Woodruff: Important Information About Cultivation And Use

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:57 pm

Woodruff has been used for centuries as a medicinal and aromatic herb. You can either collect it directly in the forest or plant and harvest the plant directly in the garden.

Waldmeister Steckbrief

Requirements for the growth of woodruff
In nature, woodruff grows in locations with moderate to low light incidence. If you want to grow the aromatic plant yourself for use in the kitchen, you should choose a shady spot for it under trees and shrubs in the garden. The soil should be loose and permeable for the fine roots of woodruff, in addition, woodruff requires a certain amount of soil moisture for propagation at the site.

Woodruff: Important Information About Cultivation And Use

Attention to the dosage of woodruff
Even though woodruff is present as a flavor in many products for children and adults, these are usually artificially produced flavors. The use of woodruff in drinks or jelly is now banned in many countries because excessive consumption of the coumarin it contains can lead not only to headaches but also to liver damage in the long term. For the use of real woodruff in the kitchen, you should harvest the plant stems before the flowering period in April and May, if possible, because from flowering onwards the content of the active ingredient coumarin in the plant parts increases sharply. Therefore, either preserve the woodruff in the spring or use it more sparingly if you harvest it later. Preservation is possible by:

  • Freezing
  • Drying
  • Processing into woodruff syrup

Important information about woodruff
Woodruff, which grows in the shade, is not only an ancient medicinal herb for headaches, but also a charming ground cover with a maximum height of 30 centimeters for the garden.

See also  12 Perfect Vegetables To Grow in a Shady Garden Space

When to sow woodruff?
As a frost seedling, you should ideally sow woodruff between September and December.

Is woodruff hardy?
The plant is usually winter-hardy in Central Europe without any problems. If possible, you should not harvest the first stems from freshly sown stands until the second year of growth, so that the woodruff can reproduce well at the site.

Does woodruff need to be fertilized?
In principle, the frugal woodruff does not need fertilizer, a little piled up foliage in the fall is sufficient as a nutrient supply.

Tips & tricks
If you want to use the woodruff for May punch, for example, you should first allow the cut stems to wilt or freeze for a few hours to intensify the flavor. Then let the stems soak in liquid for a maximum of half an hour to avoid an overdose of coumarin.


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