The Romans were the first to celebrate birth months with specific flowers. For those lucky enough to be born in the month of October Calendula, Calendula officinalis, is their botanical symbol. Calendula can produce blooms well into the fall, so this makes sense. For those not familiar with this plant, you may recognize it as the pot Marigold. Calendula produces beautiful yellow and orange blooms that are very reminiscant of the sun. Don’t mistake it for just another pretty face though. Calendula is a hard worker in the garden as well as a medicinal powerhouse.

How Calendula is beneficial in the garden

Calendula can protect your plants from pests. This aspect makes them a very useful addition to your garden. A tea made from the flowers and leaves can be used as an insecticidal spray for your garden. This tea has proven to be very effective in recent studies. This is a great way to control pests without using harmful chemicals. Even just planting Calendula amongst veggies will protect them from aphids, cabbage worms, and diamondback moths. Calendula exudes a sticky sap these pests find more appealing than your nearby veggies. These pests will go there and get trapped, keeping your veggies safe.


Calendula also attracts beneficial pollinators to your garden. Bees and butterflies find their nectar irresistible. Ladybugs, hoverflies, and lacewings find the aphids trapped in the sticky sap irresistible.


The flowers, leaves, and sap are not the only beneficial part of Calendula in the garden. The roots also nurture our microscopic fungi friends below the soil’s surface. These fungi clean our soil. In China cover crops of Calendula were proven to restore soil that had been contaminated with cadmium. In Spain a recent study showed the presence of Calendula deterred plant parasitic nematodes from invading the soil.


Calendula is an annual that will bloom until the first frost. After the blooming season ends, it is still useful as a winter cover crop. Using Calendula as a living mulch is a great way to protect and revive your soil over the winter months. Once it finally dies off, Calendula will provide organic matter and nutrients back into the soil. Since Calendula self seeds, come next season, it will pop back up out of the soil and begin its work in the garden all over again.

How Calendula is beneficial to you

Calendula is not only extremely beneficial outdoors, it is also extremely beneficial to you! The blooms are edible and can be used medicinally. First off, make sure you are planting Calendula officinalis. It is commonly known as the Marigold, but there are other species of Marigolds that are toxic to humans and animals. These should not be treated the same as Calendula officinalis. Secondly, Calendula is in the Asteraceae, or daisy, family. If you have an allergy to daisies, ragweed, or other members of that family use Calendula with caution, until you know if it will react with you or not. Also, to use Calendula medicinally or as an edible do not use any chemicals when you grow it.

In the Kitchen

Calendula blossoms are edible. They have a tangy, peppery taste and can be used to brighten up salads, salsas, eggs, or even pasta dishes. Calendula blossoms can also be added to soups or cream cheese to add a dash of colour and a mild peppery flavour.

During the Middle Ages Calendula flowers were called the poor man’s saffron. It is a suitable substitute. Calendula will even bring about a delicate saffron colour and similar taste to your dishes. Calendula is rich in antioxidants and a powerful anti-inflammatory. A tea made of the blossoms can soothe gastric inflammation, such as GERD, and heartburn.  It is also a known tonic to boost the immune system.

For your body

Throughout history Calendula has been used to heal wounds. It is a natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antimicrobial. The Romans used to grow it to treat scorpion stings. In addition to using the blossoms as a tea to treat internal conditions, a strong tea can be useful to use in a compress to treat external conditions like wounds, burns, bug bites, eczema, and rashes.


As a side note, I’m proud to announce that V is For Voodoo is partnering with Sundog Farm out of Saluda, NC for a hefty supply of Calendula. This will be going into our salves soon to make them even more beneficial!

A popular and easy way to use Calendula on the skin is to infuse an oil, such as olive, or grapeseed, with Calendula. To do this:

1) Collect the blossoms, dry them out thoroughly, and put them in a jar.
2)Pour your chosen carrier oil, like olive oil, over the blossoms until they are fully submerged.
3) Put the jar in a sunny spot and let it do it’s thing for a month. The oil inside should begin to yellow as it absorbs the properties of the Calendula blossoms. For best results use the entire flower head, and not just the petals. A lot of the benefit comes from the full head.
4)After a month strain out all of the blossoms and collect your oil in a jar.

You can use this directly on the skin for basically any skin condition.

Grow some calendula!

Calendula is an easy plant to grow. It will self seed and provides benefits to your garden and you year round. The benefits you get from this plant far outweighs the effort it takes to grow it. Calendula thrives in pots so even if you don’t have a lot of space you can add this magical plant into your household! If you’re still not into the growing thing, you can buy dried flower heads from many different herbal supply stores. Rose Mountain Herbs is a wonderful supplier. They have a plethora of wonderful products! I've even seen it locally on the shelves in herbal supply stores.