Sweet Annie (Artemisia annua) is an annual variety of wormwood that flowers in late summer. This herb is not grown for looks but for its fruity aroma. Sweet Annie is a low-maintenance plant, that will self seed and provide your garden with fragrance for years to come. Given enough room, sweet Annie can grow to 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide, although most don’t grow quite that large. Sweet Annie can be grown from seed or starter plants purchased from a nursery.
Choose a location that has full sun and is higher than the rest of the landscape. Sweet Annie does not like wet roots. Sow seeds outdoors in mid-spring.
Prepare seed beds in early spring by removing grass and weeds from the top of the soil. Then till or turn over soil to a depth of 4 inches. Water the soil every other day and allow the soil to sit for two weeks.
Pull all weeds that have started to come up during the two weeks. Place an inch of compost over the soil and till or turn into the soil. Allow it to sit for another week and pull any remaining weeds.
Spread the sweet Annie seed as thin as possible over the bed. The seeds are very small so thinning will be needed later. Drag a rake over the soil to just cover the seeds. Walk over the seed bed to create good seed to soil contact.
Water the bed lightly so as not to wash the seed into a puddle. Keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. Sweet Annie is slow to germinate, according to The Herb Companion. The seedlings should appear in about a month.
Thin the seedlings out to one every 3 or 4 feet. Keep the area weed free by hand picking weeds every couple of days. Once the seedlings are established they only need to be watered once a week unless the weather is very hot or dry.