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How to Grow St. John's Wort

Hypericum Moseranum

St. John's Wort is an easy to grow herb, with over three hundred of varieties. It is used primarily for medicinal purposes. St. John's Wort is believed to have been named after St. John the Baptist. It originated in Europe and Asia, where it grew wild in woods, fields and along roadsides. Quickly spreading, St. John's Wort is found all over the U.S., and the world. To many farmers, it is a weed they try to keep out of their fields.

St. John's Wort is a perennial herb that grows into a small shrub if allowed. With attractive leaves, this herb has clusters of bright yellow flowers, that bloom from July through August.

Did you Know? St. John's Wort was used to ward off evil spirits and witches. I think it works, as I have not seen and evil spirits in my herb garden.


How to Grow St. John's Wort:

Almost any area of your garden or flower bed, is good for growing St. John's Wort. They grow well in full to partial sun, tolerating shade. They prefer moist, and light soils. Sandy and coarse soils are fine.

Being a perennial, St. John's Wort is hardy. To assure a good start, sow seeds outdoors after the last frost in your area.When seedlings are about two inches tall, thin or transplant them. Different varieties will require varying amounts of space.

Once started, these plants will grow well with little or no attention. Fertilizer always helps, but is only necessary in the poorest of soils. Just make sure to provide water during extended period of dry weather.

Harvest and dry the leaves and flowers. Store them in a cool, dry place.


Propagation:

St. John's Wort is most commonly grown from seed. But, you can also propagate it by rooting small, young cuttings.


Medicinal Applications:

St. John's Wort is used to treat anxiety and depression. This herb has also been used for kidney ailments, incontinence, and pulmonary problems.

A tincture is made from the active ingredient "hypericin". You can easily make it yourself, or buy it in stores. The leaves are also used in teas.


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