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Herb Spotlight: Calendula Officinalis (Pot Marigold)

by Kristie Nackord (Spirit Horse Herbals)

Calendula Officinalis

OUCH! Do you have a cut, burn, scrape or any other weird unidentifiable skin ailment? Or, are you seeking a burst of red, orange, or yellow color in your garden this season? Perhaps Calendula is for you then!

Herb Spotlight: Calendula Officinalis


Calendula Officinalis, also known as Pot Marigold, is the medicinal variety of marigolds. (Side note: when you see the word officinalis, it generally means that the plant is ‘used in the practice of medicine”.) Calendula is one of the best allies for our skin. Topically it has many healing applications and helps soften, soothe, and rejuvenate the skin. It is often brewed into wound salves, balms, and body and facial oils. Calendula is exceptional for those with sensitive, traumatized, or over-worked skin. Calendula is supportive for eczema, cuts, burns, chapped or chaffed skin, has incredible anti-bacterial and wound healing capabilities and is safe for animals and children! Internally calendula may be used as a tincture, steeped into tea or even sprinkled atop your wild salad. The petals are vibrant and beautiful! Additionally, calendula is a wonderful ally to women and supports amenorrhea (delayed menstruation) and painful menstruation and helps relieve any congestion in the digestive tract. 

Growing Calendula:

As an annual, calendula is a hardy and vigorous plant offering many blooms throughout the spring and summer. Germination is spotty, so if starting from seed, sow heavily…REAL heavy! Seed packets indicate a 40% germination rate.

Calendula is also a wonderful companion plant in the garden. Plant calendula near tomatoes and roses to detour the aphids. The aphids will go to the calendula so if you want to grow calendula medicinally, you may want to plant it AWAY from those particular plants. You don’t want disease infested herbs!

Calendula is attractive in borders or planted in the odd corner of a bed or pot. Or, do as I do and plant a whole bed of calendula for an abundant harvest! Okay, I grow a lot more than just a bed, but you get the idea~!

Harvesting Calendula:

Parts used: flower.

Pick the whole flower tops or just the petals before the flowers open fully throughout the summer and fall. Lay flat on a screen or on a paper bag in a low-humidity room out of direct sunlight. Treat calendula like wine, once harvested keep her in a cool, dry, location!

~Good growing to you!

If you have any questions regarding calendula or would like to offer your own contribution on how you use calendula, please feel free to post a comment or send me an email! I truly enjoy "plant talk".


calendula, pot marigold, companion plant, aphids, wound salve, healing herb


OK- I planted calendula as I was all inspired by the oil I have been using religiously and now I have some flowers! What do you do with the dried leaves?? Or do you eat the petals... I think they're just pretty to look at and are helping deter the aphids for sure, so I am happy just to keep it at that!
FigTree commented on 05/25/10
You inspired me! I just posted a blurb/blog post on what to do with those amazing flowers! Let me know if you have ANY questions!!!
Spirit Horse Herbals replied: on 05/25/10
FROM FACEBOOK: <br/> <br/>I love using the Calendula as an herb. It is a delight and perky flower besides being a useful herb. Thank you for sharing this information!
FigTree commented on 04/13/10
Thanks FigTree for your support and input!
Spirit Horse Herbals replied: on 04/13/10
Oh yay... I love these posts on herbs- I really love herbs, as they seem to be the way to go for me. I wonder if Calendula is good in containers? It is the only way I can grow right now. Someday I will have my own little plot.
Seedling commented on 04/13/10
Yes, calendula will do just fine in containers!!! I highly encourage growing it!
Spirit Horse Herbals replied: on 04/13/10
This is such cool information! I just went to your etsy site and it looks like you have some really interesting products there! I actually just planted some Calendula in my garden, but am not certain it is the medicinal kind...? Does that sound dumb? I just don&#x27;t know anything about it- first timer for herbs!
earthworm commented on 04/13/10
Oh not dumb at all!!!! If you still have the seed packet it will say "calendula officinalis" if it is the medicinal one. Even if it isn't the officinalis, having marigold's in your garden is WONDERFUL! They are excellent companions to many plants, not to mention just so beautiful. Thank you as well for your compliments on my Etsy store! I truly love working with the plants in this way. I truly feel I am LIVING my dream life! Please let me know how your growing goes! And keep on keepin' with the herbs. I learn everyday and every season. So good for you! Kristie
Spirit Horse Herbals replied: on 04/13/10