Dictamnus albus- Dittany (Gas Plant) Facts and Information

Dictamnus albus, known also as Dittany or Gas Plant, contains a volatile oil that can ignite.Get facts and information on growing and caring for Dictamnus albus.

"Dictamnus albus"

Upright spikes of Dictamnus albus

Dittany Facts and Info

Gas plants are perennial plants that prefer full sun or partial shade from the afternoon sun and well-drained, moderately fertile soil. The flowers and unripe fruit produce a volatile oil that can be ignited in hot weather. It has white flowers that bloom in early summer.

Dictamnus albus varieties grown in Zones 3-8 and reach 15-36”h x 24” w. They have an upright form and a slow growth habit. They are grown for their flowers and foliage. Their roots resent transplanting and disturbance. Plant them in groups in the border for best effect. Companions include ‘Fire King’ yarrow, beardlip penstemon, smooth white penstemon, and ‘Hameln’ fountain grass.

Dittany Care

Plant dittany 18-24” apart in spring or fall. Feed them with slow-release granular plant food at time of planting or begin using water-soluble plant food 3 weeks after planting in spring. Cease feeding 6-8 weeks prior to the first frost date. This low-maintenance perennial is drought tolerant once established, but new transplants require ample and frequent moisture.


Mature Dittany in woodland

Prune plants to the ground in late fall or leave erect for winter interest and cut back in early spring.

Propagation: All propagation techniques are difficult for gas plants. Gather seed from plants and sow immediately in a protected outdoor site. Germination should occur the following spring. Division may damage the crown of the parent plant, so precaution if you try this method. Avoid bruising, pulling, and any ripping of roots.

Gas plants are relatively pest and disease free if all cultural needs are met.

Related Species:

The cultivar “Purpureus’ has purple flowers with darker purple veins.

‘Ruber’ has pinkish-purple flowers.

‘Albiflorus’ has white flowers with yellow veins.

*Tip- Wear gloves when working with gas plant to protect skin from oils that may cause irritation similar to that of poison ivy.

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