- Plant Type: Annual
- Sun: Full Sun/Part Shade
- Plant Size: 14 to 30 inches tall
- Culinary Use: Leaves as substitute for French tarragon
For gardeners who struggle growing French tarragon in hot, humid climates, Mexican tarragon is the solution. This tarragon tastes a lot like the true French tarragon, which prefers cool climates. Cooks love tarragon to flavor soups and chicken and fish dishes with mild anise flavor; it’s the secret to special chicken salad. Mexican tarragon is also called Mexican mint marigold, Texas tarragon, and yerba anise.
After the last frost in spring, plant Mexican tarragon in the herb garden, flowerbeds, or containers. The yellow spring and fall blooms will attract butterflies. Mexican tarragon is perennial in zones 9 and 10.
Plant Spacing: 8-12 inches. Plants Per Person: 2 to 3.
Secrets to Success »
Give Mexican marigold at least part sun and well-drained soil, and it will be happy. Keep the soil moist for more vigorous growth and blooming. If the stems fall over and touch the ground, they’ll take root and spread; in areas where it is perennial, keep the stems trimmed to keep the planting in check.
Harvest and Use »
Snip fresh sprigs as needed from spring through fall. Before the first frost, harvest the stems by cutting at the base and air-dry, freeze, or preserve them in vinegar. Use Mexican tarragon leaves as a direct substitute for French tarragon in recipes such as tarragon chicken salad or tarragon dressing. The flavor breaks down a bit quicker though, so add it at the end of cooking.
Try these garden companions »
- Cilantro, culantro, basil, oregano, Italian parsley.
- Lettuce, red onion, tomatoes for tarragon chicken salad.
- Bush beans; steam and toss in tarragon dressing.