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HomeGardeningMethods to Plant, Develop and Care For Feverfew

Methods to Plant, Develop and Care For Feverfew

The dazzling lots of fragrant yellow and white flowers atop frilly verdant leaves make feverfew one of the crucial stunning ornamentals you possibly can develop. This chamomile-look-alike is a well-liked wildflower associated to daisies and tansies. It may be grown as a perennial in zones 5-10 and as an annual in colder areas.

Useful predatory bugs are magnetized to feverfew, making it probably the greatest companion crops to incorporate in your vegetable backyard.

The pungent, citrus-scented foliage naturally repels pests, whereas the dainty flowers appeal to hoverflies and tachinid flies. Furthermore, this carefree herb doesn’t ask for a lot upkeep and naturally re-seeds yearly.

Let’s dig into every thing you want to find out about rising this charming herb in your backyard.

Plant Overview

Close-up of several Tanacetum parthenium flowers in focus, against a blurred background of other blooming flowers. The flowers are small, daisy-like, with a yellow center and small white petals. The flowers are shaped like buttons.
Tanacetum parthenium L. is a medicinal herb with daisy-like flowers identified for its potential well being advantages.

Tanacetum parthenium L.

Plant Sort: Herbaceous perennial Plant Upkeep: Low Plant Spacing: 8-12”
Plant Household: Asteraceae (Daisy Household) Plant Peak: 24-36” Watering Wants: Low
Plant Genus: Tanacetum Fertility Wants: Low Solar Publicity: Full solar
Plant Species: parthenium Temperature: 60-90°F, tolerates to -20°F in dormancy Lifespan: Tender, short-lived perennial
Hardiness Zone: 5-10 Companion Crops: Coreopsis, Daylily, Coneflower Pests: Aphids
Planting Season: Spring Soil Sort: Mild, well-drained, impartial pH Illnesses: None

Historical past and Cultivation

Feverfew has been cultivated for hundreds of years as a medicinal and insectary plant. As early as the primary century, Greek doctor Dioscorides prescribed feverfew as a treatment for fevers and irritation. The plant has additionally been referred to as “featherfew” due to its frilly, feathery leaves.

With roots in Central Asia, the Himalayan mountains, and southeastern Europe, feverfew has now unfold all over the world. I’ve even seen it rising wild alongside roadside ditches all through america! This herb’s fascinating historical past and easygoing perspective make it a no brainer addition to any backyard.

What’s Feverfew?

Top view, close-up of flowering Feverfew plants in a flower bed. Feverfew flowers are small, daisy-like, with white petals surrounding a yellow center. The leaves are green and finely dissected, resembling small feathery fern leaves.
Feverfew is a flexible herbaceous perennial with fragrant foliage, daisy-like flowers, and mounding progress.

Feverfew is an herbaceous perennial plant with fragrant foliage and daisy-like flowers which can be used for landscaping, natural treatments, floral preparations, and companion planting.

Its inexperienced parsley-shaped leaves are a stunning backdrop to the yellow and white composite flowers. The plant grows as a beautiful mounding shrub as much as 36” tall and 24” broad. It’s a member of the Asteraceae household, intently associated to daisies.

Are Feverfew and Chamomile the Similar?

Close-up of pyrethrum flowers in a sunny garden. The plant has upright thin stems and small daisy-like flowers with round yellow centers surrounded by white petals.
Although associated to the daisy household, Feverfew and chamomile have distinct traits.

Feverfew is usually confused with chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.), however the two crops are distinct. Feverfew flowers are flatter, much less flavorful, and extra citrus-scented than chamomile. Whereas chamomile is an annual, feverfew is a perennial.

To make issues extra complicated, feverfew is mistakenly also known as “wild chamomile.” Each crops are within the daisy household and share family like sunflowers, calendula, and marigolds.

Feverfew Chamomile
Parsley-like foliage Frilly, skinny foliage
Flattened flower base Dome-shaped, rounded head
Citrusy, bitter scent (much less aromatic) Floral, candy scent (extra aromatic)
Perennial plant Annual plant
Hardy in zones 5-10 Hardy in zones 2-9
Self-sowing Self-sowing
Native to Balkan peninsula (Southeastern Europe) Widespread, with origins all through the world

The place Did Feverfew Get Its Identify?

