Artemisia, Wormwood 'Powis Castle'


Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Artemisia (ar-te-MIZ-ee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Powis Castle
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage



Foliage Color:



24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


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)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Gaylesville, Alabama

Madison, Alabama

Union Grove, Alabama

El Mirage, Arizona

Glendale, Arizona

Goodyear, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Rimrock, Arizona

Elk Grove, California

Fallbrook, California(5 reports)

Forest Falls, California

Fresno, California

Hesperia, California

Palm Springs, California

Rancho Cordova, California

San Diego, California

Santa Ana, California

Santa Rosa, California

Denver, Colorado

Englewood, Colorado(2 reports)

Montrose, Colorado

Old Lyme, Connecticut

Townsend, Delaware

Deland, Florida

Havana, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Atlanta, Georgia

Braselton, Georgia

Broxton, Georgia

Marietta, Georgia

Roswell, Georgia

Stone Mountain, Georgia

Hailey, Idaho

Priest River, Idaho

Chicago, Illinois

Jonesboro, Illinois

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Jeffersonville, Indiana

Olathe, Kansas

Ewing, Kentucky

Lafayette, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Vacherie, Louisiana

Edgewater, Maryland

Newburyport, Massachusetts

Maben, Mississippi

Madison, Mississippi

Mathiston, Mississippi

Belton, Missouri

Las Vegas, Nevada

North Las Vegas, Nevada

Bloomfield, New Jersey

Albuquerque, New Mexico(2 reports)

Aztec, New Mexico

Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Clinton Corners, New York

Himrod, New York

Montauk, New York

Southold, New York

Yonkers, New York

Ayden, North Carolina

Kure Beach, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Edmond, Oklahoma

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Eagle Point, Oregon

Hermiston, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Lansdowne, Pennsylvania

Trafford, Pennsylvania

Elizabethton, Tennessee

Madison, Tennessee

Union City, Tennessee

Abilene, Texas

Austin, Texas(2 reports)

Boerne, Texas

Brenham, Texas

Bulverde, Texas

Cedar Hill, Texas

Conroe, Texas(2 reports)

Corsicana, Texas

Dripping Springs, Texas

Ennis, Texas

Galveston, Texas

La Vernia, Texas

Montgomery, Texas

Plano, Texas

Port Lavaca, Texas

Richmond, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Tyler, Texas

Weatherford, Texas

Weimar, Texas

Wells, Texas

Farmington, Utah

South Jordan, Utah

Arlington, Virginia

Charlottesville, Virginia

Springfield, Virginia

Battle Ground, Washington

Cascade-Fairwood, Washington

Cherry Grove, Washington

Dollar Corner, Washington

Lewisville, Washington

Meadow Glade, Washington

Renton, Washington

Stanwood, Washington

Twisp, Washington

Venersborg, Washington

Charleston, West Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 7, 2018, Janht from Newburyport, MA wrote:

This is a wonderful plant. I've successfully grown it for many years in both xeriscape gardens in sunny, dry Denver and in the high humidity and rainier Boston area. It did beautifully in both areas although I amended more in Boston due to our wetter winters.

For those who've lost them over the winters, it's not the cold, it's probably a wet, soggy soil. Like many plants that are native to more arid conditions, root rot is pretty common in winter if the soil isn't super well drained. I had this happen with the Powis the first year in Boston along with my other fav, Jupiter's Beard. Both did great during season, but rotted during the winter. I haven't had any problems in the last 15 yrs since I'm aware of that now and take care to make sure the soil is fast draining.


On Nov 9, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The filagreed silver foliage is a show-stopper, but after multiple trials the Chicago Botanic Garden (Z5b) found it was not hardy there, and I've often lost it over the winter in Boston (Z6a). [[email protected]]

A. absinthium and its hybrids develop woody stems, and are as much subshrubs as perennials. I find it helps winter survival to leave them uncut over the winter (despite the untidy appearance), and only to cut them back in the spring after growth has recommenced.

