Mexican sunflower or Mexican marigold (Tithonia rotundifolia)
Tithonia rotundifolia (Mexican sunflower or Mexican marigold) is a plant that can grow from 30 cm to more than 2m high, depending on the species, the cultivated variety and the growing conditions.
Its abundant inflorescences are orange and are well known for attracting butterflies to the garden.
Mexican sunflower can be grown in borders and in large pots. Because it is tolerant to poor soils and short periods of drought, it is a good plant for rock gardens.
Plant profileCommon name: Mexican sunflower, Mexican marigold
Scientific name: Tithonia rotundifolia
Plant type: Annual / Biennial
Height: 1.5m - 3m
Spread: 10cm - 50cm
Flower color: Orange
Season of interest: Autumn, Summer
Sunlight: Full Sun
Soil: Loam, Sand
Moisture: Well drained
Garden type: Informal Garden, Rock & Gravel Garden
Planting type: Flower borders and bedding
Mexico and Central America
Best grown in warm weather. Tolerates excessive heat. Does not tolerate cold and frost.
Water Tithonia moderatly. It tolerates short periods of drought. Does not support soaked soils.
Mexican sunflower should be planted in a well drained soil, not very fertile. In very fertile soil this plant produces a lot of foliage and few flowers.
Summer and fall in cold winter regions. In warm regions it can bloom in any season. Flowering starts two or three months after planting.
Annual plant. These are fast-growing plants.
Propagate Tithonia by seed. Seeds should preferably be sown in the final place, but sowing in small pots or paper cups is also possible, transplanting the seedlings carefully when they are large enough to be handled.
Mexican sunflower seeds should be sown superficially, although it is also possible to cover with a light layer of sieved soil or sand. Seed germination usually takes between 4 and 21 days.