Mexican tarragon is a type of marigold that produces delicious leaves with notes of anise. It can be used as a substitute for French tarragon, and it is easier to grow in heat and humidity, while being fairly drought tolerant. The leaves have a stronger flavor so less is needed to flavor a dish. Excellent container herb that can be grown indoors during the winter. Also called Mexican Mint and Spanish, Texas, or Winter tarragon.
Botanical Name: Tagetes lucida
Native: Mexico and Central America
Hardiness: Perennial in USDA zones 8–11
Plant Dimensions: 24″ tall, 12″–15″ wide (In warm climates, plant may grow up to 36″ tall with woody stems.)
Variety Information: 3″ long, green, narrow, oblong leaves. Clusters of ½” golden flowers held atop foliage.
Exposure: Full sun
Attributes: Drought Tolerant, Good for Containers, Attracts Pollinators, Deer Resistant
When to Sow Outside: 1 to 2 weeks after your average last frost date, and when soil temperature is at least 60°F.
When to Start Inside: RECOMMENDED. 6 to 8 weeks before your average last frost date. Ideal soil temperature for germination is 70°–80°F.
Days to Emerge: 8–12 days
Seed Depth: 1/8″
Seed Spacing: A group of 6 seeds every 12″
Row Spacing: 24″
Thinning: When 1″ tall, thin to 1 every 12″
Harvesting: If harvesting small amounts or for seasoning, harvest leaves before the blooms appear on plants. For larger amounts, cut 3″–4″ pieces from branch tips. Do not harvest more than 2/3 of the plant at a time if you want it to continue producing. Entire stems may be harvested and hung upside down to dry for later use. If the stems are harvested with the flowers are intact, they may be used in dried floral arrangements.
This packet sows up to 33 feet. 200 seeds.