Another one looking good

The cardoon were looking particularly good over the weekend, and another plant that fits that same category is this Artemisia 'Powis Castle':

It seemed to be struggling for most of the hot summer (everything was) but now it's looking amazing.


This was one of the first plants that I purchased for my garden, probably almost 10 years ago. It's about 7' (2m) wide now, and just goes so well with the colors of the fallen leaves:

One of the reasons this guy is doing so well now is that it has turned into multiple plants. It wants to grow horizontally:

And the stems that touch the ground will root:

I could dig some of these up to make separate plants, but I'd rather see this one spread a bit more and become even more impressive.

This is not a bulletproof plant here -- some locations in my garden are not ideal for it and it doesn't make it through the winter. I've taken cuttings before and planted in various spots as I really love the silvery foliage.

Here's one of those cuttings that has been around for several years now in the garden:

It's growing near a maple so I expect the ground stays quite dry most of the time. Maybe that's the key to getting this to survive winters here?

I added one 'Powis Castle' to the new walkway garden:

I bought that one as I didn't have any cuttings rooted and it was the wrong time of year to do that anyway. It feels wrong buying plants that I know I can grow myself from cuttings or seed. Still though, I love this plant so much I don't mind.

I just hope it survives the winter.

From the Missouri Botanical Garden website:
Excellent soil drainage is essential for growing this plant well. Does poorly in moist to wet soils where plants are susceptible to root rot. Plant stems tend to lodge (fall) in the summer, especially if grown in fertile soils and/or part shade. General foliage decline often occurs in high humidity summer climates such as the St. Louis area.  Prune plants in spring to control growth, but be careful to leave sufficient numbers of live buds on each stem to facilitate bushy growth. Never prune stems to the ground. Foliage may also be lightly sheared in summer to shape, but avoid pruning in fall. Not reliably winter hardy throughout the St. Louis area where it should be planted in a protected location.
Ah, I agree with the winter hardiness here. I guess I was right about the dry soils, although none of my plants are growing in well-draining soil -- it's mostly clay.
'Powis Castle' is a bushy, woody-based perennial or subshrub which is grown for its aromatic silvery foliage. It rarely flowers. Foliage is finely divided and feathery in appearance. Typically grows in a shrubby mound to 2-3' tall and as wide, but spreads by underground rhizomes and may reach 3-6' wide if not restrained. Essentially evergreen in warm winter climates. It is most likely a hybrid (Artemisia arborescens x Artemisia absinthium). A Royal Horticutural Society of Great Britain Award of Garden Merit plant (1993).
Hmm. Underground rhizomes? I haven't noticed that. I've never seen it flower either.

So Artemisia 'Powis Castle'. Do you grow it? Do you love it as much as I do?


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scottweberpdx  – (November 27, 2012 at 9:05 AM)  

I have a total love-hate relationship with 'Powis Castle'. When they are happy, they are a treasure...but with the sprawling and the die-back, I just felt like I was flogging the poor thing, so I ripped mine out last year :-(

danger garden  – (November 27, 2012 at 10:40 AM)  

I echo Scott's comment 100%...mine lasted just a season and I couldn't take it anymore. Now if it looked like yours that would be another matter!

Alan  – (November 27, 2012 at 10:48 AM)  

Scott: I can understand why sprawl would be a problem for you, but die-back? My climate is harsher than yours both in summer and winter, so I'd expect it to have more trouble here. Not enough sun?

Danger: I did nothing for this plant all year, and it really cooks over here during the summer. Maybe it got a little hose water, but nothing special. I wonder if the mild winter was the key?

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (November 27, 2012 at 11:43 AM)  

I'm with Scott and Loree. Love it when it looks great but it seems to go ratty very quickly. Maybe frequent pruning would keep it look good longer.

I feel the same about lambs ears, another fuzzy silvery plant. At its best, it's a stunner, but in the winter it's nasty when it gets matted and moldy underneath. I ripped ours out a number of years ago.

Rock rose  – (November 27, 2012 at 7:59 PM)  

I did have it until this summer. It passed away in the heat and drought. Another one bites the dust.

Lisa  – (November 27, 2012 at 9:50 PM)  

I love Artemesia. Mine is at he edge of my stream bed and it does well there. And mine has flowered once. Not sure what the magic formula was, but it wa a lovely surprise!

Christine @ The Gardening Blog  – (November 28, 2012 at 4:01 AM)  

I do grow it now - finally found - and I LOVE it!! Mine is very young, I've only had it a few months, so it is still small(ish). I didn't realise they spread sideways like this.

Barbie  – (November 28, 2012 at 10:17 AM)  

Yay!! One of my favourite too! It is so beautiful and I love how it spreads in your garden. I need to take cuttings and put mine in a spot where it will spread.
Love your photos and the warm colours of the end of Fall.

ricki  – (November 29, 2012 at 1:50 PM)  

Yours is lovely, but my experience was more like the first few commenters. Our best way to enjoy it is in your pictures.

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