Desert marigold grows twelve inches tall and wide with fuzzy greenish-gray leaves and a compact, mounded shape. While a short-lived plant, it beautifies the landscape by producing bright yellow, daisy-like blossoms that grow on long stems. The plant blooms through the early spring and into the summer months, and may intermittently bloom all year, except during the cold weather. Cut flowers can last for a long time, and a large amount of seed is present in the flower heads; collect the seeds when the flowers fade, and allow seeds to dry. This plant can also take hold and germinate in disturbed areas along roadsides. Use it as a summer color or re-vegetation plant, in containers, or in desert rock gardens with cacti to add a touch of color to an area. It is a good companion plant to verbena and penstemon. The plant is native to the Southwest and into northern Mexico, where it grows on desert plains, mesas, and rocky slopes at elevations below 5,000 feet.
Desert marigold is hardy to about ten degrees Fahrenheit and drought-tolerant, needing little rainfall or irrigation to thrive. Do not over-water this plant. If given too much water it will rot and die very quickly. Plant the desert marigold in well-draining, rocky soil with no organic mulch. It likes full sun conditions and reflected heat. Lightly prune it and remove spent blooms to encourage additional flowers.