Sweet Annie or Sweet Wormwood in Arizona
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Mark Workman
Posted on: February 22, 2003

I used to live in Northern Ohio, USA and was very fond of the artemesia commonly called Sweet Annie. Loved the aroma of what I thought was an annual, but always reseeded itself.

I now live near Phoenix, AZ, USA. No one is familiar with this herb. Several years ago, I bought some starter plants during a visit to Ohio and brought them back here. None of the plants survived..

Is it possible to grow this herb in my current zone? Or, am I forever without it here in the desert?

Try to grow the plant in situ from seed. It then does not have to cope with root disturbance, just as your weather turns brutally hot. Plant it in a shady area and keep it well watered. Plant the seeds where they are to grow in early spring.

To sow, prepare the seed bed well, especially working in organic matter deeply to hold water later in the year. Surface sow the seed as early as possible, press into the soil, mist heavily and cover with branches for shade and slower drying. The seeds generally take one to one and a half months to germinate and during that time they must never dry out. Do not shade too heavily, since the seeds need light to germinate. Water deeply when necessary to encourage deep rooting.

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