in Tucson, Phoenix,
Arizona and California

Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, Arizona and California

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Growing Tagetes lemmonii: Lemmon's Marigold

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Form: A shrub with herbaceous branch ends.
Leaf retention: Evergreen, but leaves and stems may die back somewhat in temperatures below freezing.
Growth rate: Moderate to rapid depending on temperature and water.
Mature Size: 3-6' high, 4-6' wide.
Flowers: Yellow rays with an orange center, up to 2" wide.
Bloom: Sporadically, late fall or mid-winter through summer.
Fruit: Seed.
Leaves: Narrow, green, finely-toothed margins, 2-3" long, with a strong aroma, sometimes described as citrus-like, either loved or hated.
Stems: No thorns.
Roots: Clumping.
Wildlife: The flowers attract bees, and can attract butterflies depending on water and shade. The 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. This plant will get leggy and have fewer blooms 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: Only necessary in zone 8a and below.
Prune: Early winter, prune stems back, but no more than half height. Remove dead wood.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Root division, cuttings, seed.
Uses: Ornamental.

Tagetes lemmonii is a member of the Aster family (Asteraceae). Other common names are Mexican Bush Marigold, Mount Lemmon Marigold, Copper Canyon Daisy, and Mountain Marigold. This plant is 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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Latest update: January, 2019.

Tagetes lemmonii: Lemmon's Marigold - flowers

Tagetes lemmonii: Lemmon's Marigold - with butterfly

Tagetes lemmonii: Lemmon's Marigold