How to Grow Wormwood at Home

Wormwood is a herbaceous, perennial plant known for its ability to keep insects (ants, mice, moth etc) away due to its distinctive, strong odour. It is a tall plant with greyish green stems. Since ancient times this plant has been used to protect crops and other plants from leaf damaging insects, though the chemicals present in this shrub are harmful to certain species of plants. You can also plant this easy to grow, adaptable plant in your garden to keep other plants safe from harmful insects.

Things Required:

– Wormwood seeds
– Growing medium
– Container
– Pruning saw


  • 1

    Get the seeds

    Visit your local nursery and purchase the best quality Wormwood seeds.

  • 2

    Decide the location

    This perennial shrub thrives well in full sun to semi-shade and prefers rich, moist, well draining potting mix. For best germination, use soil with a pH of 5.5 to 7 and mix it with black earth moss.

  • 3

    Sow the Seeds

    The best time to plant wormwood is during late winter and late summer months. When planting in late winters, make sure risk of frost has passed. If there is any frost danger, it is recommended to sow the seeds indoors and move them outside once the threat of frost is over. These seeds germinate best when surface-sowed, so scatter the seeds on the surface of the soil, covered with fine seed compost and press them gently into the pot medium, going only about 2mm deep. If sowing directly in the soil, sow the seeds in early spring, after you are sure it wouldn’t frost anymore.

  • 4

    Allow Seeds to Germinate

    Place the pot in an area that receives sufficient amount of sun light and do not cover it, since these seeds need light to germinate. Keep the potting medium lightly moist, but not overly wet, during the germination period. Wormwood seeds take 2 to 4 weeks to germinate. This plant needs a lot of room to thrive, so it is necessary to thin once the seedlings sprout.

  • 5

    Transplant or Pot Plants
    When the seedlings have their second leaves, transfer them to a larger pot or to the garden, separating them by 20 to 22 inches. If you want to grow wormwood in a pot, plant only one seedling in one pot and keep it in semi shade. These plants tolerate full sun but thrive best when they get direct sunlight just a few hours a day.

  • 6

    Water once a week
    Wormwood is a hardy shrub that does not need excessive watering (once a week would be sufficient). However, make sure the soil does not dry out completely between watering, especially during the hot summer months.

  • 7

    Trim your wormwood plant in spring every year to allow fresh, healthy growth. Occasionally cut the dead foliage during winter months, so that the plant can start growing once more after the winter passes.

  • 8

    Harvest this plant after at least two years. Harvesting wormwood one year from sowing is not advisable since the plants are not strong enough to survive harvesting.

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