Tips For Silver Mound Care

By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

Fine, delicate foliage and an attractive, mounding habit are just a couple of reasons gardeners like growing the silver mound plant (Artemisia schmidtiana ‘Silver Mound’). As you learn about growing and caring for silver mound plant, you will likely find other reasons to grow a few more in the garden.

Uses for Silver Mound Artemisia

This attractive plant is useful as a spreading border for the flower bed, when used as edging in the perennial garden and growing along paths and walkways. The delicate foliage retains its shape and color during the hottest months of summer.

Of the Asteraceae family, the silver mound Artemisia is the only member with a prostrate, spreading habit. Unlike others of the species, the silver mound plant is not invasive.

Often called silver mound wormwood, this cultivar is a relatively small plant. Scattered among tall, flowering summer blooms, the silver mound plant serves as a long lasting ground cover, shading out growing weeds and further reducing silver mound care.

Information on Caring for Silver Mound

The silver mound plant performs best when located in a full to partial sun location in average soil. Planting this specimen in less than fertile soil decreases some aspects of silver mound care.

Soils that are too rich or too poor create the condition of splitting, dying out or separating in the middle of the mound. This is best corrected by division of the plant. Regular division of the silver mound Artemisia is a part of caring for silver mound, but is required less often if planted in the proper soil.

The silver mound Artemisia is a small, resilient plant, resistant to deer, rabbits and many pests, making it an excellent addition for outlying rock gardens or beds near wooded or natural areas.

Silver mound Artemisia care, other than division every two to three years, consists of infrequent watering during periods of no rain and a mid-summer trim, usually around the time the insignificant flowers appear in late June. Trimming keeps the plant tidy and helps it maintain its mounding shape and avoid splitting.

Plant the silver mound Artemisia in your garden or flower bed for attractive, silver foliage and low maintenance. Drought and pest resistant, you may discover it is a desirable addition to your garden.

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Read more about Artemisia

Artemisia, Satiny Wormwood, Mugwort,Schmidt Wormwood 'Silver Mound'

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Artemisia (ar-te-MIZ-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: schmidtiana (shmit-ee-AH-nuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Silver Mound
Additional cultivar information:(aka Nana)


Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:


This plant is resistant to deer

Foliage Color:




USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

Where to Grow:


Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed sow indoors before last frost

Self-sows freely deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Chicago, Illinois(3 reports)

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota(2 reports)

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Prosperity, South Carolina

San Antonio, Texas(2 reports)

Chesapeake, Virginia(2 reports)

Spokane, Washington(3 reports)

Charles Town, West Virginia

Gardeners' Notes:

On Jan 5, 2012, texasmamacita from Shavano Park, TX wrote:

This plant is deer resistant, held up in the very hot and dry San Antonio summer, and it still looking good in winter! It has a beautiful silvery color and round mounding with feathery texture. It is a winner for my xeriscaped garden. I have not had any trouble with it growing out of control.

On Oct 15, 2011, LoveYourPlantz from Salt Lake City, UT wrote:

I added Silvermound to my garden after seeing it grow wild in Durango, CO. I loved its texture and soft feel. Others posted comments about the rate of growth however I have kept mine a smaller size by cutting it back in the spring. It rapidly grows new foliage. Butterflies seem to love it. If the area around them is kept too damp slugs like to hide in the dense undergrowth but they don't, however, seem to eat the plant. I plan to divide mine for other areas of the yard.

On Dec 26, 2010, pajaski from Wolf Point, MT wrote:

This plant is abundant in my area and is mixed in with the fields of prairie grass surrounding my house. I found when I mow down some of the prairie grass and Artemisia schmidtiana (Silver Mound) surrounding my yard, the plant made a nice mat similar to mother-of-thyme. Since I have not been able to find a ground cover that will survive our harsh winters, and since I continuously walked on the mowed plant without doing it any harm, I decided to use it between my flagstone walkway. It has worked out so well that I have even replaced small sitting areas that once had grass with the silver mound. I never have to water it like I did the grass and the key in keeping the plant soft to the touch and to prevent the plant from becoming too woody is to keep it mowed.

