Calendulas are one of the easiest medicinal plants to grow, they can be grown in a plethora of weather conditions and soil types making them extremely versatile. There are many varieties of Calendula you can grow, and many farms will grow calendula as a beneficial plant and cut flower. In this blog post we will cover various Calendula Varieties and how to grow them! Want to learn more about seed varieties? Visit our previous blog post to understand what separates seeds! To learn more about the benefits of Calendua, check out this blog post!
Cut flower varieties will emphasize long stems on the plant or vibrant unique colors. The Princess series is a cut flower industry staple that provides those long easy to cut stems and a range of colors. Cut flower varieties, while beautiful in their own right do not necessarily have the high resin content that we look for when we are considering what Calendula to grow. For this reason we tend to shy away from these flowers in our herbal products. Regardless, they make great insectaries for beneficial insects and bees to come and hang out on, or beautiful additions to your salads and teas. In many regions, Calendula will grow and bloom year round providing a source of nectar and pollen for our insect friends!
Other unique varieties such as Strawberry Blonde and Zeolights exist as well. Strawberry Blonde gives a pink and cream color while Zeolights provides variegated petals that are more peach in color but can range in the yellow to orange spectrum. The flashback series offer more ruffled petals while also incorporating variegation. We love seeing these flowers out in the field and in bouquets, these flowers will have some resin content and are amazing at attracting pollinators and butterflies! These are some of our favorites to grow as beneficial plants. Enjoy the colors they provide and watch them closely to see what else stops by to enjoy them as well! Also, as mentioned before, the petals make beautiful additions to salads and add color to teas.
Lastly, lets have a look at our high resin content Calendula's. One variety we grow is aptly called Resina. Resina is a prolific bloomer of yellow and orange blossoms that are verrry sticky. Resina offers abundant blooms, and the resulting plant tends to be bushier, and the flowers sit on shorter stalks making them less ideal for bouquets. You can constantly harvest from Resina and it will continually bloom for you. It is also important to "dead head", this means removing any blossoms you may have missed that have gone to seed, this will encourage the plant to continue to bloom. You can certainly feel the resin on your fingers after picking just a few blooms of Resina!
Another variety grown by herb farms across the world as the standard for herbal preparations is Erfurter Organgefarben, this variety has a higher resin content than Resina, but does not produce as many flowers. For this reason, we grow both. These blooms are extremely vibrant orange, and in some parts of the world are also grown to feed chickens to produce a darker yolk! The Efurter blossom is more robust in size than Resina is. The Erfurter bloom can be sometimes almost twice as big! You may find a flowering blossom has multiple blossoms coming from the center.
A new variety on the market we have not worked with yet is called Alpha and can now be purchased from select seed vendors. It is important to understand the difference in Calendulas, so you know that you are growing the best variety to achieve your goals! As you can see each variety serves a unique purpose in the farm or garden. While we enjoy all of the other varieties we choose to stick with the high resin cultivars to ensure our products pack the most punch.