The Complete Guide to St. John’s Wort Plant Care and Tips
St. John’s Wort, or Hypericum perforatum, is a beautiful plant with yellow flowers that bloom from late spring to early summer. It is known for its medicinal properties and is often used as a natural remedy for depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.
Planting St. John’s Wort
If you’re looking to add St. John’s Wort to your garden, here are some tips:
- St. John’s Wort grows best in well-draining soil with full sun exposure.
- The plant can tolerate some shade but prefers at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.
- It can grow up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide so make sure you give it enough space when planting.
- You can start the plant from seeds or cuttings taken in early spring or fall.
Caring for St. John’s Wort
To keep your St. John’s Wort healthy and vibrant throughout the year:
- Water the plant regularly but don’t over-water it as it doesn’t like wet soil.
- Fertilize once a month during growing season (spring-summer) using a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10).
- You might need to prune your plant back in late winter/early spring if it has become too leggy or straggly-looking.
Cut back one third of its growth which will encourage new growth come springtime.
- Watch out for aphids and spider mites, which can be a problem for this plant. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil to control them.
Harvesting St. John’s Wort
The flowers of the St. John’s Wort plant are used in herbal medicine, so if you plan on using it for that purpose, here are some tips:
- Harvest the flowers when they are fully open and in full bloom.
- Pick them on a dry day after the dew has evaporated but before the heat of midday.
- Dry them in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight until they become brittle.
Benefits of St. John’s Wort
In addition to being an attractive addition to your garden, St.John’s wort has many benefits:
- It has been used for centuries to treat a range of ailments including depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders.
- A study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found that St. John’s Wort was more effective than a placebo at treating mild-to-moderate depression.
- Other studies have found that it can also be helpful in treating PMS symptoms and menopausal hot flashes.
If you’re looking for a beautiful plant with medicinal properties, then St. John’s Wort is an excellent choice. With proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy its vibrant yellow flowers throughout the summer while also reaping the benefits of its natural medicinal properties.