On Apr 26, 2010, Eldine from Wellsville, NY (Zone 4b) wrote:

I love my silvermound and it IS wonderful to touch. It did well for several years but when I divided it in fall, only one came back.

On Oct 17, 2009, Okie70 from Bartlesville, OK wrote:

I like the contrasting color this plant gives to my flower bed. Yes, it gets huge by fall, but by then the other perennials are not showy. I've heard this plant is a good insect repellent if brought inside and dried. Has anyone else heard of this? I'm trying it this fall. (I'm from Oklahoma.)

On Jul 4, 2009, bed24 from San Francisco, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

They start off in spring in cute, tight mounds but by September they'd become a blown-out mess and almost looked like they'd been burned in a fire.

On Jun 22, 2009, stormyla from Norristown, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Although this is a lovely plant, too much rain can make it straggly. It really does need dry soil and full sun. Part shade makes it lay down and separate. When in ideal conditions, it seems to want to take over the world.

On Jun 14, 2009, loveVA from Aldie, VA wrote:

I love my silver mound artemisia! Everyone compliments its beauty and sof it is to touch. Since my plants are so large, I would like to divide them and plant in other parts of my garden. Do I have to wait until Fall to do this or can they be divided now?

On May 27, 2009, jcoakley from Chicago, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

I've only had this plant for a year it's a transplant from my MIL's garden. So far I love it. I have it in a very sunny corner of my front yard where it's easy not to overwater it. The same mound came up this year as last haven't noticed any babies yet as others have commented.

On May 17, 2009, phiphi51 from Fort Worth, TX wrote:

I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and I bought this plant last summer and think they are absolutely beautiful. One of the houses in my neighborhood have it close to their driveway and it is full and healthy looking. However when i planted mine in the ground it seem to do ok for a while but all of a sudden it began to become leggy. Once the fall came it looked terrible. I left it there through the winter and it looked even worst. But the neighbor's was full and healthy looking all through the Fall and the Winter. But the more I look at my neighbors I think their plant is in a pot or several pots. But you can't really tell because of its fullness. So I bought another one this spring and I will leave it in the pot to see if I have better luck. I also dug up the plant that was planted in t. read more he ground (what was left of it) and put the remains in a pot. It seem to be growing back out.

On Jun 2, 2008, jdalfred from South Rockwood, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I actually have mine planted in the shade and it does just fine, but you have to give it a nice haircut when it starts to get a part:)

On Apr 19, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Tends to be short - living for me and become ugly after the first year. Winters tend to kill it.

On Jul 29, 2006, soulgardenlove from Marietta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Just bending over and petting this plant is worth having it. It feels like the back of a bunny and is fun to have. Yes, it roots itself and makes babies, but you can share with others if you don't have room for them to spread. Yes, as noted by others, a serious rain shower will in fact give it a bald spot till it dries and fluffs back up. I do have some planted on a slight slope and those continually have the bald spots, so maybe thats not the best place for them. I still like it though. Susan

On Jul 25, 2006, renatelynne from Boerne new zone 30, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

positive - grows well without much water

neg - dies if it happens to rain a lot.
neg - opens up in the middle to easily and then looks sick.

On May 8, 2006, heathl from Madisonville, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

I love this one! I require guests to touch the soft foliage as they walk through the garden. I have found that if I let it get too large without dividing the plant, it makes a 'wreath' shape. Of course this is pretty neat, but I prefer to divide it so that it creates a nice carpet of silver. Give it a try if you haven't yet.

On Jan 15, 2006, katie999 from Indianapolis, IN wrote:

I have a patch of hard clay in a very hot, sunny spot in a "corner" in which my mailbox sits, next to both the road and my driveway. Nothing was able to grow there. Although it is technically part of my front yard, grass didn't even grow there.

