(Tanacetum parthenium) 90-100 days. Perennial. Hardy in zones 5-9
Feverfew is a member of the daisy family, which is native to central and southern Europe. Feverfew has been naturalized in most parts of the temperate zone. It is not uncommon to mistake it for chamomile, although once you're familiar with feverfew you'll notice that its growth habit and form is quite different than chamomile. Feverfew will grow multiple upright branches from a tufted mass of root, unlike chamomile which is low-growing.
Feverfew produces a great greenish yellow dye from the leaves and stems in wool mordanted with chrome.
Growing Feverfew is easy and requires little care once established. It prefers full sun but tolerates a little shade. Feverfew can be divided from root cuttings in the early spring.
Growth Habit: Feathery like foliage growing upright and bushy. Can reach 2-3 feet in height. Self-seeding.
Sun Requirements: Best in full sun, but tolerates a little bit of shade.
Soil Preference: Fertile to average, well drained, sandy loam.
When to Plant: Direct seed in early Spring when the soil can be worked, and no more than 1/4" deep as sunlight aids germination. OR start indoors 4-6 weeks before transplanting out. ** 2 weeks before sowing seeds place seed packet in a resealable plastic bag and store in the fridge. A brief cold period benefits germination.
How to Plant:
Direct sow: After risks of spring frost, sow feverfew seeds 1/4" deep and 4-6" apart on soil bed and cover lightly. Keep the soil bed moist until germination. Thin maturing plants 8-10” apart.
Indoor germination: Sow seeds in flats in containers 1/8“ deep. Heat mats improve germination but is not required. Keep soil moist, not wet. Having a cover over your tray to retain moisture is ideal. Keep Feverfew seedlings with a heat mat temp of 18 to 21 degrees in daytime, down to 10 degrees night time. Mist soil regularly to keep moist, or bottom water. Lights will aid seeds to germinate.
Transplanting: After risk of frost has passed and when seedlings are over 2” high, spacing plants 8” apart. 2 weeks prior to last frost gradually harden off Feverfew plants until it is ready for its permanent location.
When to Harvest: Pick leaves and flowers anytime in the early morning, before the heat of sun. Remember to leave 4 inches of stem so Feverfew may continue to grow back healthy.
How to Harvest: Pick fresh flowers, leaving some to self seed, if that is desired. Cut back flowers to prevent self-seeding.
Uses: Herbal remedy. Flowers can be used fresh or dried in tea. And a good friend to pollinators!