Artemisia, Variegated Mugwort, Wormwood 'Oriental Limelight'

Artemisia vulgaris

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Artemisia (ar-te-MIZ-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: vulgaris (vul-GAIR-iss) (Info)
Cultivar: Oriental Limelight
Additional cultivar information:(PP12788)
Hybridized by Harnett
Registered or introduced: 2000
View this plant in a garden




Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Good Fall Color

Foliage Color:



4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


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

Decatur, Alabama

College, Alaska

Glendale, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona(2 reports)

Cabot, Arkansas

Lamar, Arkansas

Calistoga, California

Castro Valley, California

Clayton, California

Fremont, California

Lemoore, California

Lemoore Station, California

Turlock, California

Abington, Connecticut

Centerbrook, Connecticut

Old Greenwich, Connecticut

Brooksville, Florida

Fountain, Florida

Melbourne, Florida

Buckhead, Georgia

Midland, Georgia

Thomasville, Georgia

Evanston, Illinois

Hanover Park, Illinois

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Plainfield, Illinois

Decatur, Indiana

Inwood, Iowa

Sioux Center, Iowa

Olathe, Kansas

Barbourville, Kentucky

Ewing, Kentucky

Bossier City, Louisiana

Monroe, Louisiana

Soldier Pond, Maine

Frederick, Maryland

Gloucester, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Mattawan, Michigan

Muskegon, Michigan

Maben, Mississippi

Madison, Mississippi

Mathiston, Mississippi

Maryville, Missouri

Springfield, Missouri

Carson City, Nevada

Whitefield, New Hampshire

Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey

Roswell, New Mexico

Marcellus, New York

Raleigh, North Carolina

Belfield, North Dakota

Cincinnati, Ohio

Enid, Oklahoma

Jay, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma(2 reports)

Yukon, Oklahoma

Grants Pass, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Greenville, South Carolina

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Toone, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Beaumont, Texas

Colmesneil, Texas

Conroe, Texas

Desoto, Texas

Gilmer, Texas

Houston, Texas

Jacksonville, Texas

Missouri City, Texas

Princeton, Texas

Lexington, Virginia

Elma, Washington

Redmond, Washington

Richland, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Stanwood, Washington

Twisp, Washington

Oconto Falls, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 30, 2018, PatrickNH from Barnstead, NH wrote:

Yet another misunderstood plant that gets a bad rap from wanna be gardeners who don't educate themselves before planting and then blame the plant rather their own ignorance.

It has a lot going for it, including nice variegation, extreme hardiness and a pleasant aroma. Plant it next to a walkway where passers-by will brush up against the foliage to release the scent. The variegation does fade a bit with height and as the growing season progresses, but the best thing about this plant is that you can cut it back again and again and it will continue to send up fresh newly variegated shoots until frost.

No, you do not want to plant it where it can creep into time sucking, chemical dependent, water wasting lawns if you value that kind of thing, Yes, it can overpowe... read more


On May 27, 2018, cmdviola from Old Greenwich, CT (Zone 7a) wrote:

This Mugwort/ Artemesia Vulgaris is definitley the most aggressive difficult to kill WEED ever!! It is Horrible. I think that I actually bought it and nurtured it because it was mislabeled as some sort of Chrysanthemum. The Artemesia Vulgaris is a THUG. In CT zone 6/7 is is almost impossible to get rid of it - I have been pulling and digging and trying - including smothering for YEARS. The recent encouraging results for control -
not eradication - simply control ( !!) indicate that You may get results for a whole bed IF you douse with Glyposate TWO YEARS in a row. I thought I was quite agressive last time - digging up some bearded iris and other nice things to save, and generous with the weed killer and the smothering. However; the Mugwort is winning again. It makes me so an... read more


On Apr 28, 2016, nonenmac from Marcellus, NY wrote:

Artemisia vulgaris is now prohibited in New York State and is showing up as dense infestations in natural areas. Please do not share this plant, and remove it if you can.


On May 19, 2015, joni56 from Buckhead, GA wrote:

Had this plant in a pot in the front for three years before my husband took it and planted it in the ground on a hillside. Neither of us realized just what a fast growing survivor of a plant this was. The slope in question never grew grass and was just a source of contant mud in my little water garden every time it rained. The limelight has taken care of that!! It covered the slope, controled the erosion and looks really lovely. If it gets too tall (which it will) I just cut it with the hedge trimmer to make it all one height and keep it neat looking in back of the pond. Doesn't hurt it at all. I hardly ever water it, the deer won't eat it and rabbits just like to hide in it. If you want a structured plant for a garden or planting bed, then this is not the one you want! but, if you need so... read more


On Oct 23, 2014, vidor from Hillsdale ON,
Canada wrote:

Planted in our garden in Hillsdale Ontario Canada (zone 3-7) in 2002 it immediately became invasive and was moved to an area where there was no garden. It's now 2014 and it's working it's way back. I am digging it out. I am surprised no one has commented on its massive root formations. It spreads by mere filament roots which eventually start new root areas which must be dug out. Another Ontario gardener passed along a suggestion that he says worked for him: Wear heavy gardening gloves. Spray them with Roundup. Stroke the foliage and stems with the gloves. Throw out the gloves. I may resort to this if digging fails.


