Sneezewort Achillea ptarmica 'Aunt Stientje'
The plant known as 'Aunt Stientje', a variety of the Sneezeweed, displays distinct characteristics that distinguish it from other garden flowers. It is adorned with a bushy cluster of foliage that is deep green in color, with leaves that are narrow and slightly serrated along the edges, giving it a fine-textured appearance. Throughout its blooming season, 'Aunt Stientje' produces a profusion of charming, daisy-like flowers. Each blossom is composed of small, tightly-clustered, button-like centers that are surrounded by pure white, elongated petals arranged in multiple layers, which emanate a bright and crisp radiance. The overall effect of these blooms is one of delicate elegance and exuberance, as they stand out against the verdant leaves, drawing attention with their clean, contrasting coloration. This sneezeweed cultivar is well-regarded for its ability to bring a light and airy feel to gardens, delivering continuous interest through its prolonged flowering period.
About this plant
Sneezewort, Sneezeweed, Bastard Pellitory, European Pellitory, White Tansy, Fair-maid-of-France, Goose Tongue, Wild Pellitory, Sneezewort Yarrow
Achillea ptarmica 'Aunt Stientje'.
Sneezewort is generally not considered toxic to humans. It does not typically cause serious illness if ingested. However, like many plants, it may cause mild discomfort in the stomach or an allergic reaction in some individuals if they have specific sensitivities. As with all plants, it's prudent to avoid ingesting it unless it is known to be safe.
Sneezewort is also generally considered non-toxic to pets. It is not known to cause serious illness in animals such as cats or dogs when ingested. As with humans, pets with particular sensitivities might experience mild stomach upset or an allergic reaction, but serious toxicity is unlikely. It's always best to keep an eye on pets and prevent them from ingesting plants to avoid any potential issues.
Color of leaves
2 feet (61 cm)
2 feet (61 cm)
- General Benefits
- Attracts Pollinators: Achillea ptarmica 'Aunt Stientje', also known as Sneezewort, is beneficial for attracting bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects to the garden, which is vital for plant reproduction and ecological balance.
- Low Maintenance: Sneezewort is known for being a hardy plant that requires minimal care once established, making it ideal for gardeners who prefer less intensive gardening.
- Drought Tolerant: This plant is particularly resistant to dry conditions, making it a good choice for areas with water restrictions or for gardeners interested in conserving water.
- Erosion Control: The robust root system of Achillea ptarmica 'Aunt Stientje' can help prevent soil erosion, especially in areas prone to heavy rain or wind.
- Pest Resistant: Sneezewort has natural resistance to many pests, thereby reducing the need for chemical pesticides and promoting a healthier garden environment.
- Decorative: With its lacy foliage and clustered white flowers, Sneezewort adds aesthetic appeal to borders, wildflower gardens, and cottage garden settings.
- Long Blooming: This variety of Achillea ptarmica has a long flowering period, providing visual interest in the garden throughout the growing season.
- Cut Flowers: Sneezewort makes excellent cut flowers for arrangements thanks to their long stems and lasting blossoms, adding beauty both inside and outside the home.
- Medical Properties
This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Sneezewort 'Aunt Stientje' can be used as a natural insect repellant when crushed and applied to the skin, due to its strong scent that many pests find undesirable.
- The dried flowers of Sneezewort 'Aunt Stientje' are sometimes included in sachets to deter moths and protect woolens and other fabrics.
- The plant's fibrous stems can be used in paper-making as a part of handmade paper crafts for texture and decoration.
- Sneezewort 'Aunt Stientje' is often planted in domestic gardens to attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies, fostering biodiversity.
- Some gardeners use Sneezewort 'Aunt Stientje' as a companion plant to deter pests from more vulnerable vegetables or flowers.
- The plant is used in floral arrangements for weddings and special events, both for its delicate white flowers and its ability to hold up well as a cut flower.
- As an ornamental grass, Sneezewort 'Aunt Stientje' can be used in dried flower arrangements, maintaining its shape and color for extended periods.
- The plant can serve as a natural dye, where different parts of the plant can yield subtle hues for fabric and yarn dyeing projects.
