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.
Select a sunny or partly sunny well-drained place in the garden keeping in mind the eventual size of your plant.
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.
Prepare plant for planting by pulling carefully from pot and spreading out any roots encircling the root ball.
Place plant in planting hole.
Back fill hole with native soil while slowly running water over back fill to prevent any air pockets from forming.
Carefully pack soil around root zone of newly planted plant.
Spread one cup of organic fertilizer just outside the root zone.
Cover base of plant with a 3-inch layer of mulch for weed control.