Mexican Mint Marigold
- Type: Perennial Herb
- Zones: 7b – 10b
- Height: 16 – 18 Inches
- Spacing: 15 – 18 Inches
- Bloom Season: Late Summer – Early Fall
- Bloom Description: <1” Yellow
- Sun: Full Sun – Partial Shade
- Water: Dry
- Attracts: Butterflies, Bees
- Leaves: Fragrant
- Soil: Sandy, Well-Drained Soil
- Tolerates: Drought, Heat
Mexican Mint Marigold is a compact perennial that looks similar to marigolds, but is often listed as a substitute for French tarragon. It is easy and provides great fall colored yellow flowers. The leaves have a fragrance similar to anise or licorice. This native to Mexico and Southwest US is drought and heat tolerant. Blooming in summer to late fall, it is excellent for attracting migrating butterflies.
In the herb garden, it is highly ornamental with a profusion of small yellow flowers that bloom in late summer. As a kitchen herb, it has a scent of tarragon and a licorice-anise flavor that is a great seasoning for fish or chicken and the leaves are nice in tossed green salads. Mexican Mint also is called Mexican Mint Marigold because it is related to the familiar bedding plants, marigolds. Other names for it are Mexican Tarragon, Winter Tarragon, Sweet Mace, and Spanish Tarragon. The herb plant thrives it hot humid climates where French tarragon does not perform well. Mexican Mint seeds are fairly easy to establish. It is recommended to start the herb seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last expected frost date. This herb plant prefers full sun and well-draining soil, even sandy soils. In colder zones, grow Mexican Mint herb plants as annuals.
Unlike true marigolds, Mexican mint marigold is not susceptible to spider mites.
A native of the Southwestern U.S. and Mexico, Mexican mint marigold tolerates our heat and drought. It tolerates many different soil types, but good drainage is a must. Give it full sun to part sun and water regularly until it’s established. In summer, give it a weekly deep watering.