How To Grow St. John’s Wort Successfully?

You have only known it from the pharmacy or have already bought it in dried form? Then it is high time to grow St. John’s wort yourself in your own garden!

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What location does St. John’s wort prefer?

St. John’s wort grows best in a sunny and dry location. If there is no more room in the sun, it can also thrive in partial shade.

What characteristics should have the substrate at the site?

The requirements for the substrate are extremely low. It is important that the soil is not acidic in any case! In such soils like to accumulate cadmium, a toxic substance that St. John’s wort only too willingly absorbs. Ideally, the soil has the following characteristics:

  • calcareous
  • stony to gravelly
  • deep
  • permeable
  • humic
  • moderately moist to moderately dry
  • medium nutrient content

How is the sowing done?

Sowing is very simple. St. John’s wort can be sown directly in the open or pre-cultivated at home. The optimal time for precultivation is between March and April. Here are a few tips:

  • Light germinators
  • best germination temperature: 22 °C
  • germination period: 14 to 24 days
  • planting distance: 15 cm
  • if necessary, sow later in midsummer

Which plant neighbors are suitable?

Both next to other medicinal herbs such as mugwort, valerian and comfrey, and next to plants such as erica, geranium and wood sorrel, St. John’s wort looks great. Moreover, it is a perfect neighbor for hedges of cypress, juniper or privet. It literally makes them shine.

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When does this medicinal plant bloom?

It owes its name to its flowering time. St. John’s wort blooms around St. John’s Day. The flowering period usually lasts until July/August. If the withered flowers are cut off, there may be a repeat bloom in September.

When and how is St. John’s wort harvested?

St. John’s wort should be harvested at flowering time. The flowers, buds and leaves are considered to be collected. It is best to cut the tips of the shoots of the plant with scissors and hang them in bundles to dry.

You can also buy St. John’s wort as young plants at the garden center. Then you can plant the herb either in spring or in autumn.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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