Calendula (lat.Calendula), or marigold, belongs to the genus of herbaceous plants of the Astrovye family, whose representatives naturally grow in the Mediterranean, Western Asia and Western Europe. The genus name comes from the Latin word calendae, which means the first day of the month. There are approximately 20 species of annual and perennial plants in the genus. Some of them, for example, medicinal marigolds, in addition to high decorative qualities, also have valuable medicinal properties, which can be found mention in the works of Dioscorides - the ancient Greek philosopher and doctor of the 1st century A.D. Galen, Avicenna, Amirdovlat Amasiatsi and the famous herbalist Nicholas Culpeper.
Calendula was also used as a vegetable plant: it was used for filling for dumplings, puddings, wine, added to soups and oatmeal. Calendula was called a spice for the poor, since real oriental spices brought from overseas cost a lot of money, and the calendula plant successfully replaced saffron, giving dishes a tart taste and a yellow-orange hue.
Due to its merits, calendula was incredibly popular in Europe, Shakespeare himself wrote about it, and the Queen of Navarre Margaret of Valois, the very same Queen Margot, preferred calendula to all the flowers of the royal garden.
Read more about growing calendula below.
Calendula flower is a herbaceous plant with glandular pubescence, orange or yellow inflorescences-baskets, consisting of external pistillate fertile false-lingual flowers and internal tubular sterile flowers, sometimes of a darker color. The leaves of calendula are simple, alternate, oval, lanceolate or elongated. Curved, sometimes ring-shaped achenes - calendula fruits - are arranged in 2-3 rows. Calendula blooms from June to November, bears fruit abundantly, the seeds remain viable for up to 5 years. In decorative floriculture calendula since the 16th century.
The easiest way to sow seeds in open ground in April or before winter in October. In the spring, sowing time comes when the ground is warmed up enough and dries out after the snow melts: firmly squeeze a handful of garden soil in your hands and then throw this lump on the ground from about a meter in height, and if it disintegrates easily, then it's time to sow calendula. A couple of weeks before planting, the soil on the site is dug up with humus at the rate of 3-4 kg per m², adding 20 g of superphosphate and potassium chloride, as well as 30 g of urea to the same unit of area.
It is better, of course, to dig up the area with humus, phosphorus and potassium supplements in the fall, so that in the spring, before sowing, it remains only to apply nitrogen fertilizers.
Seeds of calendula are sown into the ground to a depth of 1-2 cm with an interval of 25-30 cm from each other, and the distance between the rows is left about 60-70 cm if you grow calendula because of its decorative qualities, but if you need calendula as medicine, then the interval between the rows may be less - 30-40 cm.In this case, the distance between the seeds in the row can be reduced to 7-10 cm.In 2-3 weeks after the emergence of sprouts (and the seeds, when properly planted, begin to germinate already a week later) they are thinned out in such a way that intervals of 25-35 cm are formed between the seedlings. "Extra" seedlings can be immediately planted in another place - the calendula perfectly tolerates transplantation. Calendula blooms in about 10 weeks from the moment of sowing seeds in open ground.
In order for the calendula to bloom early, it is grown in seedlings. Low-growing varieties of calendula are also best grown by seedlings. Seeds for seedlings are sown in late March or early April in a common container or in separate cups with flower soil to a shallow depth - no more than 2 cm. Containers with crops are covered with foil and kept at a temperature of 18-20 ºC in light, but protected from direct sun location.
When shoots appear (this usually happens after 6-8 days), the film is removed, and the temperature is lowered to 14-15 ºC. Caring for the calendula flower at this stage consists in watering the soil and feeding the seedlings with a weak solution of complex mineral fertilizer once every ten days or every two weeks. At the developmental stage of seedlings of two true leaves, the seedlings dive 5 cm between the specimens or plant them in separate cups.
When the seedlings develop 5-6 true leaves, the calendula flower is planted in open ground - usually in mid-May. However, despite the fact that the calendula plant is cold-resistant and calmly withstands night spring frosts, it is still necessary to carry out hardening procedures with the seedlings before planting. To do this, boxes or cups are taken out for a short time to the balcony or covered terrace every day during the week.
The calendula site should be sunny and the soil well-drained, moist and nutritious. Experienced gardeners plant calendula between the beds of other garden and vegetable crops, which protects them from the harmful activity of ticks, butterflies and their larvae. However, calendula roots release substances into the soil that can slow down the development of radishes or basil planted nearby. Consider this when choosing a site.
