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Tagetes patula ‘Queen Sofia’ (photo courtesy of Thomas J. Story)
Tagetes patula ‘Queen Sofia’ (photo courtesy of Thomas J. Story)

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Zone
Zones A1-A3, 1-45, H1, H2
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

Tagetes tenuifolia

Signet Marigold
Asteraceae (Compositae)
Annuals

TAGETES

Native to Mexico and Central America. Robust, free-branching, nearly trouble-free plants ranging from 6 in. to 6 ft. tall, with flowers from pale yellow through gold to orange and brownish maroon.

Finely divided, ferny, usually strongly scented leaves. Annuals will bloom early summer to frost if old flowers are picked off; in the desert, they bloom best from fall until frost.

Handsome, long-lasting cut flowers; strong aroma from leaves, stems, and flowers permeates a room (some odorless varieties are available).

Easy to grow from seed, which sprouts in a few days in warm soil; to get earlier bloom, start seeds in containers indoors or buy nursery plants. Smog will damage tender young plants, but they soon toughen up.

Tagetes tenuifolia

This annual is an infrequently grown species. Flowers are small (just 1 in. wide) and single, but bloom is incredibly profuse. Finely cut foliage. Attracts beneficial insects. Gem strain offers golden yellow, lemon yellow, and tangerine orange blossoms on 10–12-in.-high plants.

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