Close-up of pyrethrum flowers in a sunny garden against a blurred floral background. The flowers are small, grow in small lumpy inflorescences on the tops of vertical stems. The flowers are daisy-like in shape, with bright yellow button centers and white oval petals.
Feverfew, or Tanacetum parthenium, derives its title from its historic use in treating fevers.

The title feverfew comes from the Latin phrase febrifuge, which suggests “driving fever away.” Often known as Tanacetum parthenium L., feverfew probably obtained its title from Greek physicians who used it to deal with fevers.

The genus title Tanacetum means “immortal” and the species title parthenium refers to a legend that feverfew was used to save lots of a development employee who fell on his head whereas constructing the Parthenon temple in Athens.

The place Does Feverfew Originate?

Close-up side view of feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) blooming flowers. The plant has thin branched stems at the tops of which grow small daisy-like flowers. The flowers have white petals that surround a conspicuous yellow center made up of many tiny disc florets. Feverfew leaves have a unique shape and texture. They are deeply lobed, pinnate, and fern-like.
Feverfew, originating from Southeastern Europe and Western Asia, has been extensively cultivated globally for hundreds of years.

Feverfew is native to the Balkan area of Southeastern Europe in addition to Western Asia and components of the Himalayas. The herb has been extensively cultivated in gardens and landscapes all over the world for 1000’s of years.

Within the mid-Nineteenth century, feverfew was dropped at america, the place it has now change into naturalized in lots of areas. This chamomile doppelganger might be discovered rising wild in roadside ditches, pastures, and meadows all through North America, Australia, Asia, North Africa, and Europe.


Because of its wildflower nature, feverfew is insanely straightforward to develop from seed, cuttings, or root divisions. As soon as established, the plant will readily self-sow and slowly unfold through underground runners. Whereas feverfew is raring to unfold, it’s not sometimes invasive. Undesirable seedlings are straightforward to drag out.

Methods to Propagate Feverfew from Seed

Top view, close-up of the seed heads of a Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) plant on a blurred green background. The plant has tall, upright, pale green stems and small, dark brown seed heads.
Plant feverfew in spring when the soil is workable, or begin indoors and transplant after the final frost.

For many gardeners, the perfect time to plant feverfew is within the spring, as quickly because the soil might be labored. You can even begin the plant indoors and transplant seedlings outdoors across the first frost.

Feverfew is considerably hardy as soon as established, however it’s tender as a seedling. Once I labored on lower flower farms, we typically transplanted feverfew within the fall to realize longer stems and earlier blooms for spring bouquets. Nevertheless, overwintering the tender perennial crops requires the additional labor of overlaying them with row material or planting in a greenhouse.

The best seeding dates are:

  • Spring direct sowing: 1-3 weeks earlier than final frost date (as quickly soil is workable)
  • Spring transplanting: Sow 5-7 weeks earlier than final frost
  • Fall transplanting: 3-4 weeks earlier than first frost

To develop the perfect feverfew seedlings, bear in mind to:

Sow feverfew shallowly

A close-up of a woman's hands making holes in a starter seed tray filled with soil. The starter tray is large, plastic, black, has small square deep cells filled with a moist soil mixture.
When seeding feverfew, bear in mind to not cowl the seeds, as they require gentle for germination.

Crucial factor to recollect when seeding feverfew is: Don’t cowl the seeds! These tiny seeds require gentle to germinate and needs to be sown very shallowly. You need to use a mister or a really gentle stream of water to keep up soil moisture with out disturbing the seed placement.

In case you are direct sowing outdoors, you possibly can broadcast the seeds into naked soil. This mimics nature’s course of for spreading feverfew. Make sure that the realm is totally weeded to stop grasses or different crops from outcompeting the feverfew seedlings.

Germination time and temperature

Feverfew takes 7-14 days to germinate and enjoys a light soil temperature of round 70°F. Nevertheless, it might probably tolerate colder when instantly sown within the backyard. A layer of row cowl can assist encourage extra even germination in chilly climates, however it normally isn’t obligatory.