On Apr 2, 2014, Lauribob from Twisp, WA wrote:

I'm afraid I'm going to have to weigh in on the negative side with this one. I got it as a 4" pot and it was listed on the tag as a low growing groundcover. They got the groundcover part right. It's a thug and not a particularly attractive one after the first year. I've mowed it with the lawnmower to keep it down, and tried pulling it up to get rid of it. It looks OK in the early spring, but soon gets tall and weedy looking. Take a pass on this one.


On Feb 8, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is a variegated form of the common perennial weed, mugwort. It spreads underground and by seed just as aggressively as the species, and is just as bad a neighbor to other plants in beds and borders.

The flowers are ornamentally insignificant, but they still produce seeds. Seedlings are not variegated and are stronger than the variegated form, so plantings generally revert to the plain species after a few years.

If you grow this in a container, look out for non-variegated seedlings nearby. If you like the foliage, there are better chartreuse-variegated plants without the maintenance headaches this one involves.


On Jul 4, 2013, Spokaloo from Spokane, WA wrote:

Zone 5-6. I planted this in 2007 in it's own little 2'x4' area that is surrounded by red lava rock. It takes zero maintenance and is thriving with little or no water. Every spring I have to pull a few new plants that have grown out into the rock, but after they're pulled, they're pulled. This has stayed in this little area without invading the rest of my yard (which is a xeric/drought tolerant perennial garden). Lovely plant when contained. Can easily be used as a border and grows quickly. My soil is sand and rocks and holds no water.


On Apr 29, 2013, amani from Sierra Vista, AZ (Zone 8a) wrote:

I had this planted in my garden in Arizona and currently now in Georgia. It was quite beautiful in Arizona and did very well. The plant did not spread as aggressively as it does in my Georgia soil. I am assuming the alkaline soil of Arizona kept the plant tamed, but here in Georgia's clay soil it is very aggressive and will intermingle its roots with nearby plants. I am constantly pulling up rooted plants that have spread five to six feet and is a pain to weed it out of other flowering plants.Once I think I have pulled up all the roots it will pop up somewhere else even in the bordering lawn. This plant has rooted itself so well through out the flowerbed the only option I have is to completely dig up and rid every plant in the flowerbed to include the contaminated soil and start from scrat... read more


On May 9, 2011, ccolson from Sioux Falls, SD wrote:

Result after 4 years: Incredibly invasive and difficult to remove from the landscape. Beautiful as a potted plant. Don't plant this unless you have somewhere near no other vegetation and can allow this plant to do whatever it wants (because it will). Here's why: This plant was incredibly invasive and difficult to remove. In fact, I haven't completely removed it. I bought it as a little 4 inch grower plant from a nursery about 4 years ago. I had transplanted it once. It was about 30 inches wide and grew to about 3-4 feet tall. It is beautiful. Problem is that it started growing into the other plants around it (around this plant means within 5 feet of it). I pulled it and put a few sprigs in a pot. Gorgeous in a pot - keep it out of your garden unless you want this plant to be the... read more


On Mar 30, 2011, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

A fair enough looking plant, but a bit too invasive for me, so I removed it.


On Mar 28, 2011, jazzy1okc from Oklahoma City, OK wrote:

While I haven't had any problem containing this plant in my OKC clay soil that is slow to warm in the spring, a friend I gave some to has it in sandy, moist soil and morning sun.
Her plant has spread at least eight feet in all directions and is now invading her lawn.
Too much of a good thing, I'm thinking.


On Mar 21, 2011, zak1962 from Pittsburgh, PA wrote:

Don't let this plants beauty fool you, it is extremely invasive! I planted this four years ago in the wrong spot. I was a novice gardener and it overgrew the area. Moved it across the yard and noticed some "residual" pieces coming up later. I was attempting a bit of an english garden affect next to my house last year and moved the leftover pieces there.
Long story short, it is coming up everywhere this year. I started attempting to dig it up in the past couple weeks... 10 hours and 3 large buckets of roots later, I still have a 4 ft. section and then some to dig up. It so took over that I had to give up several favorite plants because it grew and became so intermingled that I couldn't separate it. STOP YOURSELF NOW... find something less invasive. You'll thank me in the l... read more


On Dec 19, 2010, dsigngrrl from Springfield, MO wrote:

There was a bed made of rail road ties next to my house, along side the deck, rocky and full of clay. Nothing was growing there but chickweed, and I didn't have time to mess with it. Someone gave me one of these plants, along with a lamb's ear, and said they would grow anywhere. Sure enough, it's doing great. It did grow into quite a large bush, nice mottled yellow-green foliage. It's lovely and it's not chickweed. Also, I really just ignored it, but it looks well-loved. Really amazing.

