Katydid Hill grows Alpha because it has by FAR the biggest double bloom flowers out of any calendula that we've grown. They have a beautiful high resin content for using in salves and oils, or internally for tea.
Like most calendula, Alpha is super hardy - we transplant (or you can direct seed) about 4-6 weeks before our last frost date in the spring, since they love the cool nights and can even bloom into the fall after some light frosts. They do like their space, so we plant in rows 24" inches apart with 12" spacing in row - if you direct seed, thin to 8-12" around the plant to let them really shine and for the biggest, most prolific flowers. We pick the flowers off the stems 1-2 times per week for about a month when they are in peak bloom! The more you pick, the more they bloom - I swear by the time we get to the end of picking a row, the first plants have started blooming again.
They take some time to dry - about 2 weeks depending on conditions - but retain their beautiful orange color for months if kept out of direct sunlight. That orange color and soothing anti-inflammatory resin bring a little sunshine to any tea blend!
Days to maturity: 55-60
Seeds per pack: 40-60
Germination rate: 81% on 02/22/2023
Planting / harvesting notes
Direct sow after last frost when soil is warm. Sow every 2", 1/4" deep, and thin to 6-12" per plant.
Seed keeping notes
Saving seed from Calendula is easy! Wait until the flower dies and the seadhead fully matures, and collect the dry, brown seeds. Lay out on paper to dry further, and store in an envelope within a container in a cool, dry place.