It’s Calendula Season!

buck and calendula

Just a reminder to you all that Calendula officinalis (aka Pot Marigold) is super-easy to grow in the garden. Why should you grow Calendula? To make Calendula infused olive oil, of course– as I’m doing above, with inevitable feline assistance.

Well, that’s why I grow it. Calendula infused olive oil is the base of all my lotions and potions, because it is such a potent healer of dry, itchy, burnt or otherwise irritated skin. I’m using it right now to treat my sunburn–which is what made me think of this post.

But outside of this, it’s an all around useful herb.  Here’s a couple of profiles to check out if you need convincing: Plants for a Future;  University of Maryland

It takes about 60 days for Calendula to reach maturity from seed, so if it’s spring where you live, now is a good time to plant it. Note that Calendula is a happy volunteer. Once you plant it, you may never have to plant it again. The volunteer flowers are not as big and fancy as their parent flowers–they revert to their wild form quickly–but they work just as well.

I like Calendula so much that I’ve already written a whole series of posts on it:

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  1. Where do you get your calendula seeds? I’ve looked for them at stores before When I wanted some for my baby’s bum but still haven’t found any

    • A couple of years ago I got a packet of calendula seeds from Richter’s Herbs in Canada; since then I’m saving the seeds year to year. Richter’s is the best source for quality herb seeds and plants and they carry all kinds of odd medicinal herbs. Customer service is always good and the shipping costs aren’t prohibitive, at least not here on the East Coast.

    • How odd! Where do you live? At my local nursery they have several types–each major seed company seems to carry at least one variety–like Botanical Interests, for instance–so I never thought of them as hard to find. But maybe it’s a regional thing?

      You can order Calendula on line, of course–either from a dedicated seed company, or I’ve also seen them listed on Amazon and at Mountain Rose Herbs.

      Just make sure you get Calendula officinalis–that’s the medicinal form.

    • Oi! I think they all do! The cats are such busybodies – it’s impossible to do anything around the house without feline interference. They particularly like it when the camera comes out.

    • omg. floppy sleepy kittens.

      Often Erik and I wonder why we bother with this homesteading business at all when we could be running a cat blog instead.

    • thank you Donna! i really love this! it is so beautiful and fascinating – so many shouts into my brain and heart and soul that i am having trouble coming up with the right words for how this struck me!
      thank you for sharing!!!!!
      i will definitely be viewing these pics again and again as i know each time something different will jump out at me!!

  2. I make calendula infused oil for use in my soaps – I also dry the petals and crush them up to add directly to the soap and it makes the bars look like sunshine!
    I also make a chamomile and calendula soap that is always a big seller. I spike it with lot’s of blood orange essential oil and throw in some shea butter for extra nourishment.
    Calendula oil is AWESOME in lotions!
    I will admit to digging up whole plants from the side of the road to transplant in my garden. They are so easy to grow and pop flowers first thing in the spring around here. A welcome bit of light after all the clouds and gray.

  3. My cats just seem to lay around – they certainly aren’t interested in anything I’m doing.

    • Trish, arent you lucky!!! between the four cats and the dog, it is constant nosey chaos over here!! absolutely always have to watch underfoot, closing doors, etc because someone has always got their nose stuck in my business! and dont dare think to close the bathroom door!!! oh no – they ALL have to be in there with me!

  4. I too have had my patch that has been reseeding for about 5 years now and use the flowers for my infusions. I do go an extra step and separate the dried petals from the base and use them instead of the whole flower. That way only the beneficial components are being extracted. Just a detail, but worth mentioning. We get lots of neighboring furry visitors as well as bees and birds in our kitchen!

    • Yes, I usually use only the petals. In my “official” posts on the how-to process you’ll see that in the photos. This time I felt lazy. Also, I’ve heard that the green parts do actually have beneficial properties as well. I really don’t know! So I’m going to see how this goes.

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