One of the last flowers to bloom before frost, Mexican mint mari-gold (Tagetes lucida), a favorite herb in the IDEA Garden, puts forth hundreds of little golden flowers that are great used in tea, salads and potpourri.
Mexican mint marigold is an excellent substitute for the herb French tarragon, thus the name "Texas Tarragon" is often applied here in Texas. French tarragon is very difficult to grow in hot humid climates, but Mexican mint marigold excels. The taste is remarkably similar.
Yes, Mexican mint marigold is a true marigold. There are several species of marigolds (Tagetes) that grow well here. Mexican mint marigold loves sun and good drainage, but other than that, asks for very little.
I love to harvest and dry leaves of this plant to add with peppermint leaves to make a most delicious tea. The little flowers look lovely floating in tea or punch. You can use them in a pretty salad. Both flowers and leaves dry beautifully and keep their fragrance a long time.
OK, so you don't cook - plant one anyway. This little marigold draws butterflies like a magnet, plus gives you pretty bright green leaves all summer and a shower of brilliant golden flowers in fall. Now, that's plenty for one plant to accomplish!
You must come to our gardens. We are planting fall flowers, trimming back large perennials and enjoying our fall bloomers. Herbs provide some of our best fall color as well as seasoning for our garden veggies.
With cool temperatures coming, herbal teas provide comforting and tasty beverages to warm you from the inside out. Beautiful fragrances emerge as the leaves steep in hot water, giving one a boost of energy as well as a sense of well-being.
Add a Mexican mint marigold to your garden next spring and enjoy all its benefits.