How to Care for a Licorice Plant


Licorice plant (Helichrysum petiolare) is a trailing perennial shrub that grows to 18 to 24 inches in height. The licorice plant is drought tolerant and almost seems to thrive on neglect. Hardy to USDA zones 9b to 11, its silvery gray foliage makes an attractive accent in hanging flower baskets. Although the foliage has the scent of licorice, all parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested.

Step 1

Make sure that your licorice plant is planted in a location where it will receive all-day sun. The licorice plant is not particular about the type or texture of soil in which it is grown as long as it drains well.

Step 2

Water the licorice plant only if it appears to be stressed. This plant generally thrives with little or no water. If the weather is particularly hot and dry, give it a good soaking and then let it dry out.

Step 3

Pinch off the flowers as they bloom as this will encourage the licorice plant to put out more of its attractive foliage.

Step 4

Pick off caterpillars as you see them. They are especially attracted to the licorice plant.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear gloves when handling the plant as it may cause skin irritation.


  • Backyard Gardener: Helichrysum petiolare
  • California Gardens: Helichrysum petiolare
Keywords: how to grow licorice plant, how to care for licorice plant, plants for containers

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.