Calendula officinalis

Family: Compositae


Native to: Origin Unknown

Sentiment: grief


Types: annual, perennial

Forms: clumping, erect

Max height: 2.3 feet

Max width: 1.5 feet


orange, yellow




Attracts wildlife: adult butterfly

Exposure: part shade, sun

Landscape uses: container, flower fragrant

Propagates by: seed

flowers in fall

flowers in summer

Soil type: well drained

USDA Zones: zone 6 to -10 f, zone 7 to 0 f, zone 8 to +10 f, zone 9 to +20 f, zone 10 to +30 f

Temp. range: -10 to +40 °F

Water: moderate

  • Calendula officinalis, best guess 2
  • Calendula officinalis, best guess 4
  • Calendula officinalis, best guess 5
  • Calendula officinalis, best guess 6 2
  • Calendula officinalis, best guess 6
  • Calendula officinalis, best guess 8
  • Calendula officinalis, best guess

Calendula, or MARIGOLD (or Pot Marigold, or Ruddles, or Scotch Marigold), is a genus in the Aster family (Compositae) with 24 species. Orange flowering Calendula officinalis is widely cultivated. Yellowish blossoms are also grown. Double flowering varieties are available, but information about the density of nectar contained in them is not well known. An image search suggests butterflies prefer the primary species. It is a 2½-foot tall perennial or annual and grows from seed in Zones 6-10. It flowers in summer and fall and prefers moderate watering. It can be grown in sun or part shade. As a late-season blossom, Calendula officinalis will attract many butterflies that feed.

Calendula officinalis can be grown in containers.

As a Compositae, those butterflies listed on the left pane, will be attracted to feed on Calendula.
Nathalis iole, DAINTY SULPHUR and Vanessa virginiensis, AMERICAN LADY in particular are attracted to this plant.

Vanessa virginiensis 6
Nathalis iole
Plants for container - flowering annuals

This annual plant is suitable for container gardening. Container plants generally have a smaller root-ball and most thrive with regular watering. Most will perk up if watered when they have drooped a bit.

There are over 300 plants in this category that can be further sorted for shady spots or as attractive to wildlife. Most of these annuals an be grown from seed and prefer being grown in a sunny locale. Nearly 200 entries in this category are plants that appeal to adult butterflies, 75 plants attract bees, and 47 plants attract hummingbirds.

Annual plants suitable for containers can be found in every color imaginable – yellow flowers and white flowers are the most common, but they can also be found in orange, purple, violet, red, pink, and blue. Several of these plants are grown for their cut flowers, some have fragrant flowers, three produce dried flowers, and a few are useful arbor plants. Most of them flower in summer, but annual plants suitable for growing in containers can be found that flower in every season.

Some of these container plants can be grown as perennials in Zone 8, Zone 9, and Zone 10. A small number can be grown as perennials in colder Zones (Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, and Zone 7).

Some of these can be grown as container vegetable garden plants. Please see the "edible annuals for containers" category to see 177 vegetable plants suitable for growing in containers.

Container plants that attract adult butterflies - perennial

This plant is one of 186 perennials suitable to grow in a container that will attract adult butterflies. 38 of these plants attract birds and 67 attract specific butterfly species. They can be found in every height range – from tiny to large – from less than a foot high to over 10 feet tall. 19 of these plants are drought tolerant, more than 80 are available for dry or moderate watering conditions. 29 are deciduous, while 71 are evergreen. Some can grow in Zone 2, while the others grow in Zones 3-11. 178 perennial plants that attract butterflies and can be grown in containers in Zone 9. 77 can be used as cut flowers. They come in any one of the available flower colors.

We have found that, when given a choice, butterflies and bees frequent named species more often than cultivars. You may want to keep this in mind when you select plants for your garden if your goal is to attract and support these insects.

You are free to use any of the above filters to reduce the plant list further.