How to plant and cultivate absinthe?

How to plant and cultivate absinthe?

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The characteristics of absinthe

  • Type: flower and flowering plant
  • Height: up to 1.50m
  • Flower color: yellow
  • Fruit name: absinthe
  • Desired exposure: sunny
  • Type of soil: well drained, rich in humus
  • Foliage: persistent
  • Interview : moderate watering
  • Sanitizing: Yes
  • Diseases: rust

Origins and characteristics of absinthe

absinthe is a perennial and aromatic plant belonging to the Asteraceae family. It is nicknamed Artemisia absinthium in Latin. It is also called great absinthe or holy herb. The genus "Artemisia" includes more than 300 species, some of which are cultivated for ornamentation or for consumption.

Native to temperate regions such as Asia, Europe and North Africa, absinthe stands out for its silver gray color. It produces yellow flowers from July to October. It is grown for its leaves and its pleasant scent.

Absinthe consumption was banned in France in 1915. A sulphurous drink, it was made famous by artists such as Vincent Van Gogh or Verlaine. Accused of driving people crazy, the "green fairy" was only authorized again in France in 1988. It is the thujone contained in the plant which causes significant brain damage, according to the subjects.

Sowing and planting absinthe

It is advisable to plant absinthe in a drained soil rich in humus. Choose a sunny or semi-shaded location. If all these conditions are met, absinthe can develop significantly.

Because of its high thujone concentration, the plant has an allelopathic effect: it inhibits the growth of other plants. It is therefore not recommended to plant it within a meter of other crops.

The best time to sow absinthe is between March and April, in the nursery. Absinthe seeds are very small and should barely be covered. Keep the soil moist for 20 to 30 days, until it emerges.

When the plants have 4 to 5 leaves, practice a first transplanting in the nursery when these have reached 15 to 20cm. Set up 80cm of spacing in late summer, early fall or the following spring depending on the growth of the plant.

Absinthe culture

absinthe can be planted in spring or fall. This plant particularly appreciates soils rich in humus, well drained and sunny.

In the garden, it can be planted in isolation or in beds, always respecting 1 meter distance between each plant.

In spring, bring well-rotted compost to the absinthe. During the summer, hoeing, strapping and mulching the plants is recommended. At the end of winter, prune the absinthe plants. Severely prune branches to stimulate strong vegetation.

absinthe is not very sensitive to lack of water, with a few exceptions. In times of drought, this plant requires regular watering. In the fall, remember to fold the absinthe feet at the base to help it fight the cold.

The harvest is done just before flowering in July-August. It is recommended to do it in good weather, at the end of the day. Dry the absinthe in the shade before using it.

Medicinal properties of absinthe

Several virtues are conferred on absinthe.

This plant is used to fight against seasickness and nausea. It also has deworming properties, facilitates digestion and reduces bloating problems.

In women, absinthe helps stimulate the onset of menstruation. It can be interesting in case of anorexia because it has a stimulating effect on appetite. Absinthe can be consumed in herbal tea, in powder form or in decoction.

Dried and rubbed on the skin, the leaves of this plant are used to repel insects such as flies or mosquitoes.

Culinary uses of absinthe

In North Africa, mint is replaced by absinthe for the preparation of tea. There is also an alcoholic drink made from absinthe which is called absinthe liqueur. However, this plant can be toxic if overused. Its use must therefore remain punctual.