Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Artemisia, Powis Castle

Artemisia, Powis Castle (2017)
Evergreen 1ft x 4ft Aromatic, lace-like; low water use and low maintenance;

It spreads by underground stems, so it can creep a little bit in your gardens. It does require well-drained soil so make sure you have well-drained soil for this plant. It’s very drought tolerant and low water use, but regular watering will keep it healthier. But don’t overdo that watering. If it does up and die very quickly on you, the cause is most likely from root rot from overwatering. It’s very heat tolerant and it tolerates full sun to light shade.

Winter:  stays green but gets very leggy, with the bottom branches turning black.  

Notes:  I have purchased two batches of Artemisia that both died in their first year.  I do not remember what variety they were, but they were not Powis Castle. If I recall, they just couldn't take the hot dry summer. Then in 2017 I found five of Powis Castle for a dollar and decided to give this variety (the one recommended for Central Texas) a go. They did fine during the heat in the summers, and two years later, are doing well. I did almost lose one, not sure why. When I pruned them back, I found one significantly smaller than the others.

Pruning:  Notes say to cut the Artemisia back to 4 inches in the winter. I have to admit, I have not had the guts to do this, as that would leave just a bunch of sticks with no leaves. I even watched a youtube video showing a guy really cutting his back.  But still... Early March 2019, I pruned one of my five plants back to about six inches, leaving a few green stalks on top.  I left the other four Artemisia untouched. The pruned Artemisia started developing lots of growth on the bottom "sticks" two weeks later, while the others did not. I then pruned back the others.

Growth: Notes indicate the plant should be 1ft x 4ft.  They have definitely reached their one foot height, but after two years, are still only about one foot wide. I pruned them back a lot this year (2019), so we will see how they do.

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