Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Southern Wormwood, Southernwood, Lad's Love, Old Man
Artemisia abrotanum

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Artemisia (ar-te-MIZ-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: abrotanum (ab-ro-TAN-um) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

16 members have or want this plant for trade.


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From softwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings
By simple layering

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 11 photos.
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4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive bonehead On Nov 19, 2009, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Plant this somewhere you will brush up against it for the fresh clean scent. Cut it for use as a filler in flower arrangements, in addition to adding a nice smell, will also repel bugs. To keep it tidy, prune hard in early spring, taking out the larger woody stems from the middle.

Neutral plantfreedom On May 19, 2004, plantfreedom from Saint Paul, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

I have had this herb growing next to my pond for about three years now. I love its look in the spring and early summer and has a pleasing delicate smell. By mid-summer and thereafter it tends to become leggy and brown starting at the base and working its way up. I'm wondering if this is normal or am I doing something wrong. It is in well drained somewhat sandy soil, gets full sun. Does it need some kind of special nutrient, certain watering needs, etc.? Should it be cut down every so often during the growing season? Thanks for any help.

Positive angelam On Apr 22, 2004, angelam from melbourne
Australia wrote:

My grandfather had a hedge of this plant, at least 5ft high. It was dense, soft to brush against and smelt wonderful, especially when he was clipping it. This was in the North of England. It grows equally well in my zone 10 garden, and I wouldn't be without it.

Positive darius On Jul 27, 2002, darius from So.App.Mtns.
United States (Zone 5b) wrote:

Wonderful soft, fragrant, ferny silver foliage. Gets tiny yellow flowers in the summer (see close-up photo) but not grown for the flowers. I clip them off. Slow grower, at least in my garden beds.

Positive Johngl On Jun 9, 2002, Johngl wrote:

I bought it from an aromatic garden in Norfolk, UK, because of its wonderful lemon-cedar smell. It can be used to flavour fatty meats (duck and pork) and as an alternative ingredient in a pot pourri.
Traditionally the plant was grown in herb gardens to keep witches out. It is a perennial shrub with feathery grey/green leaves that are covered in a down.
Dried leaves can be used in linen bags to prevent insects and an infusion of the leaves can be used as a hair rinse to combat dandruff. How's that for versatility?


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Pittsburg, California
Tampa, Florida
Washington, Illinois
Fayette, Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Stow, Ohio
Portland, Oregon
Lansdowne, Pennsylvania
Monessen, Pennsylvania
Pennsburg, Pennsylvania
Galveston, Texas
Houston, Texas
Palmer, Texas
Petersburg, Virginia
Stanwood, Washington

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