The plant known as Pot Marigold, and its scientific name Calendula Officinalis, is a popular annual flower that can provide weeks of color to any garden or yard. Found natively in the Southern European regions, these hardy flowers can grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 2-11. Growing Pot Marigold is simple; planting and maintaining them requires little effort and they self-seed easily, so you don’t need to worry about invasive species.
How to Plant
One of the benefits of Pot Marigold is that they are quite easy to get started. You should plant them in long rows with seeds placed on average 2.5 cm apart, at a depth of 1 cm. A well-draining soil bed is ideal, with a pH level preferable between 6.0-7.5. For optimal growth, Pot Marigold prefers an area that receives full sunlight, although partial shade is also fine if in hot climates. To ensure an adequate water supply, you should provide at least an inch of water every week. Temperature should also be taken into account; plants will grow best in temperatures of 50 – 75 Fahrenheit. For optimal flower production, prevent inconsistent temperatures.
Meaning and Symbolism
As a traditional symbol of joy and good health, Pot Marigold has long been grown around homes to bring happy living. Going back to the Greeks, a wreath of Pot Marigold was worn on their heads as a symbol of victory and success. During the Middle Ages, the herb was regarded as a powerful protection against evil in an age where superstition and belief ran wild. In the language of flowers, the Marigold symbolizes tenderness and passion in love. Additionally, the Latin generic name Calendula is derived from the Latin word “calendae” which means “little calendar” – referring to its blooming coinciding with various dates throughout the year.
History, Mythology, and Religious Significance
Pot Marigold has long been seen in history and mythology, with mentions in Homer’s “Odyssey” and other ancient Greek stories. Its popularity throughout the Mediterranean earned its reputation as the “herb of the sun”, as it was thought to bring strength and positivity. It has been an ingredient in religious ceremonies in different cultures. In European and Tibetan traditions, it was commonly used in incense and other offerings, linking it with the gods. Its medicinal value dates back to Indian cultures and ayurvedic medicine, where its astringent and antifungal properties were found.
Flower Varieties and their Defining Characteristics
While all types of Pot Marigold are members of the Calendula Officinalis, there are a few varieties available, each with their own unique characteristics and beauty. Marigold varieties can vary in petal color, with yellow, orange, white, and red being the most common. Plant size can range from 6-14 inches, with blooms that can last widely from late spring to late frost. The English marigold, Calendula Officinalis, typically reaches 8-12 inches tall with large flower heads, while the smaller French marigold, Tagetes Patula, measures 4-6 inches tall with smaller Daisy-like blooms.
How to Pot and Repot
When potting your Pot Marigold, you should use a pot that is slightly larger than the root ball of the plant. Fill it with a light potting mix, preferably one that has perlite or peat moss. Plant your flower and make sure to press down firmly and water the plant at least once a week. To repot your Pot Marigold, simply remove it from the current pot, trim the roots slightly and place it in a larger pot. Fill the new pot with the same potting mix and gently press down around the flower to ensure that the soil is secure. Lastly, water your flower a few times to make sure it’s comfortable in its new home.
How to Prune
Pruning your Pot Marigold is fairly simple and should ideally be done a few times a season. Start by cutting away faded flowers and dead leaves. You can do this with gardening scissors or shears. Take care not to damage the plant while pruning. Pruning before the flowering period can help keep your plants healthy and tidy and help promote new blooms. Furthermore, pruning is essential to help control the size of your Pot Marigold, as unmanaged plants can become too large quickly.
How to Propagate
Pot Marigold is an annual flower, meaning that plants need to be continuously replaced if you want to keep them in your garden. Fortunately, Pot Marigold can be propagated easily. The easiest method is by root division. To do so, find a part of the main root that has several stems attached to it and separate the main root from the stems. Plant the main segment and the stems in separate pots filled with the same soil mix used for the original plant. Make sure to water both pots regularly, and you will have more Pot Marigold plants in no time.
Common Pests and Diseases
Pot Marigold plants are fairly hardy and can tolerate some pests, such as aphids and caterpillars, but can sometimes be plagued with diseases such as powdery mildew and root rot. To avoid these problems, make sure your plants are getting enough sunlight, are not overwatered, and are planted in well-draining soil. Additionally, use neem oil in the summer to prevent pest infestations. Take note of visual symptoms like discolored stems and wilting leaves and remove affected parts immediately to prevent the spread of disease.
Three Frequently Asked Questions about Pot Marigold
Q1. How often should I water my Pot Marigold?
A1. You should water your Pot Marigold at least once a week, providing them with an inch or two of water every seven days.
Q2. Is Pot Marigold a perennial or annual plant?
A2. Pot Marigold is an annual plant, meaning it needs to be replanted each year.
Q3. Does Pot Marigold need full sun or partial shade?
A3. Pot Marigold prefers an area that receives full sunlight, although partial shade is also fine if in hot climates.
Table Fact Sheet
|Pot Marigold||Calendula Officinalis|
|Mature Size||6-14 inches|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun, partial shade|
|Bloom Time||Late spring to late frost|
|Flower Color||Yellow, orange, white, red|
|Hardiness Zones||2 – 11|
|Native Area||Southern Europe|