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Care of the plant Artemisia afra or African wormwood.

Care of the shrub Artemisia afra or African wormwood

The genus Artemisia, family Asteraceae, comprises 500 species of shrubs and herbaceous plants native to almost all continents. Some species are: Artemisia afra, Artemisia absinthium, Artemisia arborescens, Artemisia pedemontana, Artemisia californica, Artemisia cana, Artemisia rigida.

Common name: African wormwood. This species is native to eastern and southern Africa.

They are evergreen shrubs with hairy stems and fast growth that reach 2 meters (6.56 feet) in height. The interesting and aromatic gray foliage is formed by thin divided leaves (like ferns) dark green in the upper part and with white hairs on the underside. The flowers appear at the tips of the branches but are small and cream colored. They bloom from late summer to early fall.

They are used in borders, in Mediterranean coastal gardens, in bushy groups together with Salvias and Leonotis, in gardens of aromatic plants or in sunny slopes. In Africa they are traditionally used as medicinal plants.

Artemisia afra needs exposure to full sun and warm temperatures. In winter the temperature should be above 5 ºC (41 ºF).

They need well-drained soil and can be grown on stony, sandy or poor soils.

Water moderately throughout the year, always waiting until the soil has completely dried.

Fertilize with compost in late winter.

Prune intensively in late winter to strengthen growth and control appearance.

They are plants resistant to pests and diseases.

They propagate from cuttings in spring or summer or by seeds sown in spring.

Images of the shrub Artemisia afra or African wormwood

Artemisia afra
Artemisia afra