'Silver Mound' Artemisia Plant Profile

Silver Mound artemisia
David Beaulieu

'Sllver Mound' is a popular named cultivar of Artemisia schmidtiana, one species within the large Artemisia genus of hardy shrubs and perennials The genus includes more than 200 species, including plants that go by the common names of wormwood, sagebrush, and mugwort. The 'Silver Mound' cultivar of A. schmidiana is a mounding plant with attractive lacy silver foliage that is often used as an edging plant. It has two notable advantages over other Artemsia varieties—'Silver Mound' tolerates hot temperatures without fading, and it doesn't spread invasively like some of its relatives. The plant is sometimes known as 'nana,' which indicates it is a dwarf plant.

Botanical Name Artemisia schmidtiana 'Silver Mound'
Common Names Silvermound, wormwood, artemisia, angel's hair
Plant Type Herbaceous perennial
Mature Size 12 inches tall, 18-inch spread
Sun Exposure Full sun to part shade
Soil Type  Dry to average moisture, well-drained soil
Soil pH 7.0 or above (neutral to alkaline)
Bloom Time Not significant
Flower Color Not significant
Hardiness Zones 4 to 8
Native Area Japan

How to Grow 'Silvermound' Artemesia

This plant actually craves what many other plants dislike: non-fertile ground. A little nutrition will not hurt it, but it is definitely harmed by soil that is poorly-drained. This ground cover plant prefers full sun. Water moderately to establish young plants, but once these perennials are established, they should need less water than the average garden plant.

As spring ends and you move deeper into the summer season, a common problem for mature plants is for the branches to fall away from the center, leaving a hole in the middle of the clump. There are two ways to address this problem. You can give this plant a modest trim as summer begins. Or, you can divide mature plants in the spring or fall if they are threatening to become unruly. These plants will do best if divided every few years.

Prune the plants back to 5 to 6 inches in early spring or late fall as part of the annual garden cleanup. This plant is largely immune to most pests and diseases.

Light

'Silver Mound' artemisia prefers a full-sun to part-shade location.

Soil

This plant has a preference for dry, alkaline soils; wet soils may kill it.

Water

'Silver Mound' requires watering only during periods of no rain.

Temperature and Humidity

'Silver 'Mound' does well in all conditions over USDA hardiness zones 3 through 7.

Fertilizer

'Silver Mound' artemisia requires no feeding; in fact, it will require less care if the soil is kept poor.

Propagating 'Silver Mound' Artemisia

'Silver Mound' should be lifted and divided every two to three years as matter of general plant care, and these divisions can then be planted wherever you want or shared with others.

Related Plants

There are many kinds of Artemisia:

  • A weed commonly found along roadsides is A. vulgaris, known as mugwort and used for medicinal purposes.
  • Sagebrush (A. tridentata) is another weedy artemisia.
  • A. dracunculus is the scientific name for the common herb tarragon, popular in cooking.
  • The alcoholic drink absinthe is made with A. absinthium.

In terms of types planted for their foliage, 'Silver King' artemisia (A. ludoviciana) is taller than silver mound; it is often dried and used to make wreaths. 'Powis Castle' artemisia is another taller cultivar used in landscaping.

Landscape Uses

'Silver Mound' is a good choice for low-water gardens, since it has a good tolerance for drought. It also does well in polluted city environments and in soils containing road salts. This plant is often used as an edging plant where its fine texture and silver color makes a good contrast with more dramatic plants. It is a good choice in Mediterranean-style gardens as a companion for fragrant herbs.

'Silver Mound' is also a good plant for outdoor containers, where it serves as a "filler" backdrop to taller thriller and cascading spiller plants.