Scientific: Tagetes patula
Common: french marigold
Family: Asteraceae
Origin: Native to the highlands of central Mexico

Pronounciation: Ta-GE-tes pa-TU-la

Hardiness zones
Sunset
All zones
USDA All zones

Landscape Use: Spring and fall flowering accent bedding plant in central Arizona, container pot plant. Marigolds are tough and dependable and make an excellent flowering bedding plant for children's gardens.

Form & Character: Herbaceous annual (can be a perennial in coastal southern california), upright, dense to open, informal, festive, warm, inviting.

Growth Habit: Moderate growth rates ranging from 8 to 16 inches height. Succuluent stems will produce adventitious roots.

Foliage/Texture: Leaves medium green, pinntified, and strongly aromatic with prominent mid-vein, arranged oppositely on the stem and almost sessile with tinges of reddish bronze; medium fine texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Small, terminal, vivid hot hues of yellow, orange, reddish-brown, maroon, and blended mixtures of terminal pom-pom flowers, single and double fruits inconspicuous, brown.

Seasonal Color: Blooms most heavily in fall and spring in Phoenix.

Temperature: Summers are too hot and winters too cold for best vigor.

Light: Partial shade best during summer months, to full sun which is best for winter growth.

Soil: Marigolds need organic matter added to desert soils for best growth along with a moist, well-drained soils.

Watering: Regularly and frequently as needed.

Pruning: Dead head (remove) spent flowers to extend bloom period.

Propagation: Most all commercial marigold propagation is by seed (requires about 40 to 50 days from seeding to flower). Marigold's can be propagated also by softwood cuttings as they readily form adventitious roots on stems.

Disease and pests: None

Additional comments: French marigolds are nice spring and fall flowering annuals for flower beds in Phoenix if planted closely (spacing less than 6" apart) to form a colorful mass effect. Most cultivars exude a slight malodorous (some like it, others don't) scent from the characteristically pungent foliage and flowers. The roots of french marigolds are reported to produce a chemical that kills soil nematodes. The best method for preventing nematodes using french marigolds is to grow them and turn them under into the soil, then plant the nematode susceptible plants the following season. Most cultivated marigolds that may be purchased from local garden centers are hybrid selections.

French marigold is known for it's medicinal properties.