Valeriana officinalis needs little introduction as it is so well known as the medicinal herb Valerian.
Traditional herbal remedy
Because it has been used for many centuries as a traditional treatment for sleeplessness, anxiety, headaches and trembling.
And it is still grown commercially today for the herbal remedies industry.
However do be aware that the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration has investigating a small number of cases where the use of Valerian is reported to have caused liver damage.
Fragrant & pretty in the garden
Though even if you never use it as a herbal remedy, Valerian earns a place in the garden with its highly fragrant summer heads of flowers, aromatic foliage, and easy going, hardy nature.
Aromatic ferny foliage
The foliage is also highly aromatic and decorative. With ferny ladders of leaves along the stems.
Roots are harvested
Though it is the strongly scented roots that are harvested to produce the herbal remedies.
As well as being used for perfumery, herbal teas and food flavouring.
So it also has the common names of “Garden Heliotrope” and “All-Heal”.
Useful plant for worms & compost
Valeriana officinalis is also a favourite companion plant to help encourage earthworms in the soil and to activate compost.
Hardy & easy to grow
Valerian is easy to grow in average garden soil, though it will also happily thrive in boggy and wet spots.
Plant it in Full Sun to Partially Shaded positions.
Where it makes substantial clumps by underground rhizomes as well as self seeding.
And you can dead head it after blooming if you wish to prevent it from sowing babies.
Valerian is extremely frost hardy and so is able to withstand hard frosts down to at least -25C approx. depending on conditions.
Plus it has no serious insect or disease troubles.
Valeriana officinalis is a fragrant clumping perennial.
90cm. High with scented flowers x 60cm. Wide of fragrant foliage.
SEED SOWING ADVICE: QUICK & EASY
Suitable for beginners & gardening with kids
Sow any time indoors in punnets / or scatter directly in garden in winter-early spring.
Valerian germinates easily both in the garden and indoors.
INDOORS: First sow the seeds on the surface of good quality seed raising mix.
Now barely cover the seeds with mix / vermiculate / fine grit to approx. 4mm. depth.
Because these seeds need light to germinate.
Now soak the sown punnet in a water bath, so the moisture percolates right through from the bottom to the surface of the mix.
Then place in a warm, well-lit position and keep moist.
Temperatures of 18-22C approx. are best for rapid and optimum germination.
Seedlings then emerge in approx. 7-14 days.
SEED COUNT: 200 seeds per pack approx.
(We always aim to exceed the stated seed count, and give a generous serve).
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