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Marigold or calendula? There's good reason for confusion, as several quite different garden plants are known by the same generic name of 'marigold'.
First of all there's the pom-pom -like little French marigold of the genus Tagetes - a plant native to the New World, which has attractive, ruffled reddish orange petals surrounded by a bright orange border. This is now seen everywhere in municipal planting schemes, where it's grown as a tender / temporary summer bedding plant before the frosts set in. Apparently the Chinese call this plant - with picturesque native wit - 'the chicken shit flower' (sorry, but I see no reason for mincing words on this point - although my mum, whose was mother was Chinese generally refers to it as 'the one the Chinese call the fowl faeces flower') due to its characteristic and let's face it, somewhat unfortunate scent. (In case you were wondering, yes, I think it does). This is also the marigold that's used to decorate graves of peoples' ancestors in Mexico, during their Day of the Dead festival (apparently this is a remnant of Aztec rituals, in which the Tagetes marigolds were considered to be magical plants). It's know by these people as Flor del Muerto, which is a bit more like it - and incidentally, when brought back from the New World by the Spanish was rebranded as the 'French' (or sometimes 'African') marigold, in an attempt to disassociate it from all that (what the Spanish of the time patently considered to be) heathen Aztec rubbish.
So, Tagetes and the 'other' garden variety of marigold (the pot marigold), a plant from the genus Calendula are quite different. Calendulas are the plants that personally, I'm most familiar with as being marigolds. They have thin, light green leaves and a disc-like 'daisy' flower, usually in some shade of yellow or orange. The Calendula has a reputation as a useful 'medicinal' herb, with many uses, eg. an infusion of the petals being considered a soothing remedy for sunburn. (In fact the 'Johnson's Naturals' baby moisturising lotion I've got lists Calendula extract as one of the main herbs it's got in it, and you can smell the characteristic scent of the flowers in the ointment too.)
Calendulas are annual plants, which means they die back every year. They do produce abundant seeds however and are very easy to grow from seed collected from your own plants. For this reason they're quite often promoted as 'great for kids' and sometimes even given away free as send-for offers by eg. TV shows that want to get children interested in gardening. I think Calendulas have got weird-looking seeds, which are variable in size but generally quite large, brownish, slightly ridged and curl-shaped. The seeds develop in a cluster around where the central disc of the daisy-like flower used to be. They come after the flowers have dried up, and while the seeds / seed-heads are not the most attractive things, Calendulas are so prolific that it's easy to collect a lot of seed from your garden plants in a very short time. Dried (they'll dry out enough for storage directly on the plant, if the weather is OK) and then stored in an envelope and sown direct onto the ground in spring (just sprinkle a bit of earth over to cover them), they'll come up and flower later in the summer / autumn. I've found that they're one of the few attractive flowers that you can sow direct into garden soil and get plants from: even in my front garden which has very barren soil (it was gravelled over for the past 10 years at least) and a great slug / snail problem, the Calendula seed I put in grew a lot of pretty plants.
This one, I'd say, is idiotproof.
Marigolds are originally from Mexico, where they are known as Celandulas. Apparently they were first discovered by the Portuguese in Central America in the 16th century and they became popular in Europe and elsewhere. But according to Hindu mythology Marigolds existed in India even during the period of Ramayana (400BC) and Mahabharata( 8 BC ), there are many references made about the beauty of the flower and its medicinal qualities in these scriptures...Marigolds are members of the Composite Family, the blossoms sometimes are actually clusters of many flowers.
According to a news report "A team of scientists associated with the European Space Agency (ESA) has claimed that they are convinced that marigolds can grow in crushed rock similar to the lunar surface, with no need for plant food "
Marigold flowers are a very popular garden flower, a beautiful yellow flower that add cheer and brightness to any garden and they are among some of the easiest flowers to grow.. They are Robust and non fussy plants that are fairly simple to start from the seed. The plants need a lot of sunshine and regular watering. So while planning to grow Marigolds one has to make sure to choose a spot in your garden where they will receive the highest amount of sun light ..
There are many varieties of marigolds , the more common ones are the globe shaped large flowers called the American Marigolds, the small red orange yellow variety called the French Marigolds and the Single layered finely divided, lacy foliage and clusters of small, single flowers in a range of yellow to orange colors called Signet Marigolds.
Marigolds can be propagated by seeds and the plants need about 45 days to flower after seeding. Marigold seeds should be sown at least 2cm apart. Cover the seeds with 1/4 inch of potting soil. Water sufficiently. Plants will appear within a few days. When true leaves have formed, transplant into individual containers or outdoors. The plants take one to two months to grow and start flowering. Once the buds are formed we need to fertilize them once every four weeks. Fertilization will promote healthy growth and large blooms. Potash is recommended for Marigold plants since this fertiliser prolongs the flowering period. A healthy well nourished Marigold plant will have plenty of bright green leaves and lots of branches and blooms.
