We all have that plant that is like an old lost friend that we need to catch up with + Hawaii Tagetes erecta is mine..let me introduce you to her + you just might want to have her visit you this summer…she is a great companion!
Hawaii Targetes erecta from Baker Creek Seed mingling with others in the summer of 2011
Tagetes erecta or “Hawaii” as she is known by many is an old friend I have not seen in a while. People often go through seasons in their life, change jobs, or move + then they look back at some old photos and think, “hmm.. I have not seen that person in a long time” I wonder what they are up to today.This beautiful tall and proud flower is what inspired me to explore flowers that are not normally grown locally. Most people grow Targets patula the popular french marigold, but these are not usually grown as often. You may find shorter hybrid versions, Hawaii is an open-pollinated Tagetes erecta that is useful in helping with pest control in your garden. + you can save your seed if you are growing her faraway enough from other Tagetes family members.
Hawaii is great for attracting insects to your garden. Insects were daily checking Tagetes erecta out…
Maybe it was Hawaii Tagetes Erecta had a great landing pad that invited others to stop by and stay awhile…
Bees checked her out all the time zipping by for a quick visit and sometimes would linger…
Ailanthus webworm moth helps pollinate
Hawaii would surprise you by some of the most vibrant + colorful visitors that you would meet as you walked by her in the garden that year…
I remember that summer I planted Hawaii throughout our Urban Potager how people were stunned to see a tall marigold at eye level! Isn’t a great old friend someone who you remember! This is how I see this plant in the sustainable landscape. She just maneuvers throughout the landscape attracting attention where ever she goes, so people want to know her + I was proud that no one had a neat TALL marigold like Tagetes erecta. She is a plant people remember because she is not like any other.
What fascinated people most was that she was not near the ground , but closer to their eye level!
She would open up slowly over a few days. I got this mix from Baker Creek Heirlooms that year, but they were a variety of larger + smaller petals. I wish I kept some seed from this mix that year, but I did not. I will have to hope that the mix I purchase this year will be the same. I wanted to save seed, but I had a variety of Tagetes in my yard, and these would not come true to type, but this year I might just do it to see what interesting combination I might get!
They do have VERY thick stems which you can see from the picture. You only need a few since they branch out with many blooms. They sometimes break if you have dogs as I do running through your beds at times!
25-36 inches tall
space a foot apart
drought tolerant in my garden
They are tall so put them towards the back of the garden or mixed with other tall plants. I love them mixed with tall zinnias + cosmos. Since we have an urban potager, they will be growing with night shade vegetables this summer!