In Chicago, the similar-looking Artemisia absinthium 'Lambrook Silver' proved hardy, and in Boston I generally prefer Artemisia absinthium 'Huntington'.
... read more


On Feb 27, 2014, vossner from East Texas,
United States (Zone 8a) wrote:

Its silver foliage truly stands out amidst green. I grow it in sun and partial shade with little maintenance other than a severe haircut every fall. Plant looks ugly after pruning but recovers very quickly.


On Oct 23, 2012, garrlau from Indian Springs, NV wrote:

Planted this 2 years ago on a trial basis in rock mulch and poor soil with no access to irrigation in my North Las Vegas backyard. We average only 3-4 inches of rain a year. I watered the plant whenever it started to wilt; usually no more than twice a month even with temps over 100 degrees. It has survived well, growing slowly and staying a tight mound. I expect it would thrive with a more regular water supply.


On May 6, 2011, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant has an astounding rate of growth if kept in rich soil in a subtropical climate, even with zero supplemental watering. Mine has gone from a tiny 1/2 gallon plant (cutting) to a huge beanbag-chair-sized behemoth in about 8 months. After cutting it back aggressively, it has rewarded me with a slightly more upright regrowth habit. Several neighbors have asked what it is, and I gave a naturally-layered cutting/pup to one. I bought this cultivar because it comes recommended in Dan Gill's Louisiana gardening book as one of the few Artemisias that tolerates our humid/wet climate.


On Jan 21, 2011, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a lovely plant in someone else's garden. I have a difficult time with artemisias, likely due to my acidic soil, and have given up on this one after 3 tries.


On Aug 20, 2010, suewylan from North Fork, CA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is very easy to propagate, as every stem, that touches the ground, sprouts. If yours doesn't put a rock on a branch to hold it to the ground and wait awhile.


On Apr 15, 2010, sue820 from Marietta, GA wrote:

Within one season, this was a full, beautiful plant that is evergreen here. Shearing it is OK for the first spring following planting when it puts on new growth, but I would encourage you to cut it back to about 10" the following year, making sure to leave some branches where you can actually see new leaf growth appearing below it. If you cut it back below the area of new growth or if you cut it back too soon, it may well die. I let mine go with shearing an additional year, but it was so woody that I was really sick of it by the following year. Don't cut it back in the fall. It is not invasive but is a sprawler if you don't cut it back every other year or so.


On Apr 6, 2010, flying_squirrel from Priest River, ID (Zone 5b) wrote:

This plant is striking on a hot, dry south facing slope with other xeric plants. (Agastache, russian sage, pentstemons, kashmir sage, coreopsis etc) The soil has lots of clay and I try to add sand to the soil for certain plants, such as this one. This area is quite cold in winter(has been down to -25F) with the powis castle surviving. I think snow cover, or lack thereof is a big factor in the results. We just came through an unusually warm(for here) winter which caused more plants to be exposed to wet/slush and then freeze/thaw. So I am waiting to see how the powis castle survived. I know at least one did and may provide a bit of protection in the future if warrented. The deer don't touch this plant which is a huge plus. (Have had as many as 4 dozen in the adjacent field so the pressure w... read more


On May 25, 2009, anelson77 from Seattle, WA wrote:

planted 2 years ago in sun, good soil, no extra water. Grew very fast to about 4 feet across and 2 feet tall, and looked great for about a year and a half. Very silvery, nice smelling, touchable looking plant. This winter it started looking really leggy so I cut it way back to about a foot high. It looked ugly with awkward bare stems for the early part of the spring but by May had filled in nicely.


On May 10, 2009, jeff0452 from Rio Rancho, NM wrote:

We have grown a couple of these in a very sunny, dry spot. They have grown larger every year, and require little water and almost no care. Foliage is a nice silvery color, and full. Plant them in a spot where they have some room to get bigger. We do cut a little dead foliage off once a year, and deadhead after the little yellow flowers are done.


On Nov 20, 2008, Kaelkitty from Robertstown,
Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:

I believe (but have yet to verify) that this plant originated as a hybrid between Artemisia arborescens and Artemisia absinthium.


