Calendula Pot Marigold Nova Seeds
A valuable addition to any border and particularly valuable in attracting wildlife into the garden. The warm orange, single flowers of Nova are a food source to some butterflies while wild birds will eat the seed heads once flowering has finished in the autumn. Nova also makes a good cut flower. Calendula is an easy-to-grow hardy annual which flowers the same year as sowing. Its seeds can be sown direct in the garden where it is to flower. One of our best-loved annuals, it has a variety of common names, including pot marigold, Scotch marigold and ruddles. It is, however, unrelated to African and French marigolds (Tagetes). A ‘must have’ in cottage gardens and other informal settings, where the richly coloured flowers are attractive to so many beneficial insects. During the American Civil War and World War One calendula was used to staunch the flow of blood from the wounds of troops. The celebrated gardener Gertrude Jekyll grew large quantities of calendulas to send to the field hospitals of France in the First World War. The petals are also edible and make an attractive addition to salads, while in Europe they have been used to flavour stews and soups and to colour both butter and cheese.
Planting & Harvesting
Sow & Grow
Sow outdoors where they are to flower, 0.5cm (¼”) deep directly into finely prepared soil which has been already watered. Seedlings usually appear in 7-21 days. Water well until plants are established. Thin seedlings as required to allow development. Sowings made in curves rather than straight lines often create a more pleasing effect. Or sow indoors in trays of compost. Water well and place in a greenhouse or cold frame. Keep moist. Transplant seedlings 5cm (2”) apart to other trays when large enough to handle. Gradually accustom young plants to outside conditions before planting out 23cm (9”) apart.
Hint's & Tips
For a longer lasting display, make sowings at three-weekly intervals. Late summer and autumn sowings will flower the following year.