While the plants are known as easy to grow and fairly hardy, they need to be adequately watered .The pungent odor that the plant has keeps the pests and insects away so not much care is required . I am told that many farmers grow them amidst vegetables to keep the insects away !
Marigold has some medicinal value , it is used for making skin ointments in treating skin burns and inflammations.
When I look at Marigold flowers I automatically think about my childhood, the happy days I spent with my grand parents at their village home surrounded by coconut trees and vast stretches of flowers of every variety possible. There were fragrant Jasmine bushes, Chrisanthamums, Hibiscus flowers in every color possible and masses of Marigolds. I remember the pleasure these flowers brought to us as we wandered through the garden plucking and making garlands out of them. I have always connected cheer, brightness, happiness and positivity to Marigolds. I have a couple of variety of Marigolds growing in pots and when they are in bloom, they never fail to bring back those happy child hood days..
Marigolds look lovely clustered together in low vases and brighten up the interior, literally bringing sunshine in and making the room look cheerful. Just looking at the flower lifts up your spirits and lightens your mood.
Marigold flowers are extensively used in all religious festivities among Hindus . We decorate the entrance door to our houses with branches of mango leaves and Marigold garlands on Ugadi, which is the Hindu New Years day which falls on the 14th of April and during other festivals like Diwali and Holi. Chariot and temple decorations can never be complete without Marigold flowers and garlands made with them..
Marigolds are a fantastic garden plant or i thought it was a plant untill i was looking at them in my gardening book last week where i discovered that they are not actually classified as a plant but as a herb although i still dont understand why.
Marigolds produce lovely flowers that are available in yellow burnt orange or red, they look and smell beautiful in your garden or cut in a vase.
You can either propogate them from seed in a green house in late febuary to give an early flower or plant them as i do directly into the soil in may after the risk of frost has gone.
There are two varietys available, dwarfs which i believe are french which only grow to 6 inches tall or the variety we have which gets to between 14 to 18 inches tall.
They are a very hardy plant and in climates like ours in england dont realy suffer from any pests, even my slugs dont seem to like them.
Direct sunlight is best as they like a lot of sun and quite dry soil but you will need to water them to keep the soil just slightly moist through the hotter summer months.
They produce a beautiful flower which adds colour to your garden all summer long and produce there own seeds so you will only ever have to buy seeds once and these are quite cheap to buy anyway at around 95p a pack.
I started to grow my own herbs over the last few years and last year I started to experiment with different recipes, this year ill be trying this one when the herb grows.
If you find it interests you let me know in the comment box and ill post some more.
This one is for a Marigold cream
The ingredients you need are the following
150 grams of emulsifying ointment
70 grams of glycerol
80 ml of water
30 grams of dried marigold flowers
Calendula officinalis - Marigold
Also known as Marybud, Holligold and pot Marigold to name a few.
Marigold in from the Mediterranean and has been distributed all over the world as a garden plant.
Medicinally the flowers contain an antiseptic, anti-fungal and anti bacterial properties that promote healing, also very useful for varicose veins and chilblains.
The sap is known to help remove warts.
*****How To Prepare*****
Firstly we need to melt the emulsifying ointment, place the emulsifying ointment in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water. Add the glycerol and the water and keep stirring until all the ingredients are melted to a cream like consistency. Then add the dried flowers and stir well and then simmer for around 3 hours.
Keep an eye on it as we don't want the water to boil dry. After the 3 hours strain the mixture into a jug, once you have strained it you need to mix the cream constantly as it cools to stop it from separating.
When the cream is set use a spatula to fill a jar with a screw lid, the cream will last for about 2 months in the fridge or a cold place.
How To Use
Apply the cream to sunburn, skin rashes and minor wounds, It is also very good for bruises.
Allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, trouble breathing.
As with all herbal medicine do your research before you use it.
Thanks for reading my reviews, and thankyou for rating them.
Tashi Delek (May everything be well)
enlightened_one © 2007
While I was pregnant with my son a few years ago, I took maternity leave six weeks prior to giving birth, this meant I was home with no other children to look after for six lovely weeks in the months of March and April. I had to find something to fill my days other than daytime TV and this is when I began my love of Marigolds and started to fill my greenhouse with seedlings.
I started doing seedlings as I had planted a lot of Marigold plants from Homebase the year before and my mum-in-law had shown me how to collect the seeds from the heads after the flower dies, so I had a tin full of Marigold seeds just waiting to be sown!
