health benefits of calendula

The Incredible Health Benefits of Calendula and Its Uses

The Outdoor Apothecary is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

The Health Benefits of Calendula & Growing Guide

Calendula is an eye-catching flower in the garden that adds a cheery presence to any outdoor space. But did you know theyre a useful addition to the medicine cabinet as well? They are one of my favorite herbs for many reasons. In this article, well take a deeper look at the Calendula Officinalis. Well discuss the many amazing health benefits of calendula, and how you can include this beauty in your home garden as well.

health benefits of calendula

Botanical Information

Calendula Officinalis is an annual flower, originally from the Mediterranean region. When a flower is classified as an annual, it only lives for the duration of one growing season. While it is also commonly known as pot marigold, the calendula is not related to the marigold. The calendula is a member of the daisy (Asteraceae) family. The calendula is a simple flower to grow in cool temperatures and is an excellent flower for attracting pollinating bees (something we could definitely use more of).

Medicinal Uses & Other Benefits

Calendula has a rich history of use, dating back to ancient civilizations. The people of Ancient Rome, for example, used calendula in various applications, including for scorpion stings. Today, calendula remains a popular herb for addressing external concerns. It is often used for its soothing properties on skin issues like rashes, wounds, and general irritation.

Calendula is prized for its potential to support skin health, thanks to its abundance of antioxidants. This makes it a wonderful addition to balms, salves, creams, and ointments.

Two common ways to use calendula are by making a tea from its dried flowers or by applying a calendula-infused topical cream. You can make calendula ointment at home by soaking dried calendula in a carrier oil, such as olive or jojoba. If you don’t grow your own calendula, you can easily find dried calendula at retailers that sell herbs.  I would highly recommend Mountain Rose Herbs and have been personally using them for years. 

While the health benefits of calendula cannot be disputed, it is not for everyone. Those who are pregnant are strongly advised to abstain from both consuming calendula and applying it topically, as it increases the risk of pregnancy complications. In addition, those who are allergic to ragweeds or other members of the Asteraceae family should stay away from calendula.

And as always, if you are already being prescribed medication, it is advisable to speak with a medical professional before adding calendula to your medicine cabinet. A medical professional can also offer a consultation to advise you on the appropriate dosage of calendula that best suits your needs.

health benefits of calendula

Growing Conditions

  • Climate & Temperature – Despite their preference for sunny weather, calendulas prefer cooler temperatures. In extreme heat (greater than 85° F), calendulasgrowth will become stunted. These flowers are capable of withstanding temperatures as low as 25° F.
  • Soil – Calendulaspreferred soil is a well-draining, rich soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. However, they are not picky when it comes to soil requirements. Calendulas are tolerant of poorer soil conditions, though these specifications will guarantee the best flowers possible.
  • Sun – Calendulas thrive on sunlight, so make sure to give them as much as possible. When planting your calendulas, select a space in the garden that receives around 8 hours of sunlight a day.
  • Water – It is recommended to give your calendula moderate watering on a regular basis. Be sure to avoid overwatering your calendulas by providing them about 1to 1.5of water weekly. Dont worry about forgetting to water calendulas, as they are tolerable of low water conditions and will fare just fine.
  • Fertilizer – Calendula conveniently requires very little fertilization. However, if you want to go the extra mile and you choose to fertilize your calendula, mixing in a rich compost before planting will give your calendula all the nutrients they need for a plentiful bloom.

Tips to Grow Calendula

The best time to begin sowing calendula seeds outside is in the early spring. These flowers grow best in cooler temperatures and lower humidity. Calendulas will bloom after six to eight weeks from sowing. If you want your calendula to bloom even earlier, you can start your plants indoors six weeks prior to your last frost date.

Sow your calendula seeds about 1/4in the ground. As stated previously, it is important to select a location where the calendula will receive a full days worth of sunlight (at least 8 hours). In addition, calendulas ideally prefer moderately rich soil. You can achieve this by working in some compost in the soil before planting.

After the calendula sprouts begin to grow, it is best to thin out the seedlings and make sure that there is 8to 12in between each one.

When your calendula blooms have run their course, be sure to deadhead them to encourage more blooming in the future. Deadheading is the process of removing an old flower to make way for new growth. When deadheading the calendulas, pluck below the flower, but above the new leaf growth.

Calendulas are extremely tolerant of the cold, and you can continue to grow your calendulas into the wintertime. Theyll be able to withstand some light frost until a deep freeze kills them.

Pests & Diseases

Calendula is often used as a companion plant for vegetables such as tomatoes and potatoes due to its ability to deter pests. While calendula is an excellent defender of garden pests and diseases, it is not entirely invincible.

Some examples of common pests & diseases include:

Aphids & Whiteflies

Whiteflies are true to their name and are tiny whiteflies. Aphids are identifiable by their tiny green or black bodies. Both pests are often found hanging out on the underside of the leaves where they feed on the plant.

Luckily, aphids and whiteflies are quickly treatable. The simplest way to rid your plants of these pests is to hit them with a firm stream of water to knock them off (once theyre down, its very unlikely theyll climb back up). In addition, you can also treat them with regular spraying of insecticidal soap, if you feel comfortable using soap on your plants.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a very common disease to find in the garden. It is identifiable by the small, white spots that appear all over the plant. These white spots resemble power, hence their name.

Thankfully, powdery mildew is highly treatable. The best course of action is clipping all infected areas of the plant. Going forward, it is best to give your calendulas proper air circulation and watering. When watering your plants, be careful and try to aim for the bottom of the stem; do not overhead water.

calendula cream

Harvest & Storage

Calendula should be plucked at full bloom, picking off the entire head of the flower. If you plan on using your calendulas for culinary purposes, then you should pluck out the individual petals. Youll see re-blooming after around two weeks, and you can harvest your calendula many times during one season.

After youve harvested your calendula, the best way to get the most use out of them is to dry the flowers. If you have a dehydrator at home, then thats perfect for drying your calendulas. If you do not own a dehydrator, no worries. Simply lay your calendula flowers on a baking tray and allow them to naturally dry out in the air. This method works best in an area that is dry, dark, and has good air circulation.

Dried calendula will last for one year, as long as they are properly stored in a dry, airtight container.

Closing Thought

On the outside, calendula look like pretty garden flowers, but there is so much more to them than just their good looks. Even the people of ancient civilizations knew how beneficial calendulas really were. I recommend growing calendulas at least once in your garden. Not only will you enjoy an increase in pollinating insects, but youll also have a decrease in pests. And when it comes time to harvest, youll have a natural supplement that will give you a boost of antioxidants and improve your health!

Works Cited

Braithwaite, Liz & Drost, Dan. Calendula in the Garden.Utah State University

Extension. Accessed 6 June 2021.

Calendula.WebMD. Accessed 6 June 2021.

Lang, Ariane. 7 Potential Benefits of Calendula Tea and Extract.Healthline. https:// Accessed 6 June 2021.

Sweetser, Robin. Growing Calendula: How to Grow Pot Marigold.The Old Farmers

Almanac. Accessed 6 June 2021.

Get 5 FREE Herbal Preparations Reference Guides

Here's what's Included


The Outdoor Apothecary website is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is the reader’s responsibility to ensure proper plant identification and usage.

Please be aware that some plants are poisonous or can have serious adverse health effects. We are not health professionals, medical doctors, or nutritionists. It is essential to consult with qualified professionals for verification of nutritional information, health benefits, and any potential risks associated with edible and medicinal plants mentioned on this website.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *