Mexican Sunflower

Name                     Mexican Sunflower; Clavel de Muerta; Tree                                              Marigold

Botanical Name   Tithonia rotundifolia

Family                    Asteraceae

Native to                Native to Central America   



Water                     Water until established - then drought tolerant

Sun                         Full sun

Soil                         Fertile loam or sandy soil with good drainage


Height                    60 - 72"

Width                     12-24"

Space                     12-24"



6" pots:  $3.50


1 gallon root pouch:  5.00


Mexican sunflowers have bright orange (sometimes yellow or red), daisy-like flowers that grow on tall, branching stems with multiple flowers per plant.  The leaves are medium green and coarse.  They begin blooming mid-summer and don't quit until late fall.  They love hot, dry climates and average soil.  They attract butterflies (Monarchs love them), bees, hummingbirds, and other beneficial pollinators.

Will Tolerate &

Keeping in Going

  • Drought tolerant once established

  • Loves hot weather

  • Grows best in sandy or rocky soil

  • Likes average to poor soil (too much nitrogen will produce greener leaves and less blooms)

Won't Tolerate

  • Cold weather (below 60 F) may slow growth 

  • Poorly drained soil

  • Shady areas will produce leggy plants with weak stems

  • Nitrogen rich fertilizer will produce green leaves and less blooms

  • Continuous strong winds in an open area 

Points of Interest

  • The common name, "Clavel de Muerto" means "carnation of the dead".  

  • They are found growing wild in Mexico in sandy or rocky soil

  • Because they attract pollinators, butterflies and hummingbirds, it is beneficial to plant them next to a vegetable garden

  • Mass plantings help support these tall plants.  Planting them next to vertical structures (garden sheds, fences, or structural walls) is also beneficial.

  • They are make nice additions to a cut flower garden.

  • Occasionally snails or slugs will bother them, but they are relatively pest free.