Gardening Tips

Mugwort Care

Mugwort Care

Mugwort is a beautiful plant highly valued for its medicinal properties that has risen to fame, especially thanks to its use as a remedy against malaria. Even so, in addition to its medicinal properties, mugwort is a very decorative ornamental plant that is easy to care for, making it a good option for decorating our home. If you want to know the mugwort care in a pot or in the garden, don’t hesitate to continue reading this EcologíaVerde article.

Mugwort Characteristics

scientific name Artemisia annuaalthough also called sweet wormwood or Chinese wormwood, is a annual herbaceous plant which has its origin in China, where it is called Qing Hao and grows naturally and spontaneously. The sagebrush annua it can also be found in Korea, Vietnam, Russia, and the Caspian and Black seas and, planted in soil under the right circumstances, can grow up to heights of 2 metersalthough in a pot its size is much smaller.

It is a very fast-growing plant, with bright green leaves that give rise to small but beautiful yellow flowers. The medicinal properties of mugwort They are very numerous, including:

  • anticancer capabilities.
  • antiparasitic capabilities.
  • antimicrobial capabilities.
  • Immune system boosting capabilities.
  • Affective capacities as digestive and regulator of the intestine.

Due to these properties it is very normal to use its dried leaves and flowers for make infusions, but its use is also industrial: Sertal, a well-known medicine, is made from mugwort. On the other hand, her studies on the effects of this plant against malaria earned Dr. Tu Youyou the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2015.

Here you can find more information about herbaceous plants: characteristics and examples or Phytotherapy: what is it and how to use medicinal plants? in these two articles that we recommend.

Mugwort Care - Mugwort Characteristics

Location for sagebrush

The sagebrush annua needs one very sunny location, whether it is planted in a pot or the care of mugwort in the garden. In the northern hemisphere, it is appreciated to be facing south, although it is not essential. You can place it in full sun if you live in an area with a temperate climate, but the direct sunlight in very hot climates it could remove too much moisture from the plant, it being better in these cases to place it in semi-shade, protected from the most intense light hours.

Check out this EcologíaVerde article on the perfect plants and flowers for very sunny gardens.

Climate for sagebrush

Regarding the climate for mugwort, we find different specifications:

  • cold season: in the wild, the plant is capable of Stand the cold relatively easily, although even in these circumstances it dries up completely as soon as the first frosts arrive.
  • Hot season: its humidity requirements mean that it doesn’t handle very high temperatures very well either, although with enough watering, already covered by the worst hours of sun, it can develop.

Perhaps this EcologíaVerde article on outdoor plants resistant to cold and heat may seem interesting to you.

Mugwort irrigation

The so-called Chinese wormwood usually grows next to rivers or very humid areas, since it needs high amounts of moisture. This can be achieved with frequent watering, especially in the warm months, but always without exceeding the quantities and avoiding flooding. To support in this sense, it is usual to place the pot on a bed of pebbles partially submerged in water, so that the humidity rises towards the plant. On the other hand, if we plant it in a pot it is vital that this pot has drainage holes.

Get more information with this post about Drainage in pots.

Soil for mugwort

The plant is very undemanding with the soil and its nutrients, being able to adapt without problems to poor and even clay soils. The only important thing in this sense is that the soil offers the best possible drainage, which avoids accumulations of water that could harm its roots.

In this other EcologíaVerde article you can find more information about clay soil that may be of help or interest to you.

sagebrush fertilizer

Since it is a plant that is usually used for human consumption, it must be paid always with organic fertilizers to prevent chemicals from reaching people. Adding compost or earthworm humus to the soil before planting and with the arrival of the warm months will help the plant to grow more and form more leaves.

In these other two articles that we recommend about the Types of compost and How to make earthworm humus you can find more information.

mugwort cultivation

The most common is to sow the mugwort seeds at beginning of spring, planting in seedbed to be able to guarantee the growth of the small and weak seedlings. Once the roots of the seedlings appear through the seedbed drainage holesit will be time to transplant them to their final location outdoors or in a pot, in moist and enriched soil.

We leave you this other idea of ​​How to make a seedbed in EcologíaVerde.

mugwort harvest

When it comes to harvesting mugwort, it is usual to do so when the leaves of the plant are richest in artemisinin, the main active component of the plant. This happens when you start the plant flowering process, so it is the best time to collect the leaves and apical branches, always leaving the semi-woody stems so that they can sprout later. Some of the considerations to have are:

  • Always use properly disinfected tools and allow them to dry. shade leaves and stems before use in infusions or other types of applications such as ointments.
  • Frequent watering will help both the production of the plant and its regrowth, as well as a photocycle of at least 12 hours of light daily.

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