Artemisia offers excellent season-long color and texture to bring designs together and provide contrast amongst blooming companions, creating excellent foliage interest in the landscape. Belonging to the Aster family, Asteraceae, Artemisia, also known as wormwood, is a large and diverse genus of around 300 species, largely prized for their foliage.
Native to Japan, Artemisia schmidtiana ‘Silver Mound’ (ar-te-MIZ-ee-uh shmit-ee-AH-nuh), is a fast-growing perennial, producing a dense mat of fine-textured and slightly hairy aromatic silver foliage. Reaching around a foot tall and spreading to form clumps upwards of two feet wide, ‘Silver Mound’ looks its best when regularly split apart to keep foliage dense and tidy. Insignificant panicles of yellow blooms are sometimes formed in late summer, best cut off to divert resources back into the foliage, as is the case for many other Artemisia species. Deer and rabbit resistant because of their fragrant and fine-haired foliage, ‘Silver Mound’ Artemisia thrives in full sun sites with well-drained, somewhat moist soil, and is drought tolerant once established. Avoid planting in overly rich soil or applying fertilizer to avoid stretched, floppy growth, and trim back plants mid-summer if stretching or flopping starts to occur to promote denser regrowth.
Native to southeast Asia and the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, Artemisia stelleriana ‘Silver Brocade,’ formerly ‘Mori’s Strain,’ is another excellent wormwood for the garden, offering a perennial appearance more akin to the beloved annual Dusty Miller. A prostrate form, growing as a low sunny groundcover, ‘Silver Brocade’ forms attractive carpets of deeply scalloped, dusty green leaves appearing white because of thick white hairs on the entire plant, spreading to 6-12” tall and upwards of 24” wide. Like ‘Silver Mound,’ ‘Silver Brocade’ Artemisia also should be planted in full sun areas with well-drained soils and is very drought tolerant once established.
Phenomenal for low sunny borders, rock gardens, retaining walls, and water-wise gardens, and great for framing or spacing between the rich green foliage and bright blooms of nearby plants, Artemisia is an excellent plant for bringing your garden designs together.