Herbs forum: Artemisia abrotanum - Southernwood

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Oct 20, 2015 9:38 PM CST


Southernwood was one of the first herbs I grew. I was drawn to its soft feathery leaves and crisp lemony fragrance. This artemisia does not get any flowers that I've noticed (perhaps they are just really tiny), and is a shrub form. For me, it tops out at about 3'. I have a difficult time with all artemisias (I think they prefer a more alkaline soil than I have), and this one is no different. I have a difficult time figuring out how/when to prune southernwood. Sometimes I will lose a whole side of the plant over the winter, resulting in a lopsided plant. My usual strategy is to cut it back pretty hard once it has broken dormancy in spring and hope for the best.

I grow this in the repellent section of my herb garden, and make up muslim bags filled with the dried herb to put in my clothing drawers to repel moths. When I think of it, I also just hang some in my closet fresh and let it dry there. Nice clean fragrance.

I've read that one can spread the foliage among carrots and cabbages to repel pests, but have not tried that.

Edited to add: Please remember to go to the main database entry and update as much information as you can to 'grow' our database. And also add a comment.

Per folklore, it protects against the plague, increases potency, and will put hair back on a bald head. I seriously doubt that, although having a bald husband, perhaps I'll give it a whirl. He will no doubt wonder why I'm rubbing his noggin with greenery, but he's seen worse...

CAUTION: Pregnant women should not use this herb due to its astringent nature.

I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
[Last edited by Bonehead - Oct 21, 2015 6:26 PM (+)]
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Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
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Mindy03
Oct 21, 2015 6:44 AM CST
I'm not familiar with this herb so I'm reading about it.
Another caution us do do use for children.
Deb if you try it on your husband's noggin please let us know how it works.
I am currently interested in all herbs that strengthens and promotes hair growth.
What I use now works but I like to give herbs a break so try different ones.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Oct 21, 2015 10:47 AM CST
Another common name is Old Man so maybe there is some truth to the hair loss aspect. I never put the two together. Hmmm.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Oct 21, 2015 11:02 AM CST
It is said the common names of a plant usually indicates what it might be useful for.
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
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gardengus
Oct 21, 2015 2:36 PM CST
Thank you for the information on the plant
I have not grown this but , would like to ask does it have a spreading habit like other artemisias?
Unfortunately they like my place all to well and so I have steered clear of most in that family
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
Bonehead
Oct 21, 2015 3:00 PM CST
Cinda, thanks for the nuts! This plant does not spread at all for me - it is more of a woody shrub and although I assume it gets flowers, I've never noticed any and have not had it reseed at all. I have had fairly good luck starting new ones from cuttings. If artemesias grow well for you, this would be a great one to try. The fragrance is really delightful, and the foliage is a soft grayish-green so would fit in well in just about any sunny spot. I've read it can get up to 5' tall, but mine have never topped 3'. Another good use is to add sprigs to floral bouquets for both fragrance and contrast.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
Native Plants and Wildflowers Critters Allowed Garden Procrastinator Herbs Vegetable Grower Plant Identifier
Organic Gardener Keeps Goats Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Composter Houseplants
Image
gardengus
Oct 21, 2015 5:22 PM CST
Thanks for the info
I don't see that plant around here , but may give it a try if I happen across one.
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Salvias Herbs Bluebonnets Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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LindaTX8
Oct 22, 2015 10:00 AM CST
I had that for a few years! Got it at a swap. Eventually it died...don't remember if it was winter or summer that killed it. Don't remember mine blooming either!
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Oct 22, 2015 1:14 PM CST
This herb is said to repel fleas too.
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Salvias Herbs Bluebonnets Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Forum moderator Purslane Hummingbirder Cat Lover Butterflies Birds
Image
LindaTX8
Oct 22, 2015 1:49 PM CST
Oh...maybe I should get another one! Anything that repels fleas is worth having!
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad

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