Offering a near-continuous run of cheerful, golden flowers, calendulas (Calendula officinalis), or pot marigolds, are a very hardy herb. This Mediterranean native is a annual from the Asteraceae family. Once used as an all-purpose tonic, calendula flowers really made the rounds in the kitchens of England and parts of Europe; the Romans even relied on calendula to treat scorpion bites. Less popular now, calendula makes a pretty addition to the herb garden and its petals can be used to create a striking yellow dye. Calendula’s dried flowers are sometimes still used in topical ointments for burns, cuts and minor skin irritations; a few handfuls of calendula petals can make for an energizing, herbal bath.

by Dani Yokhna
PHOTO: Abundancia/iStock/Thinkstock

Size: Grows 1 to 3 feet high

Sunlight requirements: Full sun, but will tolerate some shade

Water requirements: Regular watering

Soil requirements: Prefers a soil pH of 6.6 and average, well-draining soil

When to plant: Spring to early summer

Where to plant: Garden; containers

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When to harvest: Pick of the flowers when they reach their prime, in the morning after the dew dries.

Produce storage: Dry flowers on screens in the shade. Store the dried flowers in glass jars or plastic bags.

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