Sun exposure:
Full sun
East facing, south facing, west facing
Position in border:


Chalky / Alkaline / Clay / Heavy / Moist / Well Drained / Light / Sandy

Tanacetums are annuals or perennials with daisy- or button-like flower-heads. Tanacetum vulgare (tansy) has ferny, aromatic foliage and clusters of mustard-yellow, button-like flowers from summer into autumn. It's native to the UK and is often found growing wild on disturbed ground and roadside verges. It does best in well drained soil and a sunny spot.

Tansy was traditionally grown in herb gardens and has a long history of medicinal use (you'll often find it on sale via herb or wildflower suppliers). It can also be grown as a companion plant in a veg garden, as its aromatic foliage is said to repel many insects. It's often dried for use in the home to repel unwanted insects such as flies and ants. Conversely, the flowers attract many beneficial insects, including bees and butterflies. They can be used as cut flowers and also last well when dried.

Tansy has a tendency to spread via underground rhizomes, so can become invasive in the garden and difficult to control. Grow it in a wild garden where it's free to spread around, or grow it in a container to contain it. Deadhead to prevent self-seeding.

All parts of the plant are toxic if consumed in large quantities and the foliage can cause skin irritation.

Where to buy Tanacetum vulgare

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Tanacetum and wildlife

Tanacetum is known for attracting bees, beneficial insects, butterflies/moths and other pollinators. It has nectar/pollen rich flowers.

Is known to attract Bees
Is known to attract Beneficial insects
Beneficial insects
Is not known to attract Birds
Is known to attract Butterflies/​Moths
Is known to attract Other pollinators
Other pollinators

Is Tanacetum poisonous?

Tanacetum can be toxic.

Toxic to:
Is known to attract Cats
Is known to attract Dogs
Is known to attract Horses
Is known to attract Livestock
Is known to attract People
No reported toxicity to:
Is not known to attract Birds
Plants that go well with Tanacetum vulgare