Maintain feverfew seeds repeatedly moist till the crops develop their first true leaves. So long as seedlings obtain 6-8 hours of direct daylight, there isn’t any want for a germination warmth mat or synthetic lighting.

Don’t neglect to skinny

You possibly can broadcast (sprinkle) the seeds or sow a few seeds each 8-12”. As soon as crops develop their first true leaves, it’s important to skinny the seedlings to 1 plant each 8-12”. If rising as a perennial, it’s finest to present every plant about 12” of area in each path.

Overcrowded feverfew can result in weak, unpleasant crops. The person thinned crops will find yourself mounding and bushing into one another to create a beautiful steady show.

Methods to Develop Feverfew from Cuttings

Close-up of cuttings of a feverfew plant on a white background. The plant has a thin pale green stem, several green lobed leaves and small flowers. The flowers are daisy-like, with dark orange disc-shaped centers surrounded by small oval white petals.
To propagate feverfew, take non-flowering stem cuttings, take away decrease leaves, and place them in water.

Softwood cuttings are one other fast technique to begin a feverfew patch. If you happen to or a buddy already has a thriving feverfew plant, you possibly can take just a few stem clippings and root them to copy the plant.

  1. Use a powerful, wholesome feverfew plant.
  2. Discover a 4-6” lengthy, non-flowering stem.
  3. Use sanitized shears to chop the stem just under a node (the purpose the place the leaves meet the stem).
  4. Strip the decrease 2-3” of leaves.
  5. Optionally, dip the underside of the chopping in a rooting hormone.
  6. Place the chopping in a jar of water or potting combine. Solely the decrease 2-3” needs to be submerged.
  7. Place in a heat, sunny space with vibrant oblique gentle.
  8. Recurrently change the water and preserve steady moisture.
  9. Wait 1-2 weeks till you see roots kind, then transplant to a pot.

Feverfew cuttings root the perfect in heat soil, so a heating mat can enhance your possibilities of success.

Methods to Divide Feverfew Crops

Close-up of a flower bed with flowering feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) plants in a sunny garden. The plant has upright stems covered with lobed, pinnate and fern-like leaves. The leaves are arranged alternately along the stems, and each leaf consists of several narrow leaflets extending from a central midrib. The leaflets are deeply serrated and have a slightly pubescent texture. The flowers are small, semi-double, with central yellow discs surrounded by several rows of white petals.
Dividing feverfew is straightforward by digging up the plant and chopping the rhizomatous crown into chunks.

Because of the clumping nature of feverfew crops, they’re very straightforward to divide. Division is so simple as digging up the plant and chopping the rhizomatous crown into just a few chunks. The steps are as follows:

  1. Divide feverfew within the spring or fall, earlier than or after flowering.
  2. Discover a mature, thriving feverfew plant.
  3. Use a sharp-edged shovel to dig a circle across the plant, just a few icnehs wider than its circumfrence.
  4. Dig about 1 foot deep.
  5. Lif the plant from the bottom.
  6. Use the shovel to cut the rhizome into a number of chunks.
  7. Every chunk needs to be a minimum of 6-8” in diameter.
  8. Replant one chunk within the unique area and backfill so solely leaves are uncovered.
  9. Transplant the remaining divisions to pots or different components of your backyard.
  10. Present a minimum of 12” of area in all instructions.


Feverfew is finest planted within the spring or early fall. Sow seeds about 2 weeks earlier than your final frost. Alternatively, you possibly can divide and transplant this herb within the late summer season or early fall. Be certain it has a minimum of 4-6 weeks to get established earlier than chilly climate units in. In delicate climates, feverfew overwinters nicely and supplies further early flowers.

Methods to Transplant

Close-up of female hands in green gloves transplanting feverfew plants in a flower bed. The plant has vertical thin stems covered with fern-like green leaves with deep lobes. The flowers are small, have white petals and yellow round centers.
Transplanting feverfew is simple – dig a gap, loosen the roots, and place the plant.

