Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Marigold, African Marigold, Aztec Marigold
Tagetes erecta

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tagetes (TAG-e-teez) (Info)
Species: erecta (ee-RECK-tuh) (Info)

28 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Gold (Yellow-Orange)
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 12 photos.
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7 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive montsho On Apr 25, 2014, montsho from Tracy, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Amazing plant for the butterfly garden. Mine grew to about 4ft before I had to start cutting it back. i dont know how big it would have actually gotten. Waves of flowers that begin in April dont stop until December here in CA. The flowers actually glow with an inner fire that you have to see to believe. i started 4 more plants this year from the seeds of the first plant and all are growing at the same rate and blooming. Great with verbena bonariensis for the butterfly garden.

Neutral steadycam3 On Sep 20, 2009, steadycam3 from Houston Heights, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I received my seeds in trade here on DG and did not know quite what to expect. The plants are 4 feet tall covered with single orange blossoms and lots of foliage. The branches were so heavy that they broke off the main stem and fell but continued to grow, rooting along the stem where they fell. I would say stake these plants early and support the lower branches. My plant's main stem is 1" in diameter. Plant toward the back of the bed due to their height.

Positive kitty_mom On Jul 7, 2009, kitty_mom from Waverly, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

If anything will grow in hot humid Southern Georgia, this will! These flowers just bloom constantly, wave after wave. I planted the "Flower Power" variety, neon yellow, sun orange, and a couple of red-orange bushes came up. The only thing that has hurt them so far is a torrential storm that tore through and snapped some of the main stems on a few bushes. My advice would be to stake them for support, but other than that- they are problem free and well worth the money.

Neutral kaenjie2 On Aug 30, 2006, kaenjie2 from Sabah
Malaysia wrote:

Expect disease and insect attack when this plant grown in shade. This plant requires full sun and heat. Adding humus or compost will greatly fertile them and help build resistance against disease and insect.

Neutral patsymm On Jul 27, 2006, patsymm from bristol
United Kingdom wrote:

Help!! I am new to gardening having just lost my husband who loved African Marigolds I.. He left some for me to grow and they have been growing nicely but now I notice something is eating then.. I find silvery slime extracts on the leaf ( what are left of them) and I think I have discoved some type of black worm on the leaf.. Can some tell me how to treat this problem please...

Positive desert_witch On Mar 11, 2006, desert_witch from Lucerne Valley, CA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I'm so pleased to have found this beauty detailed here in the Plantfiles! I scattered a marigold mix last year and was amazed at the variety in colour and size. These African Marigolds grew to about 3' tall with huge bright yellow flowers, one type with close curled petals and one with more open, longer petals, and one bright orange variety. I LOVE these Flowers!

Positive Toxicodendron On May 17, 2004, Toxicodendron from Piedmont, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

I love African Marigolds because the flowers are so large and long lasting. 'French Vanilla Improved' has a more compact habit than many of the earlier "white" marigolds and has had some of the strong odor bred out of it. It is great for bouquets or mixing with other plants in the border.

Positive suncatcheracres On Nov 20, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

I just saw some huge specimens of this plant growing in the ground at a local plant nursery here in Northcentral Florida, zone 8b. You could see their bright yellow flowers from several hundred yards away. This is just a strikingly beautiful plant. We've had a very long, mild and sunny Fall, with no frost yet, so these guys have had plenty of time to get large.

Positive mrsmitty On Nov 19, 2003, mrsmitty from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

These are sold as "Crackerjack Marigold" by many seed companies. They grow best direct seeded.

Positive luvsflowers On Apr 5, 2003, luvsflowers from Irving, TX wrote:

These do great in the Southern USA. They bloom from March thru late fall. They are also great as a companion plant for tomatoes as they are a natural insect repellant.

Neutral poppysue On Oct 28, 2001, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

The African marigolds are the tallest of all the marigold species. Most have large fully double blooms in bright orange, gold or yellow. They do best in full sun and when the nights are warm.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona
Lucerne Valley, California
Oak View, California
San Francisco, California
Tracy, California
Auburndale, Florida
Brandon, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)
Keystone Heights, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Old Town, Florida
Port Orange, Florida
Waverly, Georgia
Chicago, Illinois
Itasca, Illinois
Derby, Kansas
Olathe, Kansas
Cumberland, Maryland
Waban, Massachusetts
Perryville, Missouri
Piedmont, Missouri
Port Norris, New Jersey
Newalla, Oklahoma
Leesville, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
Haltom City, Texas
Houston, Texas
Mcallen, Texas
Red Oak, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spring, Texas
Madison, Wisconsin

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