There are a huge amount of different types of Marigold and everyone will have their favourite. I have detailed the two main varieties here to give you an idea of the types you can get, but it is worth remembering that most varieties of Marigolds are actually hybrids and therefore if you harvest their seeds and replant the following year, the chances of a Marigold growing into the same as the plant you reaped the seeds from is highly unlikely. Of all the seeds I planted I ended up with an abundance of the French Marigold type plant, my least favourite, but my garden was a hive of colour that year. In between the two mentioned here there are lots of versions with different shaped petals and different heights etc, however for ease of the review and also ease of buying if you wanted to get some I have stuck with the most common and well known.
French These are my least favourite type. They are usually small in height, maybe around 10 inches or so, and the foliage appears bushier than the taller varieties. The flowers are larger petals than the African/American varieties but much, much fewer so it almost resembles a pansy in some ways. The colour mostly ranges from yellow to deep orange and some have a mix of both with tints in between as well. It makes a nice edging plant for a border in my opinion but I find it a little boring and would prefer something like Lobelia for the edges of my borders.
African/American These are much taller with some variations growing as tall as 36 inches. I prefer the more sedate versions that average around 10 12 inches with beautiful orb shaped, extremely full, flower heads. The colours again vary from bright orange through to Vanilla (which is my absolute favourite). The flowers resemble carnations in a way, as they are extremely full with lots and lots of small petals all crunched together to form a beautiful ball of flower. These make great fillers for flowerbeds as they have lush green foliage as well as the gorgeous tall-stemmed flowers, which if you combine colours and maybe add French Marigolds at the front of the bed, would make a stunning display.
##PLANTING FROM SEEDS & CONDITIONS##
This has to be one of the easiest things I have done and is one of the favoured seeds amongst schools and playgroups as they are quite large and easy for children to handle. I harvested all my seeds from existing plants, which is a very cheap way of filling your garden the following year, as long as you have room to propagate.
To do this, once the flower has died, cut it from the stem just below the bulbous bit at the base of the flower. If you pull off the dead petals, inside you will see a whole pod of seeds which, if the flower has matured enough (and if it is dead, it should be) will make the seeds very loose and easy to remove.
Drop the seeds into some seed trays and propagate in the dark if you can for a week or so. Once the small seed heads have appeared, move to the green house or wherever you will keep them and let them grow and strengthen.
You can plant Marigolds out in the garden as soon as there is no chance of frost, usually mid April. They are pretty hardy plants, so will survive being a bit nippy, but not freezing conditions. Water in well and keep an eye on the slugs, as they do like the taste of the French variety especially. I lost a whole batch (when I started gardening through lack of knowledge) in one night! They like full sun and will cope very well in a heat wave as long as they get watered every now and then. With a hosepipe ban and a sweltering July this year my Marigolds stood firm while the Cape Daisy and the Geraniums wilted.
They are not fussy when it comes to soil either. We have very thick, clay based soil in our garden, and they have grown happily in this, as well as in the raised bed, where we have shop bought compost and soil. As long as they are not water clogged they seem to thrive, even in part shaded areas. This is one plant I can rely on to stay alive through neglect and bad conditions and therefore keep the garden looking pretty for a long period through the spring and summer months. Even into Autumn at times the Marigolds are still showing their citrus heads for us.
If you dead head regularly, as with most types of flower, they will reward you with more and more blooms and of course if you keep the seeds, you will be rewarded again the following year.
Overall this is one my favourite bedding plants. It is a shame they are only annuals as it would be nice if they just returned year after year without having to replant and sow the seeds. However if you leave it until late May, you may be able to simply sow the seeds directly into your flowerbeds and avoid the whole propagation process altogether. This is sometimes preferred due to ease, but it will also mean a less organised approach to your flowerbed, as you will find seeds growing up out of line and in bunches rather than singular plants. At times this is a favoured look though and will not matter, but if you are planting for a specific appearance or display you will need to know what you are planting where.
The Marigold is a great cutting flower and will last up to about a week in fresh water if you strip the leaves from the stem. I would plump for the African version rather than French though, due to its sturdier stem and height. Alternatively they make excellent dried flowers as they keep their attractive orangey/yellow colours very well.
Very few pests and diseases bother the Marigold, due to its rather strong smell. It is not unpleasant but it doesnt resemble the perfume of roses for instance or Jasmine. It is a more herby kind of smell, which is pungent when you are close to the plant but not overpowering. This is an insect repellent in itself, however it is not enough to deter the hungry slug!
All in all for a dramatic display of vibrant colours and full petalled flowers, I would plump for Marigolds every time and intersperse with less robust plants for a good mixture.
Plant and enjoy!