Growing Calendula In A Container: How To Keep A Potted Calendula Plant

Growing Calendula In A Container: How To Keep A Potted Calendula Plant

By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Small space gardeners are savvy about container growing. Whether it is annuals, perennials, vegetables or other specimens, growing in pots helps save space and allow you to bring the plant indoors if weather conditions turn nasty. Can you grow calendula in pots? These brightly colored flowers are excellent choices for cheery blooms and no-fuss maintenance. Potted calendula plants bring exciting color to the patio in sunny yellow and orange tones for most of the growing season.

Can You Grow Calendula in Pots?

Calendulas are also known as pot marigold, although they have no relation to those lion-headed blooms. Container grown calendula plants brighten up mixed pots or provide stand-alone golden beauty. Pot marigold in containers goes particularly well with vibrant red tones, giving the whole affair a sunset appeal. Plus, calendula is easy to grow from seed and blooms long without the need to deadhead.

As long as a plant has the right nutrients, soil, moisture and lighting, you can grow almost anything in a container, and calendula is no exception. Start seeds indoors or purchase blooming plants. Seedlings do not transplant well, so it is best to wait to install them into their new containers until they are beginning to bud or simply sow them directly into the pots in which they will be grown.

Use well-draining, organic potting soil or make your own mixture with half garden soil and half well-rotted compost. The key is to choose a container with plenty of drainage holes, as pot marigold in containers cannot withstand soggy feet. Container grown calendulas also need full sun and average nutrients.

Calendula is edible and has mild zestiness and bright color that really enhances a salad and other dishes. It also helps ward off some pests. When combined in a container with herbs, it makes a pretty and useful mini kitchen garden. On patios that may have visiting deer or other grazers, calendula is not on their menu and will provide deer proof color.

Growing calendula in a container with other summer bloomers will attract butterflies and many pollinating insects. Select annuals or perennials that love full sun and can tolerate brief periods of dry soil. Suggestions might be:

Caring for Container Grown Calendula

Caring for calendula in a container couldn’t be easier. Keep the soil moderately moist. It is best to apply deep drenches and let the container dry out before watering anew.

When you use compost as part of the soil mixture, the plants do not need fertilizing, but a high phosphorus formula can encourage more blooms.

These plants don’t really need deadheading, as their seed heads are actually quite ornamental, but if you don’t want babies everywhere the next year, it is advised. Cut seed heads off when they are brown and let them dry further off the plant. Pull off the seeds and save them in an envelope in a dark, dry location until the next season.

Use a natural product like Sluggo to ward off slugs and snails, which seem to find calendula as tasty as we do. Applying insecticidal soap sprays every few days can minimize other pests like aphids, whiteflies and cabbage loopers. These natural practice will preserve the flavor and safety of the flowers which can also be used in tea and tinctures.

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