- Sneezewort 'Aunt Stientje' may be used in potpourri mixes, contributing a subtle fragrance along with visual interest from its attractive foliage and flowers.
- In garden landscaping, Sneezewort 'Aunt Stientje' can be utilized for erosion control due to its extensive root system that helps stabilize the soil.
- Feng Shui
The Sneezewort is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Sneezewort is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Healing: Named after Achilles, the Greek hero who was said to have used it to heal his soldiers' wounds, it symbolizes the ability to heal, especially in traditional medicine.
- Courage: The association with Achilles also imparts the symbolism of courage and bravery, as it invokes the warrior spirit.
- Protection: In folklore, it was used to ward off negative energies and protect against harm.
- Eternal Love: Sometimes used in wedding decorations to symbolize lasting love and commitment.
- Overcoming Challenges: Reflecting its resilience in the garden, it can symbolize the overcoming of obstacles and perseverance.
The Pearlwort or Sneezewort should be watered regularly, especially during prolonged periods of dry weather. It is essential to ensure the soil is well-drained and doesn't become waterlogged. Watering with approximately one gallon per week should be sufficient, but this can vary depending on the weather and soil conditions. Overhead watering early in the day is ideal, allowing the foliage to dry out before evening to reduce the risk of disease. During the winter, reduce watering as the plant requires less moisture.
Pearlwort thrives best in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. For optimal growth, plant it in a location where it receives at least six hours of sunlight daily. These plants can endure various lighting conditions but will produce the most flowers and robust growth when exposed to plenty of sunlight.
Pearlwort is hardy and tolerates a broad temperature range, typically between 40°F and 85°F, with an ideal growing range of 60°F to 75°F. It can survive occasional dips below freezing but should be protected from prolonged sub-freezing temperatures to prevent damage to the plant.
Pearlwort benefits from pruning to encourage bushier growth and more prolific flowering. Prune in the early spring to remove dead or damaged stems and to shape the plant. After the first bloom in summer, cutting back the spent flowers can promote a second bloom period. Annual or biennial pruning helps maintain plant vigor and aesthetics.
Sneezewort 'Aunt Stientje' prefers well-draining soil with a loamy or sandy texture. A soil mix with equal parts garden soil, sand, and compost is ideal. The pH should be slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.0 to 7.0 for optimal growth.
Sneezewort 'Aunt Stientje' typically does not require frequent repotting and can be done every 2 to 3 years, or when the plant outgrows its current container. The best time to repot is in the spring or early summer.
- Humidity & Misting
Sneezewort 'Aunt Stientje' is tolerant of a range of humidity levels and does well in the average humidity found in outdoor garden settings. It does not require any special humidity adjustments when grown in typical garden conditions.
- Suitable locations
Place sneezewort in bright light, well-draining soil, and moderate temps.
Plant sneezewort in sunny spot with well-drained soil.
- Life cycle
Achillea ptarmica 'Aunt Stientje', commonly known as sneezewort or white tansy, begins its life cycle as a seed that germinates in temperate climates, typically in the spring. Upon germination, it develops a basal rosette of leaves during the vegetative stage, from which stems elongate. It enters the reproductive phase in early to mid-summer when flower buds form on the ends of the stems and subsequently bloom into clusters of small, daisy-like white flowers. After pollination, typically by insects, the flowers produce seeds that mature towards the end of summer or in early fall. These seeds are dispersed by wind, water, or animals, and those that find a suitable environment will lie dormant through the winter and germinate the following spring. Sneezewort is a perennial, so it can also regrow each spring from its root system, continuing this life cycle for several years.
The most popular method of propagating the Sneezewort 'Aunt Stientje' is by division. This process is typically done in the spring or early fall to allow the plant sufficient time to establish before the onset of winter. To propagate by division, the gardener should carefully dig up the parent plant and gently separate the root clump into smaller sections, each with several shoots and a portion of the root system attached. These divisions are then replanted at the same depth they were growing at previously, spaced approximately 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 centimeters) apart to allow for growth. Good aftercare, including watering and mulching, will help ensure successful establishment of new Sneezewort plants.