in Tucson, Phoenix,
and Southern California

Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, and Southern California

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Tagetes lemmonii: Lemmon's Marigold

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Form: Shrub with herbaceous branch ends.
Leaf retention: Dies back somewhat in freezing temperatures.
Growth rate: Moderate to rapid depending on temperature and water.
Mature Size: 3-6' high, 4-6' wide.
Flowers: Yellow rays and an orange center, up to 2" wide.
Bloom: Sporadically late fall or mid-winter through summer. Fullest blooms in spring.
Fruit: Seed.
Leaves: Narrow, green, 2-3" long, small teeth on edges. strongly aromatic scent, sometimes described as citrus-like, is often loved or hated.
Stems: No thorns.
Roots: Clumping.
Wildlife: Attracts bees, also butterflies depending on water and amount of shade. Seeds attract birds. Avoided by browsing mammals.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: Arizona and Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 8-10.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun to part shade. Can get leggy in shade.
Water once established: Monthly. Too much water causes leggy growth.
Soil: Well drained, dry, pH 6.6-8.5 (neutral to alkaline).
Mulch: Before first frost where winter freezes occur.
Prune: Early winter, prune stems back, but no more than half height. Remove dead wood.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed, cuttings, root division.
Uses: Ornamental.

Other common names are Mount Lemmon Marigold, Copper Canyon Daisy, Mexican Bush Marigold and Mountain Marigold. Named after John Lemmon and his wife, Sara Plummer Lemmon, who discovered the plant on Mt. Lemmon (also named after Sara) on the north side of Tucson, Arizona. The butterfly is a Texan Crescent.

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