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Mountain marigold is one of the few winter flowering shrubs that are well adapted to drought tolerant and southwestern style gardens. Shocking displays of deep yellow-orange flowers stand out in bold contrast to most plants in early to mid-winter. It is a large and billowy shrub with flexible stems and highly pungent foliage fragrance; there's no mistaking it to be a type of marigold. It is a large woody perennial growing with a mounding habit, 3-5 ft. tall and spreading to 6 ft. wide. Bright golden-yellow daisy-like flowers occur in large quantities from late fall through winter and attract butterflies.

This southwestern perennial is adapted to arid climate conditions with cool winters and hot summers and long periods of drought. Plants exposed to freezing temperatures can die to the ground, but quickly regrow in spring. The best performance occurs in well-drained soils with low amounts of supplemental water during summer. It is a colorful plant that provides many weeks of flowering and requires little care. Plants should be cut back hard after flowering to control size and improve future flowering. It is a good background, slope and flowering accent plant in both commercial and residential landscapes.

Water Needs

Mountain marigold is is well adapted to sunny locations on well drained soils in the Inland Empire and with low amounts of supplemental water during summer. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months marked by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water. Monthly watering in the fall helps sustain more growth and a robust winter flowering cycle.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Sprawling, Mounding
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 3 ft. - 5 ft.
Width: 6 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Dark green
Flower Color: Yellow
Flower Season: Winter, Fall
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Frost, Drought, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Slopes, Residential spaces, Raised planters, Parks and open space, Grouped, Flowering accent plant, Commercial spaces, Banks, Background plant, Attracts butterflies


Cut back plants hard after flowering to keep a reasonable size, cleaner shape, better leaf appearance, and more vigorous following season flowering (4).



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