How to Grow Wormwood

Southern Wormwood: King of the Garden image by Jim Gober


Wormwood (artemisia absinthium) is a sprawling perennial herb that grows 3-4 feet high and spreads 2-3 feet in well-drained soil. Wormwood prefers an open sunny area where it can sprawl. The foliage is extremely aromatic and sometimes used as an insect repellent. It is an ancient herb used for centuries in medicine and witchcraft. The name comes from its ability to rid the body of worms and parasites, although it is extremely toxic and should not be taken internally.

Step 1

Select a sunny or partly sunny well-drained place in the garden keeping in mind the eventual size of your plant.

Step 2

Dig hole deep enough so the plant is the same depth as it was planted in the pot or nursery. Look for a water line or soil line at the base of the plant that indicates previous planting depth.

Step 3

Prepare plant for planting by pulling carefully from pot and spreading out any roots encircling the root ball.

Step 4

Place plant in planting hole.

Step 5

Back fill hole with native soil while slowly running water over back fill to prevent any air pockets from forming.

Step 6

Carefully pack soil around root zone of newly planted plant.

Step 7

Spread one cup of organic fertilizer just outside the root zone.

Step 8

Cover base of plant with a 3-inch layer of mulch for weed control.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wormwood is toxic and should not be taken internally. Wormwood leaches absinthin from its foliage that inhibits nearby plant growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Wormwood plant
  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Organic fertilizer
  • Source of water


  • grow wormwood
  • wormwood
  • history of wormwood

Who Can Help

  • Herbs for Texas
Keywords: wormwood, growing wormwood, how to grow wormwood

About this Author

Based in Rockdale Texas, Jim Gober has been writing garden-related articles for 25 years. His articles appear in several Texas newspapers including The Rockdale Reporter, The Lexington Leader, The Cameron Herald and The Hearne Democrat. He is a Master Gardener and Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional. He holds bachelor degrees in English Writing from St. Edward's University and Finance from Lamar University.

Photo by: Jim Gober