Planting calendula in the ground is carried out according to the same scheme as sowing: the distance between specimens in a row is maintained within 25-30 cm for decorative species and 7-10 for medicinal ones, and the aisles for decorative forms are left with a width of 60 to 70 cm, and for medicinal - 30-40 cm. Calendula flowering begins 40-50 days after sowing seeds for seedlings.
Calendula reproduces well and self-seeding.
Growing and caring for calendula does not require any special conditions or much effort. Everything is as usual: watering in dry weather, loosening the soil, weeding the site and monthly feeding with complex mineral fertilizer. However, the cultivation of calendula has one subtlety: if you want your calendula to bloom for a long time and abundantly, immediately after the reed flowers of the baskets take a horizontal position, cut off all the open flowers. This measure contributes to the formation of such a number of buds that the lush flowering will last until late autumn.
However, you need to constantly collect the fully opened inflorescences-baskets. If this is not done, the flowering of calendula will last only until the end of July.
Calendula reproduces in a generative way - by seeds.
Sometimes calendula is affected by fungal diseases, black spot or powdery mildew. Black or brown spots appear on the leaves of calendula from black spot.
Powdery mildew forms a whitish bloom on the ground part of the plant, which turns brown over time, from which the calendula loses its decorative effect, and the affected areas stop developing and turn black. Even a minor lesion with this disease leads to a noticeable decrease in the cold resistance of calendula. If immediate and drastic measures are needed, treat calendula for spotting or dew with fungicides, for example, Skor, Topaz, Fundazol or Topsin.
But it is better not to be too lazy and, in a preventive manner, to thin out the calendula in case of a strong planting density, to weed the site in a timely manner, monitor the amount of fertilizers applied to the soil, especially nitrogen fertilizers, so that the soil does not become oversaturated, thoroughly clean the area from plant residues in the fall, dig deeply for the winter soil, observe crop rotation and, of course, immediately remove diseased plants from the site.
Of the pests, calendula can only suffer from aphids - it scares away other insects. As for the aphids, it seems that the calendula takes a hit on itself, collecting aphids from all over the garden on its site. You can fight aphids on calendula by treatment with Fufanon, or Karbofos, as well as Acarin, Aktellik, Biotlin or Antitlin.
As you can see, planting and caring for calendula outdoors is not difficult.
It is necessary to collect calendula seeds during the period of their almost full maturity. In order not to be late, a gauze bag is put on the withering inflorescence, into which the ripe seeds will be poured. The problem is that calendula seeds do not ripen, which is why it is important not to miss the moment of their ripening. Otherwise, you are threatened with abundant self-seeding.
Garden calendula is an annual culture, so in the fall its plant residues are disposed of, and the site is dug up.
In culture, only two types of calendula are grown:
Less popular than marigolds, up to 30 cm high, with ligulate flowers of a modest ocher-yellow color. Under natural conditions, it grows in wastelands and abandoned areas in southern Europe. The rules for growing field calendula are the same as for medicinal calendula;
Or marigold, or pharmacy calendula, or pharmacy marigolds, or balaban, or full crocon, or roast - herbaceous annual from 20 to 75 cm high with thick, light green ribbed shoots covered with sticky glandular pubescence. The leaves of this species are simple, oval or elongated, also covered with hard sparse hairs. The inflorescences-baskets with a peculiar invigorating aroma consist of ligulate flowers of orange or yellow shining on top and matte on the underside and of small yellow, dark brown or orange tubular flowers. This species blooms with proper care from June to November, bears fruit abundantly. Breeding work with medicinal calendula is carried out in two directions: medical and decorative. In America and Europe, breeders develop and improve the decorative qualities of calendula. For example, the group of varieties Pisific Beauty presents forms of calendula for cutting with a stem height of up to 70 cm and baskets with a diameter of up to 9 cm, and the Patio group, on the contrary, is made up of varieties of compact sizes with a height of only up to 30 cm. The Kablun group includes varieties of anemone shape - with strongly expanded tubular flowers. The best varieties of decorative calendula:
In addition to the varieties described, Orange Koenig, Gold Koenig, Gold Kugel, Kanarienvogel, Kabluna Gold, Calypso, Golden Emperor and others are also interesting.
Improved medicinal qualities of calendula are represented by varieties of domestic selection Ryzhik, Kalta, Sakharovskaya orange and others.
As a medicinal plant, calendula is grown commercially. For the manufacture of medicines, freshly blossomed calendula inflorescences are harvested, in which there are many carotenoids (carotene, flavochrom, flavoxanthin, rubixanthin, lycolin, cigroxanthin). The composition of calendula also includes saponin, paraffinic hydrocarbons, mucus, resins, phytoncides, bitterness, proteins, flavonoids, glycosides, malic, salicylic, pentadecylic, ascorbic acids and essential oil.
