Calendula Plant Growing & Care Guide for Gardeners

In this Gardener's HQ guide, we'll explore cultivating Calendula plants in your garden, indoor spaces, and other settings.

Pot Marigold, English Marigold: Cultivation & Garden Use

Members of the Calendula genus grown in gardens are usually versatile hardy annuals (some wild species are perennials). Plants typically reach between 30 and 60 cm (1 to 2 feet) in height.

They carry daisy-like flowers that are usually orange, red, or yellow in color. Plants bloom from spring through to Autumn, depending upon the species.

Calendula are known by the common names of Pot, English, or Field Marigold.

They make a great bed, border, container or cottage garden plant.

Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis) photograph by AudreyJM529.

They are an excellent companion plant to grow in vegetable gardens, as their leaves contain compounds that act to repel pests.

The Calendula plant gets its common name, the Pot Marigold, because the flowers are often used in pots when cooking soups and stews. The plant is used to add both colour and flavour to many dishes, and is also used in cheese making.

Information on Calendula and Commonly Grown Garden Varieties

There are about twenty species in the Calendula genus. They are natives to the Middle East, Mediterranean Europe, and nearby islands such as the Canaries and Azores.

Plants can be either annual or perennial, and they have an herbaceous nature.

Calendula plants typically have hairy leaves. These are of between two to seven inches (5 to 18 cm) in length. The leaves are arranged in spirals.

Pot Marigold

The Calandula flowers can be either ray or disc floret in nature. They range of 1 to 3 inches (3 to 8 cm) in diameter.

As a member of the daisy family Asteraceae (Compositae), Calendula are closely related to many other commonly grown garden plants such as Tagetes plant, Dahlia plant, and Chrysanthemum plants.

Some of the best known members of the Calendula genus include:

  • C. officinalis – Pot Marigold, English Marigold (Varieties include: Golden Princess; Orange Princess; Calypso Orange; Radio; Triangle Flashback and Deja Vu).
  • C. maderensis – Madeiran Marigold
  • C. maritima – Sea Marigold
  • C. arvensis – Field Marigold

Commonly Grown Calendula Species Photographs and Plant Identification

Calendula officinalis

Calendula officinalis
Calendula officinalis (Pot Marigold / Common Marigold / Mary's Gold / Scotch Marigold), photograph by Joss Smithson; CC.

Calendula arvensis

Calendula arvensis
Calendula arvensis (Field Marigold / Wild Marigold), picture by Eugene Zelenko; CC.

How to Grow Calendula

Calendula Growing Guide and Facts

Common Names: Pot Marigold, English Marigold, Field Marigold.
Family: Asteraceae.
Life Cycle: Hardy annual.
Height: 12 to 30 Inches (30 to 75 cm).
Native: Mediterranean, Middle East.
Growing Region: Zones 2 to 10.
Flowers: Spring through to autumn; may also bloom in winter in warm frost free areas if sown in the autumn.
Flower Details: Yellow, red, orange, cream. Daisy-like ray and disc florets.
Foliage: Bright green. Slightly hairy. Ovate.
Sow Outside: 1/4 inch (6mm). Early spring and/or summer (mild climates) or towards the end of autumn (in warm climates). Spacing. 6 to 24 inches (15 to 60 cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: one to two weeks in the dark. Temperature 70°F (21°C). Seven or eight weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.
Requirements: Full sunlight or light shade. Soil pH 5.5 to 7. Average soils. Occasional feed. Regular watering; avoid getting water on the leaves. Pinch tips. Deadhead. Bring plants indoors for the winter in frosty areas; potting. Propagate: cuttings in the summer.

How to Grow Calendula

If planning to grow Calendula outdoors from seed, it is usual to sow seeds at a depth of ¼ inch (6 mm) in the early spring.

In hot areas that do not get little winter frosts (e.g. zones 9 to 10 in the USA), it is best to sow seeds in the Autumn. In areas where summers are cool, it is also possible to sow pot marigold seeds in the Summer, for an Autumn blooming.

When starting off seedlings indoors, it is best to start the preparations for growing Pot Marigolds about 8 weeks before planting out (usually after the last frost).

The germination process should be done in the dark. It takes about one or two weeks at 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21°C).

Dwarf Calendula species should be planted about 8 inches (20 cm) apart, whereas taller varieties should have a spacing of around 20 inches (50 cm).

Pot and English Marigold plants should be grown in areas of bright sunlight, in an ordinary soil of pH 5.5 to 7.

Caring for Calendula plants

Young plants require to be pinched back to encourage bushiness. Deadhead plants to encourage prolonged blooming. Give an occasional feed. Water frequently, but ensure to avoid getting water on the leaves to prevent mildew.

Specific Plant Information and Tips on Growing Calendula in the Garden

Calendula officinalis (Pot Marigold, English Marigold)

Pot Marigolds are very versatile annual plants that are much loved by gardeners as they produce blooms throughout the year and are very easy to germinate from seeds.

They perform best in cooler climates, but by timing when the plants are sown (e.g. Sow in autumn in warmer climates) they can be grown in most areas, however they are not very tolerant of frosts.

Plants usually reach an height of between 12 and 30 inches (30 to 75 cm), depending upon variety. They should be sown at a spacing of about 6 to 24 inches apart (15 to 60 cm).

They prefer to grow in sunny parts of the garden, but should be grown in lightly shaded areas in very hot areas. Soil can be ordinary and slightly acidic to neutral pH 5.5 to 7).

Growing Tip: By cutting the plants back before the heat of summer in hot areas, and providing plenty of water to the surrounding soil, it is often possible to get a second Autumn bloom from spring flowering pot marigolds.

Common Questions

How many members does the Calendula genus have?

The Calendula genus has about 15-20 species.

Do members of Calendula make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Calendula is often planted in gardens for their bright, cheerful flowers and easy care.

Which Calendula species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Calendula officinalis (Pot Marigold) is the most frequently grown species, appreciated for its bright orange and yellow blooms.

Are members of the Calendula plant genus fragrant?

No, Calendula flowers are not typically fragrant, but they are known for their bright, attractive flowers.

What is the perfect location to grow Calendula?

Calendula prefers a sunny location and grows well in most soil types as long as they are well-drained.

Is Calendula invasive in the USA?

Currently, Calendula is not considered invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Calendula plants from my garden?

Remove Calendula plants by pulling or digging them out, ensuring all roots are removed to prevent regrowth.


The Calendula genus belongs to the Asteraceae family and is native to the Mediterranean. Commonly known as pot marigold, these annual or perennial plants are appreciated for their vibrant orange or yellow daisy-like flowers that bloom from spring to frost.

To cultivate Calendula, plant them in full sun to light shade, in well-drained soil. They can be directly sown in the garden in spring or started indoors in late winter. Regular watering is needed, but they are relatively drought-tolerant once established. Calendula is also known for its medicinal properties and is often used in herbal remedies and cosmetics.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Calendula plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow African Daisy, Hardenbergia plant, Yucca plant, and Gerbera plants.