Tansy is a cold hardy, aromatic herb that has traditional
medicinal uses. Historically, Tansy was used primarily to expel worms from the human body as well as to induce menstrual cycles. Because of its levels of toxic Thujone oils, which can lead to spasms, psychotic episodes and abortions, the herb is regarded as too toxic for modern medical usage.
Derived from the Greek word "athanasia" meaning immortality, because of the plant's long lasting blooms, Tansy is still used in small doses for its culinary applications. Though slightly bitter, it is used to flavor desserts and alcohols and Tansy's beautiful, button-like flowers also make a nice garnish.
As an aromatic herb, it has a piney odor when brushed, and works well along a high traffic area for the fragrance. It has feathery leaves that have a tropical look, and the shorter specimens make a nice-looking rock garden plant. Leaves are used to repel ants and moths, in sachets or strewn about. Small rounded, yellow flowers are used in potpourri or dried for everlastings.
Characteristics: Tansy has green fern-like leaves and bright yellow flowers. It is very easy to grow, both heat and drought tolerant.
Light: Tansy will thrive in full sun to partial shade.
Water: As stated, Tansy is drought tolerant and loves dry soil. Just before your plant looks wilted, give it a deep and thorough watering.
Soil: Tansy likes well-drained soil of average quality.
Use: We like to see tansy planted as a tall background plant or as a border/edging. Tansy has many natural insecticide properties, and is a great companion plant to potatoes as it helps repel Colorado potato beetles.