I just went back in to edit my rating on this guy. Still beautiful, but, as other comments have indicated, it's really pretty invasive. I still like it and don't regret planting it where I did, after all, nothing was growing there but creeping charlie, but I was thinking of planting it around... read more


On Aug 19, 2010, damienstafford from Decatur, IN wrote:

I have now had this plant for over 2 years. It is planted in full sun in rather good soil and in with many other herbs. I have had no problems with it being a thug or spreading uncontrolably. It is however over 6 feet tall this year and I am loving it! The foliage is gorgeous and I enjoy it immensely. I really tend to ignore this plant as far as much attention or fertilization. Maybe that is why it isn't spreading like others have described. I don't know, but I say it is well worth having in the garden!


On May 23, 2010, Osteole from Lamar, AR (Zone 7a) wrote:

Love this plant. In my clay soil, it tries to spread, but I simply pull up the runners in early spring. I don't have any problems with it spreading vigorously-easily maintained in my soil.


On Mar 29, 2010, Toots136 from Glendale, AZ wrote:

This is one of my very favorite plants. I love plants that go their own way and do their own thing. I don't have a problem with it wandering since I give it plenty of room to start with. I have it planted around my tree in the back along with mugwort and the combination is (to me) breathtaking. The yellow/lime green leaves peeking out among the silver mounds of mugwort. Beautiful. I've had it for a few years now and when it seems to want to wander off in a different direction, I just uproot it and put it where it should be. I have no problem with that. The colors more than make up for the wandering. I don't find it invasive at all.


On Nov 22, 2009, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant struggled for 3 years, then finally caught on. Having seen its aggressiveness at my sister's place (much more alkaline soil), I moved it out to our pasture border where it can colonize at will. I'm staying neutral on it so far, although it does have beautiful foliage.


On Sep 10, 2009, cam2 from Gustine, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have kept this in a large pot (on concrete) for about 10yrs. I love it, but would never plant it in the ground! It even creeps out the water holes on the bottom of the pot. So if you ever get it, do your self a favor and keep it off the ground ~ that way you can enjoy all it's attributes!


On Sep 7, 2009, myriban from Northeast region, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:

In New Jersey, Zone 6b....I planted artemisia as part of a container planting in full sun. It did not take a matter of fact it remained smaller and more "in place" than I hoped it would. My intention was to add foliage color to the nemesia, calibrachoa, osteospermum, twinspur and juncus that was there but it just didn't do much. Might have been the differences in water requirements for each of the plants I chose though.


On Jun 11, 2009, Zuluqueen504 from Monroe, LA (Zone 8a) wrote:

While the silvery artemisias struggle with the heat in my area, this plant is extremely invasive! After two years I still can't get rid of it. I gave my sister some the first year I had it and now she's constantly complaining about it! My other sister begged for some this year but I made her promise to only grow it in pots. I told her I don't think she'll be happy with it. It grows very fast and covers everything in the flowerbed or pot if I don't pull it out.

It moves by runners underground and I can only seem to get rid of it by pulling out the roots. Unfortunately, it grows faster than I can remove it. It's growing in full sun but it seems to grow just as fast in a pot I have in afternoon shade. I hate chemicals but out of desperation I tried Roundup which didn'... read more


On Jun 28, 2007, laurs from Oconto Falls, WI wrote:

We just moved into a new house and this plant is consuming, what I think, was once a nice little planting near the end of the driveway. I am already starting the process of removing it and fear it may never be eradicated. It is towering over the other plants and is consuming them entirely. Yuck!


On Jun 3, 2006, kimmers from Turlock, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I really love variegated plants and had to have this one! But after reading all the negative posts, I, like another said, am going to keep it in a pot on my patio!


On May 11, 2006, aprilwillis from Missouri City, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Yes I guess you could call it invasive, but it's easy to pull up. It does grow fast so I often cut it back. The color is just too wonderful to pass up. I have it in a bed against a weathered fence, it always looks great. I have heard it does best w/ part shade, in my area; however, I have it in full afternoon sun and possibly that has made this plant less invasive for me. I love it.


