Where does Parthenium come from

Feverfew plants - location and care

The feverfew plants have the botanical name Tanacetum parthenium and belong to the daisy family, which also includes the chrysanthemums. The plant is also known as false chamomile, as the flowers are very reminiscent of chamomile with their color and shape. In the past, feverfew was often used as a medicinal plant, but its healing properties have almost been forgotten today. The feverfew plants are relatively easy to care for, do not need sunlight all day and with their yellow-white flowers beautify every garden bed.

Location & plant substrate

Feverfew has its origin in Europe, so it copes well with the local conditions. In addition, it often grows wild in many gardens, so that it can also be left to itself in a suitable place. It often settles in the garden all by itself and is wrongly viewed by many gardeners as a weed out of ignorance. In addition, cultivation is also possible in tubs, flower pots or window boxes. The following aspects must be taken into account with regard to the location and the plant substrate:

  • Fully to partly sunny locations with plenty of light are ideal
  • Can also cope with partially shaded locations
  • Needs at least 3 hours of sunshine a day, ideally mixed with a little shade
  • Nutrient-rich and loose plant substrate is ideal
  • Prefers humus, sandy-loamy to mineral soils
  • Lime in the soil is not a problem, it is even valued
  • Normal garden soils are usually well suited
  • Constant permeability is important, avoid waterlogging at all costs
  • Use commercially available plant substrates for flowers when keeping them in pots
  • Work in drainage in extremely loamy and compacted soils
  • Attractive addition to flower beds, especially between rose bushes
  • Fits in mixed farm, shrub and wild gardens

Sowing, planting & propagating

Feverfew is easy to plant and reproduce, and it usually even reproduces on its own in the garden. The following criteria must be observed when sowing, planting and propagating:

  • Pre-grown potted plants are available from specialist retailers
  • The best time to plant is in spring
  • However, it can be planted at any time as long as the ground is not frozen
  • Propagation by sowing seeds
  • Propagation with cuttings and division is also possible
  • Collect seeds after training
  • From March to May cultivation from seeds in the house or cold frame can be carried out
  • Germination time is between 10-20 days, ideal temperature values ​​are 15-20 ° C

Tip: The feverfew plants often sow themselves and then grow wild in the garden. In order to prevent the wild hustle and bustle, the dead shoots should be removed so that no seeds can form.

Watering & fertilizing

The feverfew plants prefer fresh soil, which should never dry out completely. Depending on the location and the prevailing temperature values, more or less water must be watered. At the

Fertilization is sufficient, the plants are frugal. The following procedure must be observed when watering and fertilizing:
  • Always keep the soil evenly to moderately moist
  • Water regularly but only lightly in dry weather conditions, especially in spring and summer
  • Flowers and leaves should not be wetted by the water during the watering process
  • In the vegetation phase, from May to September, give fertilizer once a week
  • Use commercially available flower fertilizers

Flowers, leaves & growth

The appearance of the feverfew plants is very reminiscent of chamomile, which is why they are also called false chamomile or golden chamomile. Richly branched and loose bushes are often formed, just like with camomiles. Since the plant comes from the local latitudes, it copes well with the prevailing conditions and grows and thrives splendidly:

  • Upright and clump-forming growth habit
  • The height of growth depends on the variety and varies between 20 to 80 cm
  • Bright green leaves, some varieties have yellow leaves
  • Small, egg-shaped foliage pointed to the front
  • Extremely pinnate leaves, reminiscent of small fern fronds
  • White flowers with a yellow center, some flowers are even completely white
  • Flowers give off a lovely scent
  • Flowering time from the end of spring to mid-summer, May to July
  • With proper care, blooms even until the end of August

Tip: If the shoots grow too high, they are often not particularly stable. In this case, it's best to lay these low and treat them like ground covers.

To cut

Due to their delicate growth, the feverfew plants quickly look torn and unsightly after strong winds. In this case, a clear cut is advisable:

  • Prune after the first flowering, around the beginning of August
  • Pruning stimulates the growth of new flowers
  • If the plant shape is no longer dense, shorten it to about a third
  • After pruning, new shoots form and the bushy shape is restored
  • Durable plant, usable as a vase decoration


Feverfew plants are either annual or perennial, depending on the variety. The annual varieties die in winter, the seeds ensure their survival. The seeds of the feverfew have with

The winter cold is no problem, these survive in the ground and then germinate in spring. The plants are sensitive to extreme cold and need special care in winter:
  • Only partially frost hardy
  • No frost resistance at extremely deep and long-lasting negative values
  • Use coniferous sticks and mulch as winter protection
  • Relocate potted plants to suitable winter quarters

Diseases & pests

Feverfew plants are sensitive to mistakes in care, incorrect location conditions and permanent waterlogging in the soil. In response, diseases develop and pests attack the plants:

  • Susceptible to infestation with powdery mildew, fungi, spider mites and aphids
  • Always prefer biological control
  • First wash off pest infestation with soapy water
  • Establish geraniums, garlic plants or cress as daunting neighboring plants
  • Apply chemical insecticides only in an absolute emergency

Healing effect

The healing properties of feverfew were already known to our ancestors, but over time it has been forgotten in many regions. The following modes of action are attributed to the attractive medicinal plant:

  • Leaves have healing properties with a bitter, aromatic taste
  • Can also be used as a condiment in the kitchen
  • Has a calming and digestive effect
  • Fights intestinal parasites
  • Has been used to reduce fever and severe headaches since the Middle Ages
  • Reduction of migraine attacks possible through regular intake
  • Must be taken prophylactically for weeks to show effects

The feverfew plants are an enrichment for every garden and fit particularly well in natural farm and wild gardens. The delicate flowering plants do not have great demands in terms of care, but react sensitively to long-term waterlogging. For this reason, the soil should be prepared accordingly if this problem can arise during heavy rainfall. Although feverfew looks like chamomile, it is not related to it, but chrysanthemums belong to the same genus. The yellow-white flowers not only look enchanting, but also give off a fragrant scent. For this reason, feverfew is suitable as a decorative vase flower for the house and the terrace.