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Calendula

Calendula - Pot Marigold

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Calendula,(calendula officinalis) is both beautiful and easy to grow, Calendula should be included in any herb gardener's list of must haves. Also known as pot marigold, this is a wonderful plant for the cooler regions as it tolerates lower temperatures well. Calendula is an annual. It must be grown every year but easily reseeds so this may be taken into account when planning a garden. I find calendula does the best when I let a few plants go to seed and reseed the area themselves vs planting individual plants every year. This does increase the chances of strays getting out of the area you wanted calendula to grow but these are easily pulled up if necessary.

How To Grow Calendula

Grow in average soil, calendula does not require rich soil to do well. It does need full sun, however. Calendula repels many insects above ground and the root also is said to repel nematodes so think about planting calendula as a border plant for an organic alternative to sprays for herb protection.

Using Calendula

Calendula has a wide range of medicinal uses. It is a soothing tea for gastrointestinal problems, healing wash for skin wounds, easily infused into oil for a healing salve or balm. Great for baby diaper area.

Calendula also has the rare quality of keeping its color during soapmaking. Unlike most herbal additives, calendula will not turn brown or black in a bar of herbal soap. Add 1 tablespoon of petals to just enough oil to cover. After your soap reaches trace, stir in the oil and petal mixture throughout your soap batch. The bright orange petals will remain bright and offer even soothing properties to the finished soap. For soapmaking information, find someone knowledgeable in the craft before undertaking it yourself.

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