;Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) Non GMO Heirloom Herb
Height 1.5 m
Valerian, also known as Valeriana baltica, Valeriana exaltata, is a large leafy perennial that blooms in the second year from seed. Plants produce mounds of interesting mid green foliage that can be up to a foot in length, are deeply veined, serrated and highly attractive in their own right. In late spring, flower stems rise up, and will most likely need staking as they produce masses of flowers for long periods of time; attracts butterflies and other beneficial insects. Great plant for areas that need height!
These plants can grow up to 6 feet in height and have many branches with each branch ending in a flat umbel of tiny white or pink flowers. Each flower is a tiny five petaled star shaped tube and has a strong perfume like scent. Blooms from early June until September with smaller flower stalks arising even later. Flowers are followed by small fluffy seeds than easily float on the breeze. Flower stalks are tall so use as a back border or area where tall plants are suitable. The stalks are hollow and not too strong so plant will most likely need staking especially if it in a sheltered location.
- full sun to partial shade.
- well draining and good rich soil - add good compost before planting.
- Ensure soil remains slightly moist and does not dry out or have waterlogged soils.
- Start seeds indoors in mid to late winter, 4 weeks prior to last frost; use medium potting compost and sow seeds on surface or only very lightly cover as Valerian seeds are quite small and prefer to have light to germinate - sowing indoors is recommended. Plant between 3/8 and 1/2 inch deep. The clumps will eventually increase to about 18 inches wide. Press seeds into the soil surface and keep watered until they become small plants.
- Germination- 10 to 20 days. Young valerian plants have quite different leave appearance to mature plants, the leaves are not divided, this only occurs as the plants become bigger. It is easy to become confused and unsure of your plants, have faith the leaves will change as they grow and become strongly divided.
- Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle. Grow on in individual pots until plants are about 6 in tall and harden off before planting out.
- Spacing: plant 2 ft apart.
- Using a soaker hose to water from the base on a daily basis is ideal.
- Self seeds if not cut back after flowering.
- Harvesting: to harvest roots; grow in a location where it is easy to dig them up again. Wait until at least the second winter before harvesting to allow roots to enlarge. Cut down the flower stalks to allow the plant to concentrate on root growth. Dig roots in early fall to to winter of the second year. Plants can be left for additional years is desired. And clumps can get fairly large from the second year onwards so ensure there is enough space. If intending to dig roots for harvesting ensure soil is easy to work as plants can become large and hard to dig out. Clumps can be divided in early spring or fall with spring being the best time.
- Plants can spread using underground rhizomes so ensure it is planted where spreading is not going to be a problem. Will not easily stay contained if it is happy with its location.
- Seed Count: 30