PlantsArtemisia→Southernwood (Artemisia abrotanum)

Common names:
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 5 feet
Plant Spread: 3 feet
Leaves: Semi-evergreen
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late summer or early fall
Uses: Dye production
Medicinal Herb
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Cuttings: Root
Pollinators: Wind
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil


Herbs - Beyond the Soup PotHerbs - Beyond the Soup Pot
By Bonehead on February 19, 2014

Explore the fun of using herbs in your daily life. In addition to their culinary uses, they may also be used for medicinal purposes and added to cosmetics, can serve as insect repellents, and reportedly have magical properties.

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Posted by plantmanager (New Mexico - Zone 8a) on Feb 17, 2018 12:52 PM

I've found this to be a difficult plant in my zone. It needs more water than most other plants. It is hard to keep nicely shaped. It dies back almost to the ground in our zone 7b. Growth in the Spring is very slow.
Deer and rabbits do leave it alone, which is a plus!

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Posted by plantmanager (New Mexico - Zone 8a) on Jul 10, 2016 1:07 PM

This plant does tend to get woody very quickly. To get around that, instead of just trimming out winter-killed branches, I now trim the whole bush down to about 3 inches from the ground with an electric hedge trimmer. It only takes about a month for it to get back to its normal height of about 2 1/2 ft. I love the smell of this one when I brush against it or my dog jumps in it. It's a nice fresh green that looks good in our semi-desert area. Easy to grow and grows well from cuttings.

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Posted by Bonehead (Planet Earth - Zone 8b) on Aug 22, 2014 3:51 PM

Soft feathery shrub with a brisk lemony fragrance. Fresh or dried, the foliage can be used to repel moths, fleas, and lice. It is said that sparrows will often incorporate southernwood in their nests to ward off fleas and lice. Fragrant addition to cosmetic cleansers and salves, with astringent properties to alleviate greasy skin/hair. Small amounts can be added to salads, fish and chicken dishes, although pregnant women should avoid consuming it. I like to plant this where one will rub up against it to release the fragrance. Tends to get woody as it matures.

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Plant Events from our members
lovesblooms On March 18, 2015 Plant emerged
returned from 2014 plant obtained in trade
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