I planted Artemisia there two years ago. It has done very well, and is quite lovely. It is perhaps 2 feet tall and has grown to surround the mailbox. I get a lot of questions and comments from people who would like to obtain one as well.

For difficult situations such as this, Artemisia is a great choice. I would never plant it in my garden, because I am quite sure it is more vigorous than my other plants! But it is perfect for this hot, sunny, dry, hard-clay, inhospitable corner of my front yard.

On Aug 24, 2005, flowercrazy39 from Manchester, NH wrote:

I have the Silver Mound and also love this plant. So soft and plush and smells wonderful when you touch it.

On Jun 25, 2005, lark567 from Hermiston, OR (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is my first experience with this plant. I put it on a hot, sandy hill that I have planted with xeriscape perrenials. It's first season it did great, withstanding our 100 plus degree summers like a pro. This is it's second season and it's overrun the four foot square I allotted it and is taking over! I've pruned it twice and it continues to encroach on it's slower growing neighbors. I am considering digging it up.

On Jun 14, 2005, babes_mom from Corydon, IN (Zone 6b) wrote:

Someone gave me a start of this plant 4-5 years ago. It started spreading by the roots and has been terribly invasive. I have been trying to kill it by applying Roundup, but have not been completely successful yet. I may have a particularly invasive variety, but my recommendation: if you want artemisia in your garden, sink it in the ground in a pot to keep it where you put it!

On Jan 7, 2005, SmilinLdy from Menasha, WI (Zone 4b) wrote:

I plant this between my miniature roses and I get tons of compliments. When I cut it back I just stick the cuttings in some vermeculite and in no time I have new plants. I love the silver color and mounding habit.

On Oct 23, 2004, SalmonMe from Springboro, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Lovely addition to the garden for its silvery, fine foliage. It needs some frequent attention, however, to keep it from opening up too much and losing its mounded habit. Shear flowers off (they're insignificant) to keep it looking nice. If it does start to open up, cut it down to the ground all the way and it will grow back to its original size fairly quickly with fresh, nicely formed growth.

On Jul 30, 2004, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:

I am fond of this plant and have a row of it growing in front of three round arborvitae shrubs with the spaces filled in by echinacea purpurea--a lovely combination. However, in my zone 4b garden's wet clay soil, it is not terribly winter hardy and sometimes fails to regrow after winter dieback. It always dies to the ground, and is very late reemerging in the spring. It forms compact mounds, never more than a couple feet in diameter, and frequently flowers if I don't trim it back.

On Jul 28, 2004, richardm921 from Fair Lawn, NJ wrote:

The delicate feathery texture of this plant causes it to splay outward from the center when heavy rains beat down on it. It has a rapid outward (rather than upward) growth rate that necessitates trimming once a month. I intend to subdivide the beaten down plants into indoor pots where I will water them at their base.

On Jun 28, 2004, ititrxtrs from Mountain Home, ID wrote:

Wow, I LOVE this plant. In the high desert plains of southern Idaho, it is a wonderous plant. Although too cold winters cut it back each year, regrowth is fast from undamaged old growth (roots and stems).

One year I cut it back to the ground, no problem, the next year I left the wood. No problem. This plant wants to live. I believe it should be planted away from dwellings and is flamable due to the nature of this plant and the oils it produces.

Requires little water to survive and given a weekly deep watering grows quickly to about 28". I have had the first plant now for 4 years.

I have never found any new plants from it and only propagate by division or pinning a branch to the ground.

I have never seen animals near it and. read more purchased it to ward of mosquitos etc, which it does.

I rubbed some leaves on my skin with no adverse reactions hoping for a natural bug repellent. More investigation needed on this though.

On May 11, 2004, BUFFY690 from Prosperity, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I had this plant in an open garden setting and it spread about 3 square feet from a very small begininng plant. So I dug it up and had to redig as the little root pieces left continued to grow. I placed it in a hanging basket with some other plants that require the same care, onwe I don't even know what it is and the other is a sedum it seem happy here and I even took a small piece and placed it in a sponge frogs mouth it if is a neat contrast. I really with I had enough room to put it in an open setting but I don't want it to grow over my other plants. I was thinking about doing a corner of one of my gardens in the white maybe I'll stick it in there and it will be free to roam to the edge of that.

