Tagetes patula
Common Name: French marigold 
Type: Annual
Family: Asteraceae
Native Range: Mexico, Guatemala
Zone: 2 to 11
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Bloom Time: June to frost
Bloom Description: Yellow, orange, red and bicolor
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy, Fragrant, Good Cut
Leaf: Fragrant
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Clay Soil


Annual. Easily grown in average, evenly moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Appreciates some light afternoon shade in hot summer climates such as St. Louis. Sow seed directly in the garden at last frost date. For earlier bloom, start seed indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost date or purchase plants in cell/six packs from local nurseries. Set plants out after last frost date. Pinch young plants to promote bushy growth. Promptly deadhead spent flowers. Flowering may decrease considerably in the heat of the summer, but will resume as cooler weather arrives.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Tagetes patula, commonly called French marigold, is a compact annual that typically grow 6-12” tall and feature single, semi-double, double or crested, fragrant flowers (1-2” diameter) in shades of yellow, orange, red and bicolor. Pinnate leaves with toothed, lance-shaped leaflets are aromatic.

Genus named for an Etruscan deity, Tages.

Specific epithet means spreading.


Susceptible to powdery mildew, Botrytis, leaf spot and rots. Watch for spider mites and thrips. Deer tend to avoid this plant.


Beds, edgings, containers. Good cut flowers.