Field marigold – characteristics, cultivation and use

field marigold yellow flower
field marigold yellow flower - by Alvesgaspar

The field Marigold is the wild and little sister of the well-known marigold. As of June, it dips some warm corners (such as vineyards) in bright yellow-orange. Their small flowers are an excellent healing agent. You can also apply the plant internally to relieve digestive problems and help with women’s problems.

Field marigold is very rare and protected, it must not be collected in nature.

Profile of field marigold:

Scientific name: Calendula arvensis

Plant family: aster family (Asteraceae)

Other names: –

Sowing time / Planting time: March – April

Flowering period: May – October

Harvest time: June – October (flowers), August – November (seeds for sowing)

Useful plant parts: leaves, flowers

Location: sunny to full sun

Soil quality: nutrient-poor, dry, well-drained soil

These information are for temperate climate!

Use as a medicinal herb: skin inflammation, headache, gynecology

Use as aromatic herb: tea, salat

Plant characteristics and classification of field marigold

Origin and occurrence of field marigold

The field marigold is native to Southern Europe. It grows preferentially in sunny places.

After the marigold was introduced from Southern Europe to Central Europe, it found its place in monastery and cottage gardens from the 12th century.

Today, field marigold has become very rare and is protected, used is only the common marigold.

Plant order of field marigold

Field marigold belongs to the aster family (Asteraceae), such as dandelion, coneflowers or horseheal.

Characteristics of the field marigold


The annual plant grows up to 30 centimeters (12 in) high.


The lower leaves are oblong lanceolate and short petiolate, the upper leaves are ovate lanceolate and usually span the stems.


The yellow to yellow-orange flowers appear between June and November. The flowers have a diameter of about 1 cm (0.4 in).


The seeds develop from the flowers from late summer to late autumn.

field marigold (calendula arvensis)
field marigold (calendula arvensis) – by Javier martin

Field marigold – cultivation and care


Field marigold needs a warm and sunny location.


The soil should not be too lean and not too nutritious.


Sow directly in the field in spring. Since the marigold is annual, it must be sown every year. In late summer, you can then leave some of the faded inflorescences so that seeds can form. Once the seeds are brown you can harvest them and pick them up for the next year or leave some for self-seeding.


No special measures are required for watering and fertilizing. The field marigold can survive some dry periods, but should always be poured when the surface of the soil is visibly dry. Too frequent watering should be avoided, otherwise there is a risk of waterlogging, which the plant would not survive.


No additional fertilizer is needed during the growing season.


Protected, must not be collected in nature.

From field marigold the flowers are collected in the first place. For this, you harvest the whole freshly blossomed flower heads in dry, sunny weather and dry them a few days. Only then the ligulate flowers are removed and then dried. But you can also dry and use the entire flower heads.

In folk medicine, the leaves are used. You can squeeze them fresh and use their juice or you crush the leaves to make a poultice.

Diseases and pests

Field marigolds are sometimes victims of pest infestations. Very often, mildew is observed. The cause of this fungal disease is mainly due to humid and rather wet summers. Poorly drained soil and a dense planting favor the formation of mildew.


Since field marigold is an annual plant, special measures for wintering are not necessary.

Use of the field marigold

Field marigold in the kitchen

The leaves of field marigold are used in the kitchen for salads. Its flowers are used for tea.

Field marigold as a medicinal herb

You can use the field marigold internally and externally. The external application is more well-known, but also internally the herb has a lot to offer.

Internally you can take the field marigold as tea, in mixed teas or as a tincture.

Preparation of a field marigold tea

Time needed: 10 minutes

This is how you prepare a filed marigold tea

  1. put a heaping teaspoon of field marigold blossoms in a tea strainer in a cup

  2. dash with boiling water

  3. let it draw for five to ten minutes.

  4. drinks one to three cups a day

Digestive organs

Field marigold tea strengthens the digestive organs, relieves nausea and helps to heal stomach ulcers. The herb also has a slight laxative effect. In addition, liver and bile are strengthened.

Nervous system

Field marigold tea or tincture can help against headaches and falling asleep. Dizziness is alleviated. You can also use it for panic attacks.

Female disorders

The field marigold has some effects in gynecology. With its anti-spasmodic properties, the field marigold can relieve period cramps. In addition, the field marigold contains beta-sitosterol, an estrogen-like active ingredient that compensates for irregular cycles and relieves symptoms of menopause. The ingredient stigmasterol promotes ovulation and thus indirectly also the regulation of the cycle. Also, infertility can be remedied if it is due to lack of ovulation.

External use

The main field of application of field marigold is external application.

The crushed leaves help as a cataplasm for a headache.

It promotes the formation of granulation tissue during the growth of new skin. In addition, it has a decongestant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal effect.

Often reference is made to the relationship of marigold and arnica. The marigold, however, has a milder effect, which in the end makes it stronger because it can also be used in cases where arnica is too strong.

You can use field marigold tea as an envelope, for ablutions and as a bath.

You can make rubbings and make envelopes even with diluted field marigold tincture.

In addition, the marigold is traditionally used as an ointment.

It can be used for almost all types of skin injuries and dermatitis. Even mild burns, sunburn and eczema can be treated with marigold ointment.

After injuries, marigold ointment helps prevent bruising, sprains and bruises.

Also, varicose veins and varicose ulcers can be treated with marigold ointment, as well as wounds by bedsores.

Warts can be combated with fresh, crushed field marigold leaves.

Skin cancer

Traditionally, the marigold is also used to treat skin cancer. This is more about the common fair skin cancer and less about melanoma.

Whether the field marigold actually helps against skin cancer is questionable and so far not scientifically proven.

The marigold is to help in chronic ulcers to prevent the development of a skin cancer. As long as an ulcer is not yet a cancer, one can certainly try (under medical supervision). But as soon as a cancer has developed, one should absolutely follow the medical advice, which in most cases amounts to an operative removal. For post-treatment you can then use the marigold again.

Field marigold can be used for these ailments and diseases

  • anal itching
  • anxiety
  • badly healing wounds
  • bedsores
  • blemished skin
  • boil
  • bruises
  • bruising
  • burns (slight)
  • constipation
  • cracked lips
  • cuts
  • diaper rash
  • dizziness
  • eczema
  • erysipelas
  • gall bladder problems
  • headache
  • hemorrhoids
  • inflammation and suppuration of the skin
  • insomnia
  • keloids
  • leg ulcers
  • liver weakness
  • menopausal symptoms
  • menstrual pain
  • menstrual promotion
  • nausea
  • oral mucositis
  • pain in amputation stumps
  • peptic ulcer
  • pimples
  • shingles
  • skin cancer
  • skin conditions
  • sore baby bottom
  • sore nipples
  • stomach and intestinal disorders
  • strains
  • sunburn
  • swollen glands
  • ulcers
  • varicose veins
  • warts
  • wounds

Medicinal properties

  • antibacterial
  • anti-inflammatory
  • antispasmodic
  • astringent
  • cleaning
  • detumescent
  • fungicidal
  • stimulating
  • sweaty

Side effects

Side effects are usually not expected when using marigold or marigold products. There are exceptions for people who are known to have an allergy to plants from the asters or daisy families. There are currently no risk descriptions for pregnancy and lactation period.


Ask your doctor or pharmacist. Visiting this page can not replace the visit to the doctor. For serious or unclear complaints, consult your doctor.

Buy field marigold – What to pay attention to?

In ornamental and herb gardens one finds the field marigold more and more often, since seed is offered on the Internet.

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