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Artemisia absinthium (Wormwood)

Wormwood, Absinth, Absinthe, Common Wormwood, Girdle of St John, Green Ginger, Holy Seed, Lad's Love, Mingwort, Old Man, Old Woman, St John's Girdle, Warmot

Artemisia absinthium, Wormwood, Absinth, Absinthe, Common Wormwood, Girdle of St John, Green Ginger, Holy Seed, Lad's Love, Mingwort, Old Man, Old Woman, St John's Girdle, Warmot
Artemisia absinthium, Wormwood, Absinth, Absinthe, Common Wormwood, Girdle of St John, Green Ginger, Holy Seed, Lad's Love, Mingwort, Old Man, Old Woman, St John's Girdle, Warmot

Artemisia absinthium, also known as Wormwood, is an upright woody-based perennial with finely divided, highly aromatic silver-gray foliage. Tiny, insignificant yellowish flowers appear in dense, leafy, drooping panicles at the stem tips in summer.

Wormwood has a long history of use in traditional medicine for various ailments. It is an ingredient of absinthe, a high-alcohol content drink, and it is also used to flavor other spirits and wines, including vermouth and pelinkovac.

Wormwood is an excellent deterrent to most insects. You can deter animals from entering your garden by planting Wormwood as borders. While Artemisia absinthium can be grown in a garden, it is important to be cautious when using it as some of its components can be toxic if ingested. It is a good idea to keep it away from areas where children and pets may come into contact with it. The chemical absinthin can also be toxic to other plants, so once they are planted, keep that location for wormwood year after year. Alternatively, you can also choose to grow it in a container.

  • Typically grows in a bushy clump, 24-36 in. tall (60-90 cm) and 18-24 in. wide (45-60 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun in poor to moderately fertile, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils. Excellent soil drainage is essential. This plant is drought-tolerant once established.
  • This aromatic herb does well in herb gardens, beds and borders, wall-side borders, cottage gardens, and Mediterranean gardens.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for aphids and honey fungus.
  • Wormwood deters insect pests such as ants, cabbage loopers, cabbage maggots, carrot flies, codling moths, flea beetles, and whiteflies.
  • Wormwood is also deer and rabbit resistant and repels mice.
  • Deadhead flowers to prevent any undesired self-seeding.
  • Cut back to the lowest, new shoots near the base in mid to late spring.
  • Propagate by seed in containers in a cold frame in fall or spring. Root stem tips or heeled side shoots as greenwood cuttings in early summer.
  • This plant is toxic to humans and animals, including cats, dogs, and pets.
  • Use gloves when handling the plant, as some individuals may experience skin irritation.
  • Wormwood is native to North Africa and temperate regions of Eurasia. It has naturalized in Canada and the northern United States.
  • Find where this plant is invasive in the United States.

Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Herbs, Perennials
Plant Family Compositae
Genus Artemisia
Common names Absinthe, Wormwood
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 18" - 24"
(50cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Average
Water Needs Low, Average
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Rabbit, Dry Soil
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Artemisia pycnocephala (Sand Hill Sage)
Artemisia douglasiana (Douglas Mugwort)
Artemisia frigida (Prairie Sagebrush)
Artemisia filifolia (Sand Sagebrush)
Artemisia tridentata (Big Sagebrush)
Artemisia ludoviciana ‘Valerie Finnis’ (White Sage)

Recommended Companion Plants

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ears)
Echinacea (Coneflower)
Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan)
Achillea (Yarrow)
Aster novae-angliae (New England Aster)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Artemisia (Wormwood)
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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Herbs, Perennials
Plant Family Compositae
Genus Artemisia
Common names Absinthe, Wormwood
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 18" - 24"
(50cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Average
Water Needs Low, Average
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Rabbit, Dry Soil
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Artemisia
Guides with
Artemisia
Not sure which Artemisia to pick?
Compare Now

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