Artemisia annua L., a species of the Asteraceae (or Compositae) family, is an annual mugwort that can reach over 3 m in height in culture. Its natural distribution extends to all warm temperate zones. The plant is also found in some countries in inter-tropical regions, particularly Vietnam, but it grows very well in Europe.
The Chinese have known the virtues of Artemisia for over 2000 years and use this febrifuge plant effectively against malaria and cancer. Around 1990, Chinese scientists sought collaboration with the European pharmaceutical industries.
From that moment, modern science begins to take an interest in the striking efficacy of this plant.
Artemisia Annua contains a sesquiterpene lactone, artemisinin, effective against several strains of parasite responsible for malaria and against cancer. A genetic improvement program initiated eight years ago has made it possible to develop a variety that is particularly rich in artemisinin (its dried leaves and stems can contain more than 1.3%). This variety has been the subject of an application for protection from the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), under the name Artemis.
Controlling the cultivation of this species is currently the subject of extensive agronomic experiments, but a certain number of technical indications can already be proposed.
Sow in shelves, under light shelter. Do not cover seeds that germinate in the light. Keep the seedling moist with a spray bottle. When possible, transplant the plants in individual pots and then in the ground, when they have 5 to 6 leaves. The distance between plants is 60 cm to 1 m. Germination of seeds can take a few days to several weeks.
January, February, March, April, October, November, December
Résistance au gel : Très bonne
No pests or significant pathogens have so far been observed on this crop, no need for chemical treatment.
Maintenance and watering.
The plant has a remarkable development and culture so quickly covers the ground. However, 1 or 2 weeding may be necessary in the first weeks.
Herbicides used in this case are not yet known, as a mechanical weeding is it currently recommended: strawberry (tiller or tractor) between the lines and hoe on the line.
Regarding watering, the plant tolerates relative dryness, even if it reacts well to a water supply. It is especially at the plantation that a water supply can be essential.
L’armoise annuelle ne demande pas de soins particuliers. Taillez la plante après la floraison pour éviter qu’elle n’envahisse tout le jardin. Essayez de la contenir dans un espace limité, en coupant à la bêche les rhizomes qui ont tendance à vouloir gagner du terrain. Elle peut se montrer dans certains terrains, envahissante, non seulement par ses graines mais aussi par ses rhizomes.
Harvesting, stripping and drying.
The harvest takes place about 3 months after planting, but at the latest when the buds form.
Soil preparation and fertilization
This mugwort is very easy to grow. Soils rich in nitrogen, are well suited to mugwort, it will thrive in drained soils, in full sun. This plant is very resistant to drought and cold. It does not require the addition of organic matter or fertilizer.
The recommended planting density is 60 cm x 60 cm.
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