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Tagetes tenuifolia

Previously known as:

  • Tagetes erecta
Phonetic Spelling
TAG-e-teez ten-yoo-iff-FOLE-lee-uh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Lemon Marigold is an attractive, flowering perennial or annual in the aster family. It is often grown for its ornamental value and the foliage, when crushed, is more aromatic than most other plants. The lemon-like smell can remain for an hour or more after touching the plant. Remove dead flowers before seeds form to extend the flowering season. It is often planted as a companion plant in vegetable gardens and grows well with tomatoes. 

Lemon Marigold does well in a wide variety of soils, well drained and fertile, including clay, but will not tolerate shade. It can tolerate some dry conditions, but prefers a moist, well-drained environment, water regularly but do not over water.  It will grow best from seed that you can start indoors 6 to 8 weeks before last frost date and is also available as plants in six packs from local nurseries. Set plants out after last frost date. Plant taller varieties deep is sites protected from strong wind or heavy rain to minimize the need for stem support.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: 

Susceptible to snails, slugs and botrytis.  

 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens. 

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Golden Gem'
  • 'Lemon Gem'
    Yellow flowers
  • 'Orange Gem'
    Bright orange flowers
'Golden Gem', 'Lemon Gem', 'Orange Gem'
Tags:
#houseplant#feathery leaves#interiorscape#cpp#summer flowers#deer resistant#companion plant#compact habit
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Golden Gem'
  • 'Lemon Gem'
    Yellow flowers
  • 'Orange Gem'
    Bright orange flowers
'Golden Gem', 'Lemon Gem', 'Orange Gem'
Tags:
#houseplant#feathery leaves#interiorscape#cpp#summer flowers#deer resistant#companion plant#compact habit
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Tagetes
    Species:
    tenuifolia
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Popular in the cut flower trade.
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mexico, Central America, Columbia, Peru
    Distribution:
    Southern North America
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies, and birds.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Colorful
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This plant is seldom damaged by deer.
    Edibility:
    The flowers of some cultivars have a pleasant citrus-like flavour and can be used sparingly as a flavouring or as a garnish.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 8 in. - 2 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 9 in. - 2 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Poisonous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Mounding
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2b, 2a, 3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Description:
    Tufted seeds
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Variegated
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Dried
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Blooms from early summer to fall, deadhead to promote longer bloom period. Prolific bloomer though the flowers are smaller than African or French marigolds.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Filiform
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Lacy fern-like gland-dotted and aromatic; leaves opposite or alternate above, pinnately lobed and appearing divided, the lobes narrow and toothed. Gland dotted and aromatic similar to lemon verbena when bruised.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    Yes
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    The stem is striated, sometimes ridged, smooth or slightly with villi, cylindrical, oval and herbaceous to slightly woody, with resin channels in the bark, which are aromatic when squeezed.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Pool/Hardscape
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Mass Planting
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Insect Pests
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Skin irritation is minor, or typically only lasting a few minutes
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Phototoxic thiophene derivatives
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Roots
    Sap/Juice