On Sep 11, 2003, Happenstance from Northern California, CA wrote:

'Silver Mound' is a beautiful cultivar, but difficult to maintain in a normal garden setting because of its robust growth habit. In 9b it must be trimmed monthly to keep its shape and maintain a managable size and it tends to get very woody within a couple of years.

Better grown in a situation that allows it to reach its full potential. See the uploaded image for an example of it planted in an open space setting, on a drip irrigation system with no fertilizer or care.

On Jul 1, 2003, Karenn from Mount Prospect, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

This plant readily "makes babies" if planted in a well-drained area. I usually end up dividing the "mother" every year and passing the division on. It has grown as wide as 24" to 36", which is why I now divide it every year. It is great as an accent or contrast plant, but not so great as to "romp over" other fine perennials!

Silver Mound Artemisia Flowers

The small flowers of Silver Mound Artemisia are insignificant

Silver mound artemisia produces small whitish-yellow flowers that usually appear in June. Silver mound flowers are sparse on the rounded plant and usually unnoticeable against the lush silvery foliage. Like most plants in the genus Artemisia, silver mound is grown for its feathery foliage rather than its flowers.

Silver Mound Plant – Growing And Caring Of Artemisia Schmidtiana

The Silver Mound plant is an attractive looking perennial that is used to add life to dull gardens and is a most used plant in landscaping. It is known as Artemisia Schmidtiana as per plant taxonomy and is normally used as a ground cover in gardens. It behaves like a herbaceous plant and is highly ornamental and grows in low mounds. This plant has silvery leaves and grows to about one foot taller or less and about 1 ½ feet in width. Silver mound wormwood produce insignificant flowers and the blooms may go unnoticed, evidently, the silver foliage is widely used to make flower arrangements. This cultivar is one of the more attractive of the smaller varieties of artemisias, this plant is an ideal option for creating and softening edgings in perennial borders or can be grown along the edges of driveways, walkways or pathways. This plant is so versatile it can also be grown in hanging baskets. The mound shaped foliage of the plant can withstand the harsh summer conditions and will retain its shape.

Growing Silver Mound

Silver mound is a plant that will thrive in hot and dry places. The plant has to be grown in areas where there is full sun and will not grow well in shady areas. This plant does not mind growing up with other plant specimens. The soil in which the plant grows must be a well drained one. The ground has to be less fertile for the plant to attain full growth. Watering the plant moderately until it attains good growth is essential and after that, it will only need very less water. They are best grown through propagation. Dividing a fully grown Silver Mound plant will help you to grow new ones.

  • To divide water the Silver Mound plants a couple of days before your planned dividing process. This will help in keeping the soil moist.
  • You should dig the silver mound perennial’s clump by using a shovel to reach the root ball and then loosen its grip from the soil.
  • Wash the excess soil from its root ball and then cut away the individual crowns.
  • Replant the removed divisions immediately before the roots dry out. Make sure you plant them in a new pot and at the same depth as before.
  • Water the plant and spread mulch to cover the soil to maintain soil moisture.

Caring tips

The Silver mound Artemisia is a fast growing perennial.

  • It needs to be watered actively during its growing stage, but only when the top three inches of the soil go completely dry. Over watering can spoil the plant.
  • Sprinkling a little bit of fertiliser around the base of the pot during the mid spring time will help in plant growth.
  • Weeds can be discouraged by placing any good garden mulch that you desire, wood barks or chips around the silver mound plant.
  • Prune the plant after the summer, or if you are lucky enough to see blooms and remove all the dead leaves and branches.
  • Some winter care can help the silver mound plant through winter by covering the plant with green boughs at the start of the winter and rainy season. This will help in draining away all the moisture from the crown of the silver mound plant.

If the silver mound plant is properly maintained, this plant can survive up to 10 years.

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