Golden Marguerite (Cota tinctoria) Plant Profile

Golden marguerite (cota tinctoria) blossom

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The golden marguerite is a plant by many names. Sometimes referred to by its botanical name, Anthemis tinctorial, its common name is cota tinctoria. But this daisy-like perennial is also known as the golden marguerite—with marguerite being the French term for daisy. In addition, you might hear it referred to as yellow chamomile, since it’s a member of the same family (Anthemis) but unlike chamomile with its white petals, this species produces blossoms with deep yellow petals and similarly yellow disc flowers (what is referred to as the center of the bloom). The foliage is finely textured and has a faint aroma, similar to that of the more common varieties of chamomile.

Golden marguerite flowers make a pretty addition to bouquets or look fabulous displayed in vase arrangements. The long stems (up to 2 feet tall) make them easy to cut and enjoy. These flowering plants are native to the warmer southern region of Europe, but are frequently found in North America where they enjoy temperate climates but struggle in the hot, humid weather of the southern regions of the United States. 

Botanical Name Anthemis tinctoria
Common Name Cota tinctoria, golden marguerite, yellow chamomile 
Plant Type Perennial
Mature Size 2 to 3 feet tall and 1 to 1.5 feet wide
Sun Exposure Full sun
Soil Type Average to dry
Soil pH Neutral to alkaline
Bloom Time Summer
Flower Color Yellow
Hardiness Zones 3 to 7
Native Area Europe
Golden marguerite (cota tinctoria) plants
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How to Grow Golden Marguerite

To successfully grow golden marguerite, be sure to understand the plant’s preferences on light, water, and nutrients. Some factors, like soil conditions and pH, the plant is more ambivalent on. But to produce a bounty of bright, beautiful blooms, these plants demand plenty of sunshine, need to be kept moist but not overwatered, and will suffer if force fed too many nutrients through supplemental fertilizer. Pests are not a frequent concern, but you might find that aphids, slugs, or snails show up to snack on the foliage of golden marguerite plants. 

Light

Golden marguerite is a sun-loving perennial, so it does best in a garden location that receives full sun. Ideally, locate this plant in a sunny spot that receives at least 6 or more hours of direct sunlight each day. The plant may also tolerate part shade conditions, but it is not suited to spots with full shade. 

Soil

When it comes to soil conditions, this plant will often grow where other varieities may struggle. It tolerates soil with average or even poor nutrients, and can grow in dry or sandy soil conditions. It does best with neutral to alkaline pH levels, and can handle environmental salts and urban pollution.

Golden marguerite needs loose, well-draining soil. It does fine with loam, sandy, or even chalky soil conditions. However, it will not grow well in heavy, clay type soils. 

Water

One of the benefits of this plant is that it has proven to be drought-tolerant. This makes it a good choice if your garden experiences stretches of dry weather or you are a forgetful waterer. However, golden marguerite will thrive and produce the most abundant flora and foliage with regular watering. Maintain correct soil moisture by letting the ground around the plant dry out in between watering sessions. 

Temperature and Humidity

One of the strongest attributes of cota tinctorial is its tolerance for drought—but don’t start thinking that this plant prefers hot and humid climates. Such conditions often lead to a short-lived perennial plant, since the golden marguerite has a preference for more temperate climates.

Hardy in USDA zones 3 to 7, this plant will even display an evergreen nature in climates with a mild winter. 

Fertilizer

These plants tolerate average, or even poor soil conditions, so fertilizer is generally not required. In fact, soil that is too rich in nutrients can produce leggy plants that struggle to stand erect. For this reason, it’s generally advisable to skip fertilizing golden marguerite plants. 

Propagating Golden Marguerite

If enjoy the fragrant nature and bright blooms of this plant, you can spread it to new areas of your landscaping or share it with friends through propagation.

Propagation by division and seed are the two most simple methods of turning one golden marguerite plant into many. In fact, the growth rate and habits of these plants will often demand division every two years or so—making it a natural time to propagate. The ideal time to propagate by division is in the spring, before the growing season begins in earnest.

To propagate golden marguerite by seed, start by collecting seeds from spent blossoms. Start the seeds indoors using grower trays and a soil medium designed for seed germination. The seeds will take between 2 weeks and a month to germinate, at which point you can transplant them to a location in your garden if the last frost has occurred. Otherwise, continue to cultivate indoors until the danger of frost is past.

For propagation by division, dig up the plant with its root system. Set the plant on the ground and use your shovel or other sharp-edged gardening tool to cut the parent plant into several equal portions that include a portion of the roots and foliage. The new individual plants can be transplanted to new locations where they should be generously watered. 

Varieties of Golden Marguerite

  • Cota tinctoria ‘Kelwayi’: This cultivar of golden marguerite looks very similar in appearance, but does offer slightly larger blooms—typically measuring 2 inches in diameter compared to the approximately 1-inch flower head of the conventional golden marguerite. The increased blossom size might make it a good option if you’re primarily thinking of using this plant in a cutting garden for fresh flowers to display in your home or bouquets. 

Toxicity of Golden Marguerite

It's important to note that golden marguerite could produce toxic reactions in dogs, cats, and horses. While it doesn’t specifically include this plant in its extensive toxicity database, the ASPCA does list another popular member of the Anthemis family, Chamomile, as toxic. Therefore, it’s wise to limit use of this plant in areas where your pets may come in close contact or ingest golden marguerite. 

Pruning

The best practice for abundantly blooming golden marguerite plants is to deadhead the blossoms. Doing so can encourage the plant to produce fresh new blooms and may well keep it vibrant into early fall. In late fall or early winter, you can cut back the dead growth to ensure a fresh, healthy start to the plant’s spring growth.