Huacatey (Tagetes minuta)

Huacatey (Tagetes minuta)

Regular price $14.95

Tagetes minuta is a culinary herb related to marigold that’s known as Huacatay, Peruvian Black Mint or Southern Cone Marigold among many other regional names. In terms of flavor, Huacatay carries the burden of comparison to the flavor of black licorice: you will either love it, or hate it, and we at Sow Exotic fall hard on the love it side. Huactay proves itself an everlasting herbaceous species, with documented use as a medicinal tea, condiment, and use for flavor in popular rice dishes and stews. It is popularly used to make Peruvian Black mint sauce, which flavors grilled seafood and chicken dishes. We even to use it fresh in cocktails or floral mocktails!

In terms of cultivation, Huacatay grows almost effortlessly and is self-propagating in its native habitats of the Americas, including the southern United States, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, and Paraguay.  Huacatay is most commonly grown and used in Bolivia and Peru for use as a popular culinary spice. Although it can be a burden to some farmers in Latin America, more optimistic horticulturalists consider it a ‘double-crop’ opportunity where it spreads wildly, collecting handfuls of it before winter frosts cut its growing season short. Local names for Huacatay will vary by region, but are found in literature as ‘wakataya, chinchilla, chiquilla, chilca, zuico, suico, or the Spanish term anisillo.’

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Sow Exotic ships nationwide year-round to the United States.  We use plant-based, plastic-free, reusable, recyclable, biodegradable, AND compostable packaging materials. All of our plants ship ready-to-grow in plantable pots (with the exception of citrus) and range in size.  See the size guide on each plant page to learn more about what to expect upon arrival.

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Shipping cost is calculated at checkout based on your order weight and your distance from the nursery. Shipping is combined for multiple orders with plants, so the more you grow, the more you save!  

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Live plant orders are processed at the beginning of each week and ship on Monday-Thursday via 1-3 Day USPS Priority Mail. Order processing time before shipment averages from 1-14 days. 

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Heat Packs & Weather Holds:

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Shipping tropical plants to a cold climate in the middle of winter? We sell Heat Packs! If it's under 32 degrees in your area, we definitely recommend ordering a Heat Pack! Visit our Heat Packs page to learn more and purchase your heat pack. 

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Waiting for the perfect time to plant? You can order now and request a custom weather hold until your preferred arrival date.  Please email to request a custom hold. 

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We ship to Puerto Rico! Almost all of our plants ship (bare root, of course) to Hawaii & Puerto Rico. Due to USDA restrictions, here's the list of a plants that we don't ship. 

Plants that DO NOT ship to Puerto Rico: Coffee, Palm, Banana  

Plants that DO NOT ship to Hawaii: Pineapple, Palm, Papaya, Coffee, Banana, Passion Fruit

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How to Grow Huacatay

Plant Type: Perennial, Annual Herb

Harvest Season: Leaves can generally be picked year-round in warmer regions or just before flowering in colder climates, about 5-7 weeks after planting

Mature Size: 2-4 ft. tall and wide

Soil & Moisture: Rich, well-drained soil, good drought-tolerance

Exposure: Full Sun, Part Shade

Zone Hardiness: Zones 5-11 (Annual north of Zone 9)