Transplanting feverfew is so simple as some other backyard herb. Whether or not you begin from a nursery plant, homegrown seedling, chopping, or division, the method is identical:

  1. Dig a gap 1 to 2 instances bigger than the basis ball.
  2. Gently therapeutic massage the pot to loosen the roots.
  3. If the plant is rootbound, lower off any protruding roots and use your fingers to loosen the tangled root ball.
  4. Grasp the plant from the bottom and switch the pot on its aspect.
  5. Place the feverfew within the gap.
  6. Backfill with compost and native soil.
  7. Be certain to not bury any leaves or stems. Maintain the crown just under soil stage.
  8. Completely water in and preserve steady moisture for just a few weeks.

Area feverfew crops 8-12” aside in rows 12” aside. The crops naturally prefer to kind clumps.

Methods to Develop

Feverfew is as straightforward to develop as its doppelganger, chamomile. You possibly can maintain this herb as an annual or a perennial with little or no upkeep. Plant it in border beds or naturalized areas the place it might probably self-slow freely. The keys to blissful feverfew are vibrant sunshine and loamy soil.


Close-up of a flowering bed of Tanacetum parthenium under full sun. The plant has small, daisy-like flowers with white petals surrounding a yellow disc-shaped center. The leaves are bright green, deeply lobed, with a soft texture.
Feverfew prefers full solar, blooms with longer daylight, and thrives in out of doors patio containers.

Feverfew prefers full sunshine, however tolerates partial shade. Crops grown partly shade could not flower as profusely or aromatically.

This herb is a long-day plant, which implies that the quantity of sunshine instantly impacts the flowering cycle. Crops sometimes begin blooming across the summer season solstice when the times lengthen.

Due to its love for sunshine, indoor crops are likely to get leggy and sad. Feverfew can be pretty hardy, so there isn’t any motive to waste your indoor rising area. This herb will flourish in out of doors patio containers.


Close-up of several feverfew flowers with water drops, against a blurred green background. The flowers are small, fluffy, semi-double, composed of several layers of white oval petals surrounding an orange center.
Feverfew thrives in persistently moist soil, requiring irrigation throughout dry spells and benefiting from mulching.

Feverfew prefers persistently moist soil. It doesn’t tolerate lengthy durations drought. The plant grows finest in barely damp soil that’s by no means bone-dry nor overly soggy.

If you happen to don’t get a lot summer season rain, it’s finest to mulch your feverfew crops with chopped leaves or a layer of compost. You could have to irrigate 1 to three instances per week throughout dry spells. Soil with excessive quantities of natural matter requires much less irrigation as a result of it holds onto moisture.


Close-up of a young Tanacetum parthenium plant in a sunny garden. The plant is young, small, has a bushy shape. It consists of dense pinnate leaves and each leaf consists of several narrow leaflets extending from a central midrib. The leaflets are deeply serrated.
Feverfew prefers well-drained, moist soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.2.

Feverfew prefers gentle, fluffy soil that’s well-drained and usually moist. Heavy clay soils should be loosened with a broadfork or digging fork and amended with decayed natural matter. Sandy soil will in all probability want compost or leaf mould to enhance the water holding capability.

A pH between 6.0 and seven.2 ensures correct mineral absorption for this herb. In case your soil is simply too acidic, amend with compost, limestone, or wooden ashes.

Local weather and Temperature

Close-up of feverfew plant (Tanacetum parthenium) flowers on a blurred green background. The flowers are small, daisy-like, with bright yellow centers, consisting of many tiny disc florets surrounded by small white petals. The petals are slightly flattened, creating a visually pleasing and symmetrical flower head.
Feverfew thrives in heat climate, with hardiness starting from zones 5 to 10.

Feverfew thrives in heat climate and sunshine. It may be grown as a perennial in zones 5 via 10, or an annual in colder zones. In its dormant state, a well-rooted plant can tolerate a whopping -20°F. In the course of the summer season, the herb prefers cozy temperatures within the 70s and 80s.

Seeds germinate finest when soil is round 70°F. Indoor sowing and transplanting tends to be finest for lower flower types of feverfew. Wild sorts don’t thoughts direct seeding after the possibility of frost has handed.


