Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Wild Marigold, Muster John Henry, Stinkweed, Stinking Roger, Little Marigold, Huacatay, Khaki Weed
Tagetes minuta

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tagetes (TAG-e-teez) (Info)
Species: minuta (min-YOO-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Tagetes bonariensis
Synonym:Tagetes glandulifera
Synonym:Tagetes glandulosa
Synonym:Tagetes porophylla

9 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
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

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Jubilada
Thumbnail #1 of Tagetes minuta by Jubilada

By Jubilada
Thumbnail #2 of Tagetes minuta by Jubilada

By Jubilada
Thumbnail #3 of Tagetes minuta by Jubilada

By Jubilada
Thumbnail #4 of Tagetes minuta by Jubilada

By scirpidiella
Thumbnail #5 of Tagetes minuta by scirpidiella


1 positive
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral cinemike On Aug 4, 2013, cinemike from CREZIERES
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

Seeds of this plant are sold here in France for biological control of nemetodes - particularly onion eelworms which can ravage Allium crops.

The advice on the packet is to dig in the mature plants in autumn and allow the anti-nemetode toxins to work their wonders over the winter.

Positive sladeofsky On Oct 6, 2010, sladeofsky from Louisville, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

The leaves make a wonderful herb. I like them with roasted squash and root vegetables.

Neutral scirpidiella On Sep 5, 2010, scirpidiella from Pińczw
Poland (Zone 6b) wrote:

Tagetes minuta grow very good in the garden in Central Europe, but must be sown indoors before last frost and planted outdoors when frost pass. Plants reach over 6 foot high and are very dense but flower very late in autumn and if seeds are required must be protect from frost or cultivate this plants in pots. Leaves have taste which resemble some mint and other Tagetes plants, but not all people likes this aroma. Other plants in this genus which are cultivated as ornamental in Poland (e.g. Tagetes patula) are called in this country "smierdziuszki" (that is to say "the little somethings which unpleasant smell" - it comes from word "smierdziec" - stink).

Neutral Jubilada On Sep 9, 2009, Jubilada from Palo Alto, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant volunteered in my community garden plot. My gardening neighbor told me it was some kind of nematode eating marigold. It's highly aromatic, and pretty in a kind of feathery way. After checking with the DG Plant ID forum, and getting some feedback and then doing a google on my own, decided it was indeed tagetes minuta. Also known as Mexican Marigold and Mexican Tarragon. Can be used to season food, and makes a hot or cold tea. Don't know what the dietary/health benefits might be. I'll take pictures of the flowers when it blooms, to post here.

Neutral eje On Jul 7, 2004, eje from San Francisco, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

This Marigold is reputed to be an effective weed and nematode control when planted as a cover crop.

However, it is listed as a noxious weed by many agencies, so it is best to till it under before it flowers or sets seed.

In any case, the foliage is nicer than the rather unspectacular flowers.

I had one of these do very well in my garden this year (2004).

It was well over 7 feet tall and had developed a very woody stem. I suspect this may be a tender perennial in no frost areas.


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

Palo Alto, California
Sanford, Florida
Taylorsville, Kentucky
Sweet Home, Oregon
Houston, Texas
Lanexa, Virginia

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