Planting Tansy

Tansy is a hardy perennial with fernlike leaves. In the garden it does double duty as a nice fill in plant, and as a great insect repellent.

Growing Tansy

Plant tansy in a spot that gets good morning sun and some afternoon shade. It prefers well-drained soil that stays on the dry side. A lavish spreader, be sure to give your plants plenty of room. In fall, the dense, flat, yellow flowers can be dried for potpourri. Tansy doesn't do well indoors.

Propagating Tansy

Grow tansy from seed or root division in spring or fall.

Uses for Tansy

Although tansy has been used as a flavoring for meats and stuffing, one of its more popular modern uses is as an insect repellent. Planting tansy in the garden can help control insects and rodents. Dry tansy for use as a pest deterrent indoors, too. Tansy sachets or even loose sprigs can help control ants, mice, and flies.

Tansy has high concentrations of potassium that make it a natural for the compost pile, and it can produce an attractive yellowish green dye.

Special Note: Avoid tansy if you are pregnant. Tansy can also cause allergic skin reactions, so handle it carefully.


  1. very useful post, many thanks .. I grow tansy in my herb garden and dry it to use as an insect deterrent in the home (particularly a large sachet in the cat's basket!)

    its a really cheerful yellow flower, I think, too

    great tip about the potassium content and compost.. wouldn't have known that!

  2. avoid if pregnant *

  3. Replies
    1. There are lots of online sellers. Here's one:

      For a list of other online herb sellers (with links to catalog request pages), see:

  4. i have a tansy plant with yellow button like flower on it . i bought it as a fly repellent, but there are more flies on it now. any advice anyone


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