On Jun 29, 2008, leapchair from Waterford, MI wrote:

I had a Powis Casle for two years and loved it, so bought several more last year, but lost almost half of them over the winter. The ones that didn't die are much smaller than they were last summer, coming in on only one branch of each. I live in SE Michigan, zone 6a, and we did NOT have a bad winter last year. I have them in full to part sun in good sandy loam soil. Can anyone explain why this might have happened? I don't know whether to try again.


On May 20, 2008, TrishaG from Englewood, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

I grow this plant hot & dry, and by summer I have a silver shrub 3' tall x 4-5' wide, compact foliage, excellent contrast to any brightly colored flowers. Early spring I cut it back to the main branches about 6-8" off the ground, and soon the new foliage fills in green. As summer heats up it goes silver and stays silver through winter. No pests or diseases, no pruning, no watering, no fertilizing.


On Oct 1, 2006, lakeshoredrive from Chicago, IL wrote:

The texture and color of this artemisia makes a wonderful addition in the landscape. I have planted it in various locations, sun, half day sun, wet clay, well-drained even sandy soil and all of my plants transplanted well and grew nicely, but none of them made it through chicago winters. I doubt this plants hardiness here.


On Jun 5, 2005, pirl from (Arlene) Southold, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

A lovely accent plant that can help to hide the dying foliage of many bulbs. It does need a shearing once in a while and then it's ugly for a week or so. On the whole I like it, especially the fine cut foliage.


On Jun 4, 2005, michaeladenner from Deland, FL wrote:

Attractive, fern-like silvery foliage -- a nice background for flowers. Mine serves as an understorey for roses, and perennials that tend to get leggy. It throws out long (2-4') stems that can go bare at the center as the long summer in Florida (USDA zone 9a) comes to an end. The upside to this growth habit is that you can air-weave (propagate) these long, leggy stems by slightly abrading the stem and burying it (I use a landscaping staple, but a y-shaped stick would do the trick). Can unify a bed. Not at all invasive like Silver King, another cultivar of Artemisia.
Highest recommendation for a low-care, foliage plant in an annual or perennial bed where, say, lambs ear wouldn't survive.


On Sep 1, 2004, donp17 from Arlington, VA wrote:

My first year with this plant, having installed 4" pots, was very good. Had them in a sunny area, didn't need much water. The second year they took over the perennial bed. I didn't do any pruning back and by the winter, when I went to cut back the bare twiggy growth, a lot of the less aggressive perennials had been killed off by lack of light from the artemisia.

Still, very attractive foliage, in season, but overly aggressive and looks poor out of season.


On Aug 29, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

To keep the plant dense and compact, keep it pruned all summer. Prune it back only once a year, in late winter, leaving short ( 12 inches) woody stems with lots of buds. Do not prune in summer, so the plant is spreading but full.

'Powis Castle' may also be used as an accent near taller shrubs because of its neat, mounding growth habit.


On Apr 4, 2004, docaly from Albuquerque, NM wrote:

This baby turned out to be a showstopper in my NM garden. I planted it from a 4" pot and in one season it got to be about 3-1/2 feet tall by about 4 feet around. It was huge and beautiful, tall and tempting for its fabulous fragrance, and always receiving praise from many admirers besides me! It received full western sun in a xeri bed along rock and wildflowers and just prospered! The flowers on it were so pretty!

Given an annual haircut, it bounces back and gets bushier -- a fantastic plant as filler, background or specimen! Definitely a keeper!


On Jul 25, 2003, Lauribob from Twisp, WA wrote:

I have a number of different artemisias which seem to thrive in my hot dry climate and alkaline soil. Powis Castle is one of my favorites - it never gets leggy and is a tidy mound of pleasantly pungent silver foliage. Another bonus is that the deer leave it alone. I have some drumstick alliums growing up through one and it is quite striking with the magenta globes appearing to be flowering on the Powis Castle.


On Sep 23, 2002, yvana from Stone Mountain, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I have really enjoyed my Artemisia Powis Castle. It is important to give them lots of room to grow as they get very big!


On Sep 22, 2002, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Has yellow blooms in late summer but it's best to remove the flowers. This plant was given to me as a small plant in the spring and it's really gone wild. Sure adds some nice color in the garden this time of year.


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

I have several of these and love them in my beds or stand-alone. No pests, no problems that I know.