mugwort foliage

Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris). Photo: Betty Marose

Updated: March 1, 2024

Life cycle


Growth habit

Mugwort is an herbaceous (not woody) spreading, invasive plant. The leaves are deeply dissected, similar to ragweed, but strongly scented like chrysanthemum. It tolerates mowing and can grow to a height of 4 feet. Very difficult to control. 


Mugwort spreads by extensive rhizomes (roots). The flowers are small and inconspicuous, found in the terminal leaf spikes in July-September.


Never till it. Each root piece will generate a new plant. You can smother it (black plastic or layers of newspapers covered with mulch). Or you can exhaust the root system by continuous pulling or removal of the leaves (this is difficult.) You can also use a systemic non-selective herbicide that contains glyphosate that will travel down inside the plant and kill the roots. Be careful to protect non-target plants from the herbicide. A combination of these methods is the best approach. 

mugwort roots
Mugwort extensive roots/rhizomes. Photo: Betty Marose

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