Guide to Growing Wolfsbane
The common names for the Hardy perennial Aconitum include Aconite, Monk's head and Wolfsbane. They typically flowers from late summer to early autumn. Latin names of Aconitum varieties include Aconitum carmichaelii, Aconitum lycoctonum, Aconitum vulparia, Aconitum hemsleyanum and Aconitum carmichaeli.
Aconitum napellus photograph by alexlomas.
Aconitum lycoctonum picture by Nuuu..ul.
Description of Wolfsbane, Aconite
Aconitum are large plants that can grow stems up to 250 cm in height. Wolfsbane has hooded white or purple flowers. As a consequence of the plants great height it has restrictive use in the garden, typically being grown at the back of borders.
G.A. Cooper @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
How to grow Wolfsbane, Aconite
It is best to sow Wolfsbane on the soil surface, with a spacing of 20 to 25 cm for smaller species and up to 100 cm apart for larger species in the autumn. Wolfsbane prefers partly shady conditions, but can be grown in full sunlight as long as it is kept moist.
The soil should be cool and moist with a pH of 5 to 6. Aconitum plants require between 5 days and 250 days to germinate, it is best to start seeds off in a flat against a north facing wall before transplanting.
Caring for Wolfsbane
Wolfsbane requires regular watering in the summer, it is also important to stake the plant, as it may suffer from the effects of adverse weather. The plant should be gut back each autumn and split every 4 years to maintain healthy growth.