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, 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.
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.