Smith County Master Gardener
There is nothing poison about this dear old plant, which is entirely edible. We use it to brighten our winter gardens since it grows in cool climates, unlike its cousins that require heat.
Calendula is such an easy plant to grow and very inexpensive, too. Just get a pack of seeds in the fall, plant them and watch them pop up in five or six days.
Calendula is a great plant for a child's first seed project. The squiggly little seeds are large enough for small fingers to pick up and place in a nicely dug bed or pot. Bright green leaves will appear and grow quickly into a nice plant and will flower while the plant is still small.
Look in seed catalogs for a larger variety, as they come in several colors and sizes, from little Bon-Bon to the 2-foot-tall Pacifica. Local garden centers usually sell one or two varieties.
Often you see the seeds in spring and like most of the seeds in the display, should be planted in fall. Remember, we are hot down here and all those early spring plants must be planted in fall, so buy the seeds now when you see them, put them in a zipper bag, and into the refrigerator until fall planting time.
Remember, what you seed blooming in spring must be planted in fall and vice-versa.