Garden Foundary Garden Tansy Plant You’ll Love These Flowers

Tansy Plant You’ll Love These Flowers

Commonly known as common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), this species can bring many benefits to your garden if you know how to grow and care for this perennial flower. The yellow bud-shaped flowers are simple but beautiful because they attract pollinators while being an insect repellent with a history of medical use.

You can find Tanacetum vulgare, which grows wild in many places in North America. In some regions it is called a noxious weed, but if you know how to stop it, it is a really easy perennial to grow. The origin of the scientific name Tanacetum vulgare is interesting. Tanacetum comes from the Greek word Athanasius, which means “not dead” or immortal. In fact, once you have dried the flowers, they will last you for many years and the plant can also last a long time.

Tansy has some negative aspects, as it is sometimes considered an invasive and potentially medically peril weed, but we easily overcome these small obstacles with a certain knowledge and caution. We hope to provide a lot of information and even more in this common tansy guide, encouraging you to install this beautiful plant in your garden.

Quick maintenance guide

Tansy is known as common tansy and its botanical name is Tanacetum vulgare. Other common names include common tansy, bitter acne, cow gentian and golden acne. This species is native to Asia and Europe, but now it grows all over North America. It was imported to North America in the 1600s because of its ornamental flowers. Incidentally, since it spreads easily, it is now growing in the wild and is known in many regions as a noxious weed.

Common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) – a perennial herbaceous plant that prefers full sun. The average size of a tansy plant is 3 to 5 feet tall and 12 to 18 inches long. It is propagated by seeds or rhizomes, which makes it an aggressive plant that is difficult to control and can easily become invasive. In fact, in Washington State, common tansy is one of the Class C weeds that is recommended to be controlled. However, the common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) is often confused with the wormwood tansy species (Senecio jacobaea), which belongs to a class B noxious weed in Washington state. The result is a little more hassle with braised tansy.

The foliage grows in a clump with several stems, which gives the tansy plant a shrubby appearance. The stem is reddish-brown, and the changing leaves resemble ferns. The bright yellow, bud-shaped flowers are collected in a flat upper cluster at the end of the stem. The jagged flowers or foliage give off a distinct odor that is strong but slightly resembles that of its relative, yarrow. The pungent smell of flowers is an ideal insect repellent, but it will attract local beneficial insects.

Tanacetum vulgare is potentially toxic and it would be wise for any horticulturist to wear gloves when treating the plant to prevent vegetable oils from getting on the skin. Historically, tansy has healing properties that have made it a common plant to grow in the garden. It was commonly used to treat parasitic worms and could be found in every menu in Europe as a medicinal plant. Today it is considered a harmful plant, the use of which in large quantities can lead to passed away.

There are many types of harmful garden flowers, so don’t stop yourself from planting them in your garden! Tansy grows well in containers or beds, which will prevent it from becoming a harmful weed in your garden. Do not forget to handle it with care when you come into contact with it.

On the plus side, tansy repels flies and other pests, while the golden yellow flower attracts parasitic wasps and pollinators such as bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Since the flower can bloom from July to September, it provides the bees with a lot of food. However, it is also toxic to animals, so do not let your livestock or sheep graze on the site with tansy flowers.

Caring for tansy plants

Tansy is one of the easiest plants to grow in your garden. In fact, we can usually see it growing up along the roads and it naturalizes in far from ideal conditions. You can grow Tanacetum vulgare in a container or in the ground, depending on the space you have available. Let us dwell in more detail in the next section on the requirements for ordinary tansy.

Lighting and temperature

Tansy prefers to grow in full sun, but can tolerate penumbra. It is resistant to zones 4 to 8 of the United States Department of Agriculture and can tolerate zone 3 under some winter protection. In fact, it is a winter-hardy and summer-hardy perennial that will grow at different temperatures. However, tansy does not develop with prolonged and intense heat or severe cold.

Water and humidity

Once your tansy has taken root, it will certainly be drought-resistant. This makes it an ideal choice for growing on the edges of your garden, where it will not have as much water as other plants. The best time to water is in the morning, until it gets too hot. Use a garden hose to water deeply and let the soil dry out between waterings. You can also choose hoses for drip irrigation or soaking.

During the summer months, water it more often in the first year, but after that you should only do it once or twice a month, depending on the temperature. Be careful not to water the tansy too much, otherwise the rhizomes will not be able to take root and weaken. The beauty of tansy is that it will survive in a wet and dry climate until it becomes extreme.


Common tansy likes well-drained soils with a pH range of 4.8 to 7.5. This is a fairly wide spectrum, which means that tansy can take root in a variety of soils. However, it is best to check the pH of your soil to make sure it is not too alkaline or acidic. The plant tolerates poor-quality soils well, but for the healthiest plants we recommend a fertile garden soil modified with compost.


Tansy does not require a lot of fertilizer. Poor soils may require a common multi-purpose fertilizer applied once or twice during the growing season. When you grow tansy in a container, you have more control over the quality of the soil, so less fertilizer is needed. Monitor the growth of your tansy and add fertilizer as needed. In general, the more fertilizer you add, the more it will grow. This can be considered a positive or negative factor, depending on why you keep this plant in your garden.

If you grow tansy in a container, then every year it must be transplanted into a universal soil for pots with good drainage. As mentioned, it can grow on poor soils, but in order for tansy to be the healthiest, it is better to create an ideal growing environment.


You can plant tansy seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frosts or sow them directly into the ground in the fall so that the seeds germinate cold. If you let an ordinary tansy flower sprout on its own, it will actively sprout and you don’t have to worry about having enough of these flowers in your garden, but remember that it spreads gradually and can easily take over. Also remember that it also spreads through underground rhizomes. These groups of plants are easy to divide in autumn.

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