Calendula, the happiest flower in the garden! And the most giving! The more you cut the more it Blooms! And at the end of the season when the last flower is spent, it offers its seeds for the Summers ahead.
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You only need to buy Calendula Flower seeds Once! After that, you can harvest your own seeds for the following year. This is not only an economically efficient way to garden, but an important skill to learn too. There is a certain kind of magic to seed saving, you first get to witness the ‘show’ which is of course the sunshiny blooms, then the fade of the flower, then the harvest.
Why Harvest Calendula seeds ?
Just one Calendula plant, is capable of producing enough seeds to keep your garden stocked for years! In fact, a bed of Calendula will provide you with more seeds than you would ever likely need. So here’s a tip- Share them!
Pop them in a brown envelope, tie it with twine and gift the harvest to friends and neighbours. It costs you nothing but time. A little kindness goes a long way.
How to harvest Calendula seeds
- In the picture above, you can see the Calendula flowers have now died back, revealing Green claw-like bare flower heads.
- In order to Harvest Calendula seeds you must first wait for the flower head to completely dry out and turn brown, the head will have a crispy like texture. It is at this stage, the seeds are ready to be harvested.
- I Harvest Calendula seeds by simply grabbing the whole dried flowerhead with my hand and pulling it away from the stem. The flower head will crumble in your hand revealing the Calendula Seeds. Each Flowerhead yields around 10-20 seeds.
What do Calendula seeds Look Like?
Calendula seeds look a little like tiny squids, they are a C shape with little bumps on the curved edge and are light brown in colour.
Harvested Calendula Seeds
Once I have harvested my Calendula seeds I store them in a Jar or envelope and pop them in a cool, dark cupboard for sowing the following year.
Will Calendula Plants self Seed?
Calendula is a reliable self-seeder in the garden, meaning it will drop seeds and grow without intervention. The Only problem with this is, you end up with Calendula popping up in places you don’t want them. If you are an informal, go with the flow, kinda gardener, then great!-leave them to their own devices. But if like me, you like a certain uniformity to your garden, collect the seeds and sow by hand.
How To Avoid calendula self seeding
One word, Deadhead! Keep on top the dead heading. As soon as the flowers die back, cut off the flowerheads, this will prevent any scattering of seeds.
Reasons To Grow Calendula
I grow Calendula for 4 main reasons…
- It makes a terrific trap crop. I grow it alongside my Tomatoes as a sacrificial plant for the slugs. Calendulas can also be useful for drawing aphids away from vegetable crops.
- I eat it – Not kidding! Calendula flower petals are completely edible, they add a slightly bitter bite to summer salads, see my Edible Flowers Post
- For a healing Tea- Fantastic for Sore throats and Oral Health. You can also use it topically for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. See my ‘How To Harvest and Brew Calendula Tea Post‘
- They are sooo Pretty!!!!
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