On Apr 25, 2006, elorasmom from Princeton, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

NEGATIVE!! NEGATIVE!! NEGATIVE!! I planted one of these on each side of my walkway 2 years ago, It was coming up last year in my flower beds in the area it had been planted the year before but this year it is trying to take ove several feet out in all directions, I can't get rid of it!! NEGATIVE is a mild word for how I really feel about this!! The normal bermuda grass and nutgrass are mild invaders in contrast to this assailant!!!


On Feb 21, 2006, Soferdig from Kalispell, MT (Zone 4b) wrote:

I loved the chartreuse color and adaptability to my zone. I planted it in the fall and by early spring it was everywhere in my bed poping up over 20 ft away from the origional location in less than 4 winter months. I got it out and never will plant it except in a garden I want to dissapear.


On Mar 8, 2005, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Egads. This stuff grew like crazy over the winter. A friend of mine sent me an email when I told her it was really going wild and she said, "DIG IT UP NOW. You'll thank me later."

I'm going to do my best to get it all and then put it in a pot. It is gorgeous, but gracious it grows fast.


On Oct 28, 2004, hanna1 from Castro Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I just bought mine, so attractive, guess I will keep it in a pot away from other plants on CEMENT, or take it back to Nursery!!!


On Jul 27, 2004, henryr10 from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

We bought this a year ago last Spring in a 3" pot.

After reading all the above posts I now know why the nuserywoman said

"Trust me you only need one."

when I tried to check out w/ two.

I love the foliage and planted it in early morning only shade in heavy clay soil.
(I like to play w/ the light requirements a lot! lol)
It got 24" tall maybe and then disappeared, we thought.

Late this Spring we found two small plants about 2' from the original.
They are now, in almost August, 4" tall at best.

I'm a 'boo, ivy and ajuga grower and had a stint w/ Galloping Marigold.
I know garden thugs and this, for me anyway, ain't one.

For us it's barely hanging on.
<... read more


On Jul 11, 2004, PurplePansies from Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

I don't know how different limelight is from other artemisias of this group but they are awful...... terribly invasive..... not worth it..... other nice plants for the foliage ....... :( ....... :)


On Jul 4, 2004, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

I bought one last year because it is a very attractive plant. But this spring it came back with a vengence and it's everywhere. I dug out the original plant, I've been digging plants and runners all year, and it still perserveres.


On May 2, 2004, montereyavenue wrote:

I bought a home whose yard consisted of nothing but mulch, mulch, mulch - up to six inches deep in some parts. I was so taken by this plant's beautiful foliage and graceful appearance that I planted it early last spring. It is now coming back up. It has spread, thankfully, beyond the three original plants. I like the fact that it will grow tall and spread out - just the thing for my miles and miles of mulch. I look forward to seeing it grow.


On Mar 26, 2004, Karenn from Mount Prospect, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

This "may be" invasive plant is a real thug! I planted this in a somewhat "unhospitable" place, thinking it would reduce it's "thugness". Boy, was I wrong!!!!!! If you don't want dozens of babies flung far & wide (10 feet or better from the parent) don't even bother with this specimen! It really is a shame, since the foliage is extremely attractive!


On Mar 25, 2004, lotsadirt from Hanover Park, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

A pretty plant, but I cut it (one!) way back last winter and now in early spring it has about 20 starts! Fortunately it's in a safe location but do be aware that it is strong and rampant. Don't know how bigf to expect it this year.


On Dec 25, 2003, kooger from Oostburg, WI (Zone 5b) wrote:

Planted it last spring and was about 2 feet tall by winter. Stayed in a nice compact shape. Was told by the GH owner that most grow it here as an annual but I am hoping it comes back. Did not find it to be invasive at all here.
May 2004 - Adding that I have plants growing more than 2 ft. away from the original, zone 4. A very hardy plant, quite striking. After digging up some, I discovered that all were spread by runners from the original, none appeared to be from seed. They look beautiful under the Oriental Lilies but will be removed if they spread farther than that. Definitely can be considered invasive.


On Sep 20, 2002, welshherblady from Isle of Anglesey,North Wales,
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

Mugwort common and Variegated Mugwort are grown in our Herb Field for harvesting and drying.The dried mugwort is used in tobacco mixes and also for Moxibustion purposes.Making into Moxa cones.
Very easy to grow but does need quite a lot of room!


On Sep 11, 2002, ArianesGrandma from Yorkville, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

If you think you'd like to ADD this to your Garden, better be prepared for it to take over.. I bought (1) Plant in 2001 and split it in 2....and just one year later and it's all over the Flowerbed and I've seen it in my Grass too while Mowing, so I guess it's safe to assume it spreads by seeds which are blown by the wind..You'd better really like this before you plant's also VERY TALL.....much taller then the information stated. I've had to cut it down 3 times so far so I could "SEE" my other plants....and it caught back up in NO TIME.....But all in all, it's a KEEPER!