Close-up of feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) flowering plant in the garden. The plant has many small daisy-like flowers with small oval white petals surrounding yellow button centers. The leaves are pinnate, fern-like, composed of narrow lobed leaflets.
Feverfew thrives in fertile soil wealthy in natural matter, preferring compost for nutrient provide.

Feverfew enjoys a fertile soil that’s wealthy in natural matter. A top quality compost ought to present loads of vitamins. In poor soils, you possibly can amend with small quantities of all-purpose, slow-release fertilizer.

Like many herbs, its finest to keep away from feeding high-nitrogen fertilizers. An excessive amount of nitrogen may cause the plant to develop extra foliage with much less flowers. Overfertilization additionally reduces the nice scent of the flowers.


Close-up of young plants (Tanacetum parthenium) in the garden. The plant has the form of a low bush with lush feathery foliage of bright green color. The leaves are pinnate with deep lobes, similar to fern or parsley leaves.
Feverfew is low-maintenance and might be reduce after frost, regenerating in spring.

Apart from constant irrigation, feverfew is comparatively maintenance-free. If rising feverfew as a perennial, you possibly can lower it again to the bottom after the primary onerous frost. The plant will regenerate within the spring with contemporary, engaging new progress.

Feverfew is a self-seeding plant that may unfold shortly in its optimum situations. Whereas it’s unlikely to take over your backyard, it might require some weeding. Undesirable seedlings are straightforward to pullout. Clumps needs to be divided yearly to stop them from getting out-of-hand.


Close-up of the blooming flowers of 'Ultra Double White' Feverfew. The flowers of this variety are fully double, that is, they have several layers of petals, which gives them a lush and full appearance. The petals are pure white, small and densely packed, forming a dense and compact flower head with a central yellow disc. Double flowers resemble small fluffy pompoms.
‘Extremely Double White’ is a wide range of feverfew with stunning, absolutely double white flowers.

Feverfew is available in a number of cultivars for various makes use of and asesthetics:

  • Wild kind: The basic Tanacetum parthenium L. is essentially the most resilient and customary number of feverfew. On account of its wildflower nature, it may be extra aggressive in its optimum setting.
  • White blooms: ‘Crown White,’ ‘Extremely Double White,’ and ‘White Bonnet’ have beautiful pure white flowers.
  • Yellow flowers: For beautiful cream-yellow flowers, select ‘Golden Ball.’
  • Golden leaves: ‘Aureum’ is without doubt one of the hottest feverfews as a result of it has golden-hue leaves and smaller shows of white flowers. It additionally grows a stout 12” tall, making it excellent for containers.

Pests and Illnesses

Close-up of a Feverfew plant infested with black aphids in a sunny garden. The plant has an upright stem and feathery, fern-like green leaves with lobed leaflets. The stem is completely covered with black aphids. Aphids are tiny pests with black oval bodies.
Feverfew is usually pest and illness resistant, aside from potential aphid points.

Feverfew is of course resilient to widespread backyard pests and illnesses. The one challenge you’ll have are aphids (they appear to eat every thing, don’t they?)

If you happen to discover aphids crawling on this white and yellow magnificence, a heavy stream of water can normally knock them off. In excessive infestations, throw away affected plant components and deal with the herb with a diluted neem answer.

Incessantly Requested Questions

Feverfew is a non-fussy herb that may be very straightforward to develop. This flower can simply be grown from seed, chopping, or division. Plant in an space with loads of daylight and well-drained soil.

Feverfew thrives in areas with full sunshine and loamy, well-drained soil. It may be discovered flourishing in wildflower fields and panorama margins.

Feverfew’s predominant disadvantage is its tendency to unfold. This self-seeding plant is just not essentially invasive, however it may be aggressive when grown in its optimum situations. One of the simplest ways to comprise feverfew is to take away spent flower heads and divide the plant clumps yearly. Alternatively, plant feverfew in a cottage backyard or naturalized space on the borders of your panorama.

Remaining Ideas

Now that you just’ve discovered all you want to find out about rising this beautiful flower, all that’s left is to start out seeding or transplant them into your backyard. Fever few has many various makes use of, so including it to your backyard area will offer you many various advantages.



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