How to Grow Artemisia absinthium Plants in your Garden

Artemisia absinthium is most commonly known as Wormwood and Absinth.

As an herbal plant steeped with traditional uses it has a multitude of other common names such as St. John's girdle, Green ginger, Holy seed, Lad's love, Mingwort, Old man, old woman, and Warmot.

Artemisia absinthium photograph by Matt Lavin.

The plant's native range includes most of Europe and Asia. Artemisia absinthium grows well in USDA zones four through nine (UK hardiness H6, hardy to about -20°C (-4°F)).

Be aware that it is now also considered to be an invasive species in the US.

Wormwood flowers
Wormwood flowers, photograph by Andreas Rockstein; CC.

This herbaceous perennial can grow up to three feet (90 cm) tall and spread out to about two feet (60 cm) wide.

The foliage is greenish grey and it has yellow flowers that bloom from late summer to early autumn (natively in August to September).

The foliage of Wormwood is highly aromatic.

Absinth plant leaves
Absinth plant leaves, photograph by Andreas Rockstein; CC.

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Absinthe Wormwood

The soil can be dry to medium in moisture. Do not overwater.

Wormwood likes a variety of soil types including loam, chalk, and sand.

It should be grown in a location with full sun.

While disease is usually not a problem with Artemisia absinthium plants, pests such as aphids and gall midges do enjoy feeding on this plant.

For best results, this plant should be pruned in the spring after the last frost. Trim the plant back so that it is only a few buds past the older framework and make sure that all thin, weak, and dead growth is removed to help strengthen the plant as a whole.

Once established, Artemisia absinthium is a very hardy plant that is likely to thrive in almost any garden.

Artemisia absinthium Growing and Care Guide

  • Scientific Name: Artemisia absinthium
  • Common Name: Wormwood, Grand wormwood, Absinthe, Absinthium, Absinthe wormwood.
  • Growing Zone: USA: 4 to 9 / UK: H6.
  • Life Cycle / Plant Type: Herbaceous, Perennial

Plant Details

  • Plant Height (Inches): 36 to 48
  • Plant Spread (Inches): 18 to 24
  • Time of Bloom: Late summer
  • Flower Details: Yellow
  • Leaf Foliage: Silver
  • Fruit:
  • Growth Form: Upright / erect

Ideal Growing Conditions

  • Best Light Conditions: Full sunlight
  • Rate of Growth: Average pace
  • Suitable Soil Types: cidic, Clay, Loamy, Neutral, Sandy, Well drained
  • Soil Moisture: Dry

Caring Conditions

  • Care:
  • Level of Maintenance: Medium
  • Propagation: Seedin containers in a cold frame in autumn or spring. Root stem tips or heeled sideshoots asgreenwoodcuttings in early summer.
  • How to Prune: Prune every spring to enhance flowering and tidy up plants.
  • Pests: Prone toaphidsand a gall midge
  • Diseases: Generally trouble free

Further Information

  • Can Attract:
  • Tolerant of: Rabbit, Deer, Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil
  • Best Garden Use: Border, Ground cover, Seashore
  • Family: Asteraceae (Compositae).
  • Closely Related Species: Achillea, Aster, Callistephus, Cosmea, Helianthus, Leontopodium, Liatris, Sanvitalia, Stokesia, Townsendia, and Zinnia.

  • Miscellaneous: Attractive foliage, Non-native to North America, Naturalizing, Suitable for dried flowers. Used to flavour the Absinth drink.
  • Genus Detail: Artemisia
  • Further Reading and References: Here and Here

Artemisia absinthium plant
Artemisia absinthium plant, image by Andreas Rockstein; CC.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Artemisia Absinthium. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Ursinia and Gerbera plants.