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TAGETES tenuifolia

Image of Tagetes tenuifolia

Jesse Saylor

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

TAGETES tenuifolia

Plant Common Name

Mexican Marigold

General Description

Fine foliage and a profuse display of warm-hued flowers make the signet marigold a beautiful warm season annual for summer. Distributed across higher elevations locales from Mexico to Peru, this mounding bedding plant readily self-sows and may become weedy in warmer, frost-free climates.

The bushy signet marigold has small, deeply divided leaves with a ferny appearance. In the warmth of summer, the plant becomes fully cloaked in masses of small, five-petaled flowers of yellow, gold, orange or rusty red (or bicolored combinations thereof). Flowering will continue into fall with light deadheading. Butterflies, bees and other insects pollinate the blooms, and the seed-filled heads that result should be trimmed off if volunteer plants are not desired.

Grow signet marigold in full to partial sun and well-drained, neutral soil that’s not overly rich. Highly fertile soil will diminish flowering. Excessive heat and high humidity can encourage legginess and fungal rot. Plant it along the edge of a sunny border or to add color to a summer rock garden. The flowers are edible, tasting of citrus, and can be used in salads.

Signet marigolds have been hybridized to create a wide variety of desirable marigolds. The compact, floriferous plants in the Gem series are beautiful as is the pretty, bicolored selection, 'Starfire'. All cultivated varieties are easily grown from seed.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Annual

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    12"-18" / 30.5cm - 45.7cm

  • Width

    12"-24" / 30.5cm - 61.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Mexico, Central America, South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Orange, Gold, Orange Red

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Edible, Hanging Basket, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes