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August 2011
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Sweet wormwood – also known as Artemisia annua

Images of the plant at link.

Sweet wormwood also known as Artemisia annua or Sweet Annie or Sagewort or Annual Wormwood is an herb that can grow up to a height of 2metres or 6 feet. It belongs to wormwood category and is a native of Asia.
The leaves are fern-like and have flowers of bright yellow color and has camphor-like aroma. The plant has single stem and has alternating leaves and branches and they are about 2.5–5 cm in length. This herb is cross-pollinated by wind or insect.
The herb is used dried and fresh. The flavor is bitter and pungent and is used for gallbladder and kidney problems. It removes heat from the blood and reduces fever and in treating malaria and also for relief from heat of the summer. Decoction of the leaves is used for tidal fever, night fever and chills and clearing gall bladder. It is also used for parasite treatment, Cancers like breast cancer, leukemia and prostrate cancer.
Externally it is used in potpourris, wreaths and dried arrangements. This plant needs full sun to partial shade and well drained soil. Mulching the plant around is needed to retain moisture and temperature maintained that is ideal for the plant.

Growing conditions of Sweet wormwood:
• Prepare a bed in a sunny location.
• This herb needs full sun to partial shade.
• Sow the seeds of this herb in spring after the frost danger is passed.
• Press the seeds 1/4th inch deep.
• The seedlings or plants must be two feet apart.
• Keep the soil moist until the seedlings to small plants appear.
• The buds usually appear from late summer to early autumn.
• Reseed if interested.
• If allergies appear, spray the hairspray to curb them.
• They reseed quickly, so avoid growing like weeds.

Care for Sweet Wormwood:
• Wormwood tolerates poor soil.
• Wormwood needs full sun to partial shade.
• Wormwood is not affected by many diseases or pests.
• Do not keep the plant wet or soggy as it develops root rot.
• Prune the plant.
• Mulch the plant around to about 2-3 inch.
• This is to retain moisture and to maintain soil temperature.
• Fertilize once a year.
• In initial stages, water well to keep the soil moist.
• Avoid reseeding in large as they will overtake the garden.
• If decoction is prepared, do not keep it for long.

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