Artemisia: Care, Growing Guide, & Facts
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Artemisia Plant Description
There are around 300 plant species in the Artemisia genus. Although it belongs to the Asteraceae (daisy) family, Artemisia species do not have many spectacular blooms.
The genus comprises annuals, perennials, and even woody shrubs, but herbaceous perennials are the most often grown in gardens. The filagree-like leaves of most artemisias make them popular as foliage plants.
Several Artemsia species have well-known common names, including southernwood (A. abrotanum), wormwood (A. absinthium), mugwort (A. vulgaris), sagebrush (A. tridentata), and tarragon (A. dracunculus). However, those utilised as landscape plants are frequently referred to as “artemisia” cultivars.
Artemisia is frequently used as a culinary or medicinal plant. The majority of the species are strongly fragrant, and several have a harsh taste, making them unappealing to browsing animals but valuable for their essential oils.
Artemisias have a variety of leaf forms that alternate. The leaves are frequently lobed, and they are usually coated with white hairs that give them a silvery, grey appearance. They have little (1/16 to 3/8 inch) white or yellow blooms that are cylindrical in shape.
The blooms are usually grouped into panicles, although they can also be solitary. Artemisia is often planted in the spring from nursery-grown plants as soon as the soil can be worked, although this hardy plant can be planted at any time.
It will expand swiftly, reaching its maximum size in a few months. Each spring, developed clumps will return much faster. They grow from up to 8 inches to 5 feet tall, depending on the variety.
How To Care Artemisia?
Although artemisias are low-maintenance plants, they do have specific preferences in terms of growth conditions. They grow best in full sun, but most kinds can tolerate partial shade.
In semi-shade, a vignette of all silvery and white plants, such as artemisia with lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina), Pulmonaria, and white variegated grass, looks beautiful.
Gray leaves also look great with mauve-pinks like Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium) and Centranthus ruber, as well as any colour, notably pinks and blues. Pairing artemisias with the spiky, deep blues and purples of salvias and irises is a lovely combination.
Alternatively, see what they do to enliven purple coneflowers (Echinacea). Smaller plants work well in pots, while taller and bushier species make excellent summer hedges.
How To Grow Artemisia?
Artemisias like the full sun, although some varieties may survive in partial shade if they get at least six hours of sunlight.
Artemisias, with a few exclusions, such as Artemisia lactiflora, require a dry, well-draining soil. They will deteriorate and/or be short-lived if kept in moist soil.
Artemisia plants, like other silver-leaved perennials, are drought resistant. They’ll require frequent watering until the plants are developed, but after that, they’ll be OK.
Artemisia dislikes extremely fertile soil. Because artemisias dislike rich soil, no additional fertiliser should be used, especially if you add organic matter to your beds on a regular basis.
Varieties of Artemisia
1. Artemisia californica ‘Canyon Gray’, also referred to as canyon sagebrush, stays around 2 feet tall but spreads up to 10 feet wide, making it a great groundcover. It can be grown in zones 9 to 10.
2. Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) is a 2 to 4-foot tall plant with a sage/mint scent and greenish-white blossoms that bloom in the middle to late summer. It grows well in zones 5 to 10.
3. Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ is a hybrid cultivar with silver-gray fern-like leaves that grows 2 to 3 feet tall. USDA zones 7 through 10 are suitable for growing it.
4. Artemisia ludoviciana ‘Silver King’ is a fast-spreading cultivar with dazzling silver-white leaves that turn reddish in the fall. It may reach a height of 4 feet and is hardy in zones 4 to 9.
5. Artemisia stelleriana ‘Silver Brocade’ is a low-growing plant that grows to be 6 to 8 inches tall and spreads to be approximately 1 foot wide. It has woolly white leaves and is commonly used in pots or to retain wall gaps.
6. Artemisia versicolor ‘Seafoam’ is an 8-inch ground-hugging cultivar with billowy silver leaves that grows hardy in zones 4 to 10.
7. Artemisia schmidtiana ‘Silver Mound’ grows hardy in zones 5 to 10 and has 1-foot mounds of soft-textured light green leaves.
Artemisia perennials can be pruned in the fall or spring. Spring pruning is recommended for shrubby types. If you want to keep their size in check, you can chop them back firmly.
Even non-woody artemisias, especially after flowering, can become floppy. Shear them in the middle of the summer to keep them from breaking open in the centre.
How To Propagate Artemisia?
Plants can be grown from seed, divisions, or cuttings. However, many modern hybrids are sterile, and others do not grow true to seed. As a result, the most common technique of propagation is the simple division of root clumps, which is the quickest and most trouble-free.
Plants should be divided every two to three years, or when the centre begins to fade out. Digging out the entire plant, separating the root ball, and transplanting it is all that is required.
Common Pests and Diseases in Artemisia
Artemisias, on the other hand, are highly hardy if the circumstances are perfect. Insects dislike artemisias because of their pungent aroma. They are, however, susceptible to a variety of fungal and rust diseases, including white rust, powdery mildew, and downy mildew.
These issues are exacerbated by hot, humid conditions. The difficulties can be mitigated by growing them in an open location with excellent ventilation.