How to Grow Desert Marigold


Desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata) is an annual wildflower native to the deserts of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It blooms in late spring or early summer, usually in April or May, with a vibrant yellow coloration that easily stands out against its arid environment.

Growing 6–18 inches in height, the desert marigold has a multitude of thin, slender stems that branch from its base. Each stem is lined with several alternate leaves that form a fan-like shape.

The flowers of the desert marigold are bright yellow and have five petals arranged in a saucer shape. They also have numerous yellow stamens, which give the flower its distinctive, buttery-yellow appearance.

The desert marigold is a popular choice for desert gardens and rockeries due to its long blooming season and bright yellow flowers. It is also appreciated by butterfly enthusiasts, as it attracts a variety of butterflies and other pollinators.

Overview How to Grow Desert Marigold

The desert marigold is an easy-to-grow plant and is highly drought tolerant. It prefers a dry, well-drained soil in full sun, but can also tolerate partial shade.

For best results, plant desert marigold in the spring after all danger of frost has passed. Though it is self-seeding and will often reappear year after year, it can be propagated by seed or cuttings. The Desert Marigold is a low maintenance and long-lasting bloomer that will add beauty to any wildflower garden.

10 Ways How to Grow Desert Marigold

Sun Exposure:

Desert Marigold needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day for best growth.Soil Type: The plant prefers a sandy, well-draining soil with an alkaline pH. Water Requirements: The desert marigold is a drought tolerant species and does not need much water once established. Water the plants


Water the plants deeply once a week during the growing season, but avoid over-watering.

Soil Preparation

Add aged compost to the soil before planting to improve drainage and nutrient levels.


Apply a 2-inch layer of organic mulch around the plants to help retain moisture and keep the soil cool.


Fertilize desert marigold with a low-nitrogen fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season.


Deadhead spent flowers for a neat appearance and to prevent self-seeding.

Pest and Disease Control

Maintain good air circulation around the plants to prevent fungal diseases. Check plants regularly for pests and treat accordingly.

Companion Planting

Plant desert marigolds with other drought tolerant species such as sage, yucca, and cactus.

Propagation by Seeds

Desert marigolds are easily propagated from seed. Plant the seeds directly in the soil in late spring or early summer, 1/4 inch deep.

Harvesting Seeds

When the flowers begin to fade, allow the plant to produce and drop its seeds. Collect the dried seed heads in late summer or fall. Store the seeds in a cool, dark place.


Desert marigold is a low maintenance and long-lasting bloomer that will add beauty to any wildflower garden. With its easy care requirements and ability to attract pollinators, it is the perfect choice for adding color and texture to the desert landscape. So why not give this hardy little plant a try? It may just surprise you!

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