Calendula flowers are used as a wound healing, anti-inflammatory, bactericidal and antispasmodic agent. Calendula is used in the treatment of the nervous system and diseases of internal organs as a sedative, diaphoretic, expectorant, analgesic and tonic. Calendula preparations help to relax the smooth muscle structures of the stomach, liver and intestines, which enhances bile formation, bile secretion and secretory activity of the stomach. On streptococci and staphylococci, calendula acts as a strong antibiotic, but without such destructive consequences for the human body and without side effects.
For some skin diseases (psoriasis, allergic dermatoses, vitiligo), calendula preparations are taken both internally and externally. An aqueous solution of calendula tincture is effective in treating stomatitis, tonsillitis, tonsillitis, and reduces bleeding of the gums. Calendula ointment treats burns, cuts, skin cracks, bruises and eczema. Calendula oil is effective for varicose veins, bedsores, dry eczema, it is also recommended to be taken orally for gastritis, stomach and duodenal ulcers, liver disease, colitis, enterocolitis. The drug relieves the manifestation of nervousness in neurasthenia and climacteric disorders.
Calendula is also good as a cosmetic product: shampooing with calendula infusion in combination with chamomile and hop cones in equal parts improves the appearance and condition of the hair and scalp.
You can not use drugs from calendula during pregnancy, low blood pressure and heart failure, as well as people with individual intolerance to the product. However, even if you are not at risk, it is wise to talk to your doctor before taking a calendula medication.
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For planting marigolds, a sunny place with moist, loose, well-fertilized soil is suitable. It is known that the scent of calendula scares away ticks, butterflies and other insect pests, so experienced gardeners often plant cheerful "suns" along vegetable beds and not far from berry bushes. Such a neighborhood is unfavorable only for basil and radish - substances secreted by the roots of marigolds slow down the development of these crops.
The selected area is prepared 10-15 days before planting: humus (3-4 kg / m²), urea (30 g / m²), potassium chloride and superphosphate (20 g / m²) are covered under deep digging of the soil. It is possible to process the area in the fall with the introduction of organic matter and phosphorus-potassium fertilizers, and add the nitrogen component in the spring.
Finding calendula seeds on sale is not difficult, although their cost depends on the variety. Purchased seeds can be sown directly into open ground after warming up the soil. In the middle lane, sowing dates are from mid-April to early May. Alternatively, it is possible to plant before winter in the last decade of October. They will overwinter safely and will sprout in the spring without outside participation. Planting calendula in the fall is mainly used when using seeds of our own production. For purchased varietal seeds, it is advisable to use
A site for calendula is dug up 2 weeks before sowing. During digging, 3-4 kilograms of humus, 30 grams of urea, 20 grams of superphosphate and potassium chloride are added per square meter.
Seeds are planted in open ground to a depth of 2 centimeters. The distance between plants depends on the type of flower:
Calendula reproduces well by seeds.
Seedlings are thinned out as needed 2 weeks after the appearance of the first shoots. Thinning instances can be transplanted to a new location. Calendula tolerates the transplant perfectly.
To get early flowering of calendula, you can grow calendula from seeds at home. In this case, by the time of planting, the seedlings will be strong and ready for the beginning of bud formation.
The containers for sowing seeds for seedlings are filled with any mixture for flowers. The seeds embedded in the soil are covered with foil or glass and placed in a warm place. If the flowers sprout too often, 2-3 weeks after germination, the seedlings dive into a more spacious dish at a distance of 5 centimeters from each other.
It is recommended to periodically feed calendula
One of the options for obtaining a large number of seedlings is sowing calendula in an outdoor greenhouse. You can build a greenhouse based on metal arcs right in the open ground. The arches are covered with several layers of covering material (Spandex, Spandbond) two weeks before the intended sowing. Sowing is done in mid-March. In order not to need a picking of seedlings, the seeds are buried in the ground at a seed of 7X7 centimeters.
Narrow-leaved lavender is a bright, spectacular and fragrant decoration of the garden that can please the eye for many years and does not need complex care. This evergreen beauty can be successfully grown as a houseplant if you provide it with enough light and warmth. Reviews of gardeners about narrow-leaved lavender agree that this flower is little affected by pests and diseases and is undemanding to environmental conditions. A wide variety of varieties allows you to choose an option suitable for growing in almost any region. In the event that the winters are harsh, you can plant the plant in a tub and, after the end of the warm period, take it from the garden to the room in order to put it back under the open sky for the next season.