Perennials forum: Tagetes lucida - Mexican tarragon

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Oct 18, 2013 5:12 PM CST
I planted this a couple years ago under the assumption it would be an annual for me, but it has now wintered over twice, so I think I can safely call this a perennial. Any suggestions on what to do with it in the fall? The last few years I let it go to seed and diligently gathered seed, thinking I'd need to replant it. But, that is apparently not the case. It has bulked up and still has some flowers but most have gone to seed. Should I trim it back to about a foot, cut it to the ground, or just let it sit for the birds? I'm in zone 8, Pacific NW - wet cold winters but no snow cover (occasional flurries but rarely anything that sticks around for any length of time). Thanks. I love the licorice fragrance.
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Name: Liz
Santa Rosa, CA (Zone 9b)
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Lizzipa
Oct 18, 2013 6:20 PM CST
I'm in a much warmer climate (San Francisco Bay Area), but I leave it after it flowers in the fall, then trim it back after it flowers in the spring, so it has all summer to bush out for fall bloom.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Oct 18, 2013 7:29 PM CST
Thanks Liz. I think that is basically what I've done in the past but can't really remember. I'll pay better attention this coming season.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Seattle WA. Zone 7
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Sherri
Oct 19, 2013 7:23 PM CST
Do you have a picture of it? I had never heard of it. It sounds interesting, especially if it can survive here.
I've seen your photos of your herb garden, where does Mexican tarragon go?
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
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virginiarose
Oct 20, 2013 2:09 AM CST
It is listed as a perennial good to zone 7b but might over winter in zone 7 with mulch. Here is a pic from the data base.

Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
Oct 20, 2013 6:15 AM CST
I love this plant (and anything licorice). Here it is known as Texas Tarragon because Tarragon will not grow in this heat/humidity.

I've always started it from seed and it acted as an annual but this year I purchased a couple of well rooted plants from a flea market vendor. He had them labeled as Aniz. They had woody stalks and must have been divisions from a large plant. It seems like a different variety than what I started from seed.

It has grown all summer and is only now beginning to bloom. Even the blooms appear more delicate than the seeded plants and doesn't bloom as early as they did either. I will leave the seeds/foliage through winter and provide some mulch for root protection.

I trim the foliage periodically and dry the leaves for tea and cooking. I feel more than comfortable that this Aniz will behave as a perennial but wouldn't have thought the same of those plants started from seed.

And, like Sherri, I am curious which part of your categorized herbal garden you planted this in ~ Deb?
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Oct 21, 2013 8:28 AM CST
When I first got the plant, I assumed it was an annual and just plunked it in a random empty spot. Now that it is here to stay, I will likely move it to the Relaxation Station. A mild tea can calm an upset stomach, be relaxing, or alleviate hangovers. A stronger tea may induce a mild state of euphoria (hence the 'lucida' in the name).
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Oct 24, 2013 8:21 AM CST
I tried starting from seeds last spring, but germination was poor.
Will try again with seeds from different source.
I think it will grow as annual here.
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills -
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evelyninthegarden
Oct 26, 2013 10:53 AM CST
I bought mine as plants and I was surprised to see how tall they got this year. They do not yet have any blooms on them, but a nice thing for me...the deer have not eaten it...yet. Hurray!

It does have a strong aroma so that might be off-putting for the deer, hopefully. They have lived over last winter, though it was a mild one with only mild frosts and little snow.

Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills -
Butterflies Seed Starter Foliage Fan Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener Vegetable Grower
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evelyninthegarden
Nov 16, 2013 10:54 AM CST
I am still waiting for the flowers...it is late here. I will save some seeds for the "piggies" over on cubits...if they will dry in time. I don't think I will ever have to buy them again as the plant has loads of buds.
Name: Liz
Santa Rosa, CA (Zone 9b)
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Lizzipa
Nov 17, 2013 11:34 AM CST
Mine are covered with blooms, so I'm sure your's aren't far behind, Evelyn. This is the first year mine have been really big - maybe because I trimmed them way back this summer - and they're one of my favorite flowers, this fall.
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills -
Butterflies Seed Starter Foliage Fan Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener Vegetable Grower
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evelyninthegarden
Nov 17, 2013 2:26 PM CST
Yes, if they finish forming their seedhead before the snow flies...last year we had snow by Nov 10th! It is late this year, and I am hoping for more plants to finish their seed-formation.

Time will tell...that's about it, really! Smiling

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