Southernwood Artemisia, the eastern loving, or southern wood, is an evergreen species of flowering plants belonging to the wormwood and the sunflower family. It is indigenous to Asia and Africa but has now become naturalized in many scattered locations throughout North America.
The Southernwood is the perfect herb for your culinary herb garden. Many gardeners will find that the leaves are very large and leafy, with a distinctive scent that is quite pleasant, in addition to a bitter very aromatic flavor.
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Uses in Traditional Herbal Medicine
Southernwood is used in traditional herbal medicine in Asia, and in the past, was used as an aphrodisiac. Herbal medicine has been used for thousands of years, in Europe as well as in North America. The idea of using herbs for medicinal purposes, for instance to treat skin irritations and wounds, is very old.
A plant that has grown to be a popular ornamental landscape shrub for decades, its evergreen leaves are grayish green, with narrow white petals and large round black seeds. The flowers are white or yellow and grow in clusters, rising tall above the ground on slender stalks.
There are two types of these beautiful flowering plants. The primary variety, which is widely planted throughout the world, has a broad base, has sturdiness, and resistance to disease.
The secondary variety grows close to the ground, in small clumps or pungently erect, and is less robust. The Southernwood can grow three to four feet tall, and has a medium-length narrow base, a light green color, and an understated nature, making it an excellent choice for a wide variety of landscapes.
Southernwood is an Evergreen
Southernwood has two main characteristics: it is an evergreen, growing only one type of flower per year, and it has a short flowering season. Both of these characteristics make this an excellent choice for the urban environment and in a suburban garden.
A well-designed garden, planted with the right types of plants, can create a tranquil and serene place. If you are having difficulty finding plants that suit your climate, Southernwood, which grows well in southern United States and Florida, is an excellent option.
How to Grow Southernwood?
Southernwood can be grown in a variety of conditions, including soil in containers and in your garden. It should be planted in well-drained, sandy, or clay soil and should be watered frequently to keep the plant well cared for. In the fall it is time to remove the leaves and to prune the plant.
As your herbs begin to sprout, you can then prune them back to their original size, so they will retain their shape. If you don’t do this, they may wilt and die. In addition, you may want to water regularly during the first year and check your herbs every month for disease or insects such as moths.
In order to keep your herbs growing properly, you will need to fertilize them. Fertilizing your herbs each week will help them grow faster and retain more nutrients. You should also consider pruning them if you notice that the root system is not growing properly. As the tree matures in its second year, you can place it in your garden for the summer.
Most herbs are self-sowing and this means that you just plant the seeds into the soil, cover with mulch and let them go to work. If you are growing the herbs from seeds, it will take about three months for them to mature completely. In the autumn you can even transplant the new shoots.
When the herbs are ready to be harvested, you can cut them off of the plant, which will give you a nice harvest. You will need to trim off the flower heads, stems and leaves, then wash them with water and hang them out to dry. Once dried, it should be stored in sealed glass containers and kept away from any light.
Provides Privacy and Shade
Southernwood is often planted as an ornamental shrub in front of a structure such as a house or garage to enhance its beauty. You can place it in a window to block out the sun from the street, creating a dramatic backdrop. It looks great as a border or walkway planting, adding interest to an entryway, garden, driveway, patio, or deck.
One interesting use for this herb is in border planting around a poolside area. It provides the needed privacy.
In a container, it can provide shade in hot summer days and provide shade during the evening hours. It does not have to be planted directly on the ground, though. Instead, plant it in containers, near the base of a plant that can provide cover.
Plants that are native to the southern United States and Florida are often found in nurseries that offer plants for the home gardener. The variety known as Southernwood is quite adaptable and should work well in many gardens. This is one plant that has its place in almost any area of your landscape.
Once you have mastered how to grow the Southernwood from seed herb at home, you will want to keep on harvesting for years to come. Since the herb grows very well, you will never have to replant ever.