How to Grow Artemisia Vulgaris Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Mugwort

Artemisia vulgaris, perhaps more often called Mugwort or Wormwood, is a herbaceous perennial of the daisy (Asteraceae (Compositae)) family.

It is native to Europe and Northern Africa, and can be an attractive addition to a garden due to its decorative green and silvery foliage.

Artemisia vulgaris plant
Artemisia vulgaris plant, photograph by Andreas Rockstein; CC.

Historically, Wormwood or Mugwort has been used as herbal medicine to repel insects, and also used in beer production.

Gardeners may use Artemisia vulgaris in the border of gardens, garden boxes and containers, or as an ornamental plant. Its tolerance to drought also makes it useful in rock gardens.

Oriental Limemight mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris 'Janlim') photograph by Andrey Zharkikh.

That said, for many gardeners Artemisia vulgaris is considered little more than a common weed.

Despite its reputation as a weed, this aromatic plant is great for a wildlife garden as it attracts butterflies.

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Common Mugwort and Wormwood

The plant naturally grows in forests with loamy/sandy soils, along coastal strands, and on roadsides.

This fast-growing perennial can reach heights of almost 8 feet (2.4 m) if left to its own devices.

Very moist soils can cause root rot, while high humidity will also cause rapid decline, especially in the summer months.

Common Mugwort grows best in partial shade to full sun in a loamy, slightly alkaline soil that is well-drained.

Mugwort photograph by Andreas Rockstein; CC.

Its drought tolerance makes it an ideal selection for areas with dry soil.

It requires a medium level of maintenance due to its fast-growing nature.

To prevent self-seeding, which may spread the plant to unwanted areas of the garden, remove all flowers.

In preparation for the next year, Common Mugwort plants should be cut down to the ground level every autumn.

It can be propagated easily through division in either spring or autumn / fall. This plant is not particularly susceptible to pests or diseases.

Artemisia vulgaris Growing and Care Guide

  • Scientific Name: Artemisia vulgaris
  • Common Name: Mugwort
  • Growing Zone: USA: 3 to 9
  • Life Cycle / Plant Type: Herbaceous, Perennial

Plant Details

  • Plant Height (Inches): 36 to 96
  • Plant Spread (Inches): 12 to 36
  • Time of Bloom: Summer and early autumn
  • Flower Details: Yellow
  • Leaf Foliage: Green, Silvery
  • Fruit:
  • Growth Form: Upright / erect

Ideal Growing Conditions

  • Best Light Conditions: Partially shady to full sunlight
  • Rate of Growth: Quick
  • Suitable Soil Types: Loamy, Neutral, Slightly alkaline, Well drained
  • Soil Moisture: Dry to Moist (Medium Moisture is likely gives best results)

Caring Conditions

  • Care:
  • Level of Maintenance: Medium
  • Propagation: Dividein spring or autumn
  • How to Prune: Remove all flowers to prevent self-seeding. Cut down to ground level in autumn
  • Pests: Usually pest free
  • Diseases: Usually pest free

Further Information

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

  • Miscellaneous: Edible, Non-native to North America, Invasive, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for dried flowers, Fragrant flowers, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms
  • Genus Detail: Artemisia
  • Further Reading and References: Here and Here

common mugwort
Andreas Rockstein; CC.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Artemisia vulgaris. You may also enjoy the following growing guides: How to grow African Daisy and Gazania.