Second Front in Garden War

“Second Front in Garden War”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

Grasshoppers are still attacking the garden, but there were casualties on their side since I lasted posted. I must now report on a second front that has opened in the Garden War of 2010. It is not animal foe, but plant one. I am fighting and determined to eliminate Artemisia Limelight. Don’t ever plant this stuff in the garden.



I planted this about six years ago, and it was fine for about two years, and then – trouble. I love variegated plants and this seemed perfect for the partial shade of our entry garden. At first, this seemed like a great plant for that area. Its variegated foliage brought some light and color especially in the shadier parts of the area. In winter, when so much of the garden is dormant, this was a nice addition. The cold did knock it back a bit, but in spring it came back just fine. I even transplanted some of the spreading plants. After the second year though, it became a thug. It seemed for every one plant I pulled up, three more grew in its place. Part of the problem is that when yanking this plant out, the stems break leaving the roots. Another mistake I made was that I would pull up most plants but would always leave a few because this was such an attractive plant.

Leaving a few plants was the problem. It always seemed to spread too much. The last two years, I have been pulling up the little babies, but still they kept coming. This spring I decided I would give no quarter to this plant that was invading my garden and making it look so unkempt. I have been digging up and pulling Limelight for four months, and finally, I may have it beaten. I say “may” because we have just had several days of heaving rain and that may help it come back. This afternoon when I checked, I could only find about five plants which were quickly dispatched. It seems this is a battle I may be winning.

This is such an attractive plant, and it is a shame it is so aggressive. In researching this plant, I have found I am not the only one having a problem with this particular artemisia. Learn from my mistake, don’t plant this artemisia in the garden. It may do well in a container, but beware. I have read that even then it tries to escape.



  1. garden mary said,

    July 7, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    I’ve had the same problem with this. I wish I had not planted it. I wonder if it is a problem only for warm area gardens.

    • Jan said,

      July 7, 2010 at 7:02 pm

      I am not sure if northern gardeners could plant this without the problems we have had. It just may be that in colder areas it is an annual so there would be no problem with it taking over.

  2. July 7, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Hi Jan,
    Although it’s been 102 degrees for the past couple of days, and therefore a ‘warm’ area, we do get cold here, as seen by our past winter when it snowed extensively and was cold for months on end. So I would say this plant survives in the cold weather just fine. I planted mine last summer. It was quite a surprise, as it was an unexpected ‘addition’ to a different plant in a nursery pot. I thought I’d gotten a freebie and a pretty one, at that! I wrote a short post about it asking if anyone could identify it for me and was told to be very careful with it! I planted it in a pot, thank goodness, as people told me it would do just what you said. It came back full-force this year, but I pulled as much of it as I could out of the pot, because it really just over-took anything else I had in there with it. I ended up just keeping a few small pieces of it but will probably need to pull it when it gets to thick. It really is a pretty plant, I agree…but it definitely has a mind of its own and I’m so glad I didn’t put it anywhere in my garden or yard!!

    • Jan said,

      July 8, 2010 at 6:20 am

      Jan, this seems to be one tough plant. I am a little surprised it survived the cold you had. You were lucky you did not plant this in your garden. I think I would grow this in a container that was placed on concrete with no chance of escaping into the garden.

  3. July 7, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    PS Congratulations on winning the battle…so far! I hope you can stay ahead of it for good!

  4. SwimRay said,

    July 7, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    I feel your pain with my own, called gooseneck loosestrife. Pull it up and it keeps coming back with underground runners.

    • Jan said,

      July 8, 2010 at 6:22 am

      I’ve read about the problems with gooseneck loosestrife that other parts of the country are having. Good luck. I’ll think about you when I am looking for artemisia to pull up.

  5. Karen said,

    July 8, 2010 at 5:01 am

    I don’t know this particular plant, but I know about the mistake of planting something that just takes over (*cough*periwinkle*cough*). I also know about plants that keep coming back after you remove them. I am hoping that this year we have finally gotten rid of the yuccas I planted five years ago before I really knew how I wanted the garden to look. It turns out that yuccas have long vertical roots that grow out of a potato-sized chunk of thick root that sits very deep. I hope that, now we have found and removed those chunks, the yuccas will not grow back.

    • Jan said,

      July 8, 2010 at 6:25 am

      Karen, it seems that the vine-type plants are the worst. I planted some periwinkle years ago, and when I wanted to get rid of it, it was a pain. My confederate jasmine is becoming a problem, too. If I win the artemisia battle, I’ll be moving on to a containment war with the jasmine.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: