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How to care for calendulas (so that they bloom all year round)
Few flowers are as universal as calendula.
This plant (and especially its variety the Calendula Officinalis) is present in most gardens, terraces and balconies in Spain. Especially in those of the Mediterranean coast, which is where this plant comes from.
And is not for less.
On the one hand, calendula care is extremely simple.
It is a very rustic plant, which adapts well to all light and temperature conditions.
That is not to mention its famous medicinal properties (it is used to disinfect wounds, to cure indigestion, to reduce inflammation and to relieve pain from insect bites, among many other uses).
And the best of all is its flowering, a real beauty. If we know how to take care of it, those flowers will last all year.
Do you want to know how?
Well, then keep reading, because in this post we are going to tell you all about the care of calendula.
Calendula growing guide: basic care
Within calendulas, the variety that we are most used to seeing is Calendula officinalis.
It is a herbaceous species that can flourish throughout the year if the climate is mild(in cold areas the flowers will last all spring and summer).
Let's see how to take care of it.
1. Spring, the best time to plant it
Calendula reproduces by seeds.
In order for them to germinate, we must plant them in a well-filled seedbed with the substrate (If you don't have a seedbed, the typical yoghurt containers will suffice).
Make sure the bottom is perforated to prevent overflooding.
The ideal is to plant between 2 and 3 seeds per seedbed, at a depth of approximately 2 centimetres. We will do it during the spring or, at most, throughout the summer.
Once the seeds are sown, be sure to keep the substrate humid (without getting overwatered) until they germinate, which will happen after a couple of weeks.
When the sprouts exceed 5 centimetres more or less, it will be time to transplant them.
2. If you want it to bloom, give it plenty of light
Calendulas love the sun.
The funny thing is that, despite being native to very sunny areas, this plant is able to survive even in semi-shade. That is why we told you that it is a very rustic species.
Of course, for it to flower in all its splendour, you have to put it in the sun.
If you do, you will see how towards the end of winter your garden, your terrace and your balconies begin to be covered with orange and yellow petals.
3. Don't forget to water it
If the light was not a problem when we talk about watering things change.
Calendula is a plant that requires little water at each watering, but always on a regular basis.
And this is very important.
The roots of the plant can suffer a lot with excess water, so, first of all, you must make sure that the substrate never gets flooded.
The substrate should always be kept moist.
4. Maintain the drainage of the substrate
We told you that calendula does not support excess water.
And here also comes into play the substrate in which you plant it. Ideally, it should be a porous soil that maintains moisture but avoids puddles.
If you plant it in a pot, you can add gravel, pebbles or even mix the substrate with sand so that the water runs better.
It is also important that the substrate is rich in organic matter to nourish the plant. In the flowering months, you can supplement it with a fertilizer rich in phosphorus to increase flower production.
5. Prefers the heat, but withstands the cold
Here again the calendula shows its talents as an all-terrain plant.
Although it is known to come from the Mediterranean area (maybe even from Egypt, although it is not confirmed), this plant adapts well to different temperature ranges.
Thus, if in your area you have mild winters without frosts, it is likely that you can keep it outdoors all year round.
That yes, that withstands the cold does not mean that it prefers it.
Above all, this plant is a lover of the sun and heat, and it is in these conditions that it germinates better and produces more flowers.
When the seeds are germinating, it is important that the temperature remains around 20 degrees (that is why the best time is during spring and summer).
5. Prune it after flowering.
If you live in areas with a temperate or cold climate, the calendula will most likely lose its flowers once fall has entered.
If so, you should prune it to remove any wilted branches.
This will give the plant strength and help it to better withstand the winter. In addition, to give it an extra push you can also change the substrate (very important if it is in a pot) and add new organic matter.
Common pests of calendula plants
Calendula is not only the star of balconies and patios, but it is also well known among farmers.
This plant has the property of repelling several of the pests that infest gardens (so if you are thinking of growing your own garden, you may be interested in accompanying the vegetables with some calendulas).
But this does not mean that it is immune to pests.
Some of its main enemies are aphids and whiteflies. Some species of mealybug, snails and slugs also feel attracted by the flowers of this plant.
Diseases are less common, but calendula is sometimes the target of fungi such as Botrytis, Rust or Powdery mildew.
You already have everything you need to take care of your calendulas.
In this post, we have given you the basic keys to growing your calendulas and getting their flowers to accompany you during most of the year.
Now is your turn.
Put on your gloves and start giving these wonderful plants the care they deserve.
And if you have any questions, you can contact us so that we can advise you.
We will be happy to help you have a happier garden.