Scientific Name: Calendula officinalis
Climate: Warm, temperate, cold
Plant Description: It is an herbaceous plant from annual to perennial. Woody only at the base. The stem grows up to 60 cm high, the leaves grow up to 5 cm long, the flowers are orange with many petals, 4 to 6 cm wide. It probably comes from southern Europe, and has been cultivated for at least 1000 years all over the world.
Cultivation: Needs to be in direct sun. It adapts to different types of soil, but prefers well-drained soil. The seeds can be sown directly into the soil at a depth of no more than 1 cm, and at a distance of 20-30 cm between plants. In warm weather the plants will grow and flower in a few weeks. It is not necessary to remove the wilted flowers, but if this is done it will not affect the growth of the plant. Fertilization is not recommended during growth, because the leaves will grow a lot as opposed to the flowers.
Watering should not be too frequent, it is recommended to water the base of the plant, instead of the leaves or flowers, to avoid diseases caused by fungus or mistreating the flowers. Once planted they will need very minimal care.
Uses: The flowers are used in ointments, teas, dyes even mashed directly into diaper rashes, sunburns and other minor injuries or skin irritations. It also has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and anti-bacterial properties. It is an excellent insect repellent in the garden, below and above ground - the whole plant can be liquefied, soaked in water for 48 hours, strained and used as an organic plant repellent. The flowers are edible - a substance called beta carotene gives them that orange color rich in vitamin A.
Pests and Diseases: It doesn't have many problems with pests, it even repels several garden insects (this is why it is recommended to use them in the garden), sometimes they can have problems with aphids or fungus due to excess humidity. Harvested flowers can be dried in the sun or hung upside down in bouquets.
En español: Caléndula