Guide to growing garden plants - Hypericum St John's Wort
Plants belonging to the Hypericum genus are hardy perennials that range in height from 15 cm to 180 cm and come into bloom in the summer or autumn.
They are shrubby in nature and carry wonderful yellow, saucer shaped flowers.
Depending on the species they can be used in different parts of the garden, small species are great for rock gardens, whereas larger ones are good to use in garden borders. Names for Hypericum include St John's Wort, (St Johnswort) Aaron's beard and Rose of Sharon.
Quick Hypericum Growing Guide and Facts
Common Names: St John’s Wort, Tutsan, Aaron’s Beard, Rose of Sharon.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial. Hardy Annual.
Height: 3 to 72 inches (8 to 180 cm); shrubs and small trees may reach heights of 470 inches (1200 cm).
Native: Worldwide apart from Antarctica.
Growing Region: Zones 5 to 9.
Flowers: Species dependent: Summer and/or autumn.
Flower Details: Yellow. Saucer shaped. Fluffy Stamens. Usually five petals.
Foliage: Herbaceous. Evergreen. Opposite. Ovate.
Sow Outside: Seeds: cover. Start of spring or the beginning of autumn. Spacing 6 to 36 inches (15 to 90 cm) dependent upon species size.
Sow Inside: Germination time: three weeks to three months. Temperature: 50 to 55°F (10 to 13°C). Two months in advance. Transplant three weeks in advance of the expected last frost or at the start of autumn.
Requirements and care: Full sunlight or partial shade. Can grow in many soils but good drainage and a pH of 5.5 to 7.0 for best results. Prune at the beginning of spring. Propagate: by dividing in the autumn following flowering, or by taking cuttings in the spring and summer.
Miscellaneous: An invasive weed in many areas. Can cause photosensitivity. Used in traditional medicine as an anti-depressent and as an antibiotic. St John’s wort is thought have abortive effects and should not be taken by pregnanyt women, nor by people seeking suntans. As it interacts badly with many medicines, especially those involved in the treatment of cancer and HIV, Hypericum use should only be used under the advice of a doctor.
How to grow St John's Wort (Hypericum)
You can grow St John's Wort and other Hypericum outdoors from seeds. These should be sown out in either early on in spring or towards the beginning of autumn. Once sown lightly cover the St John's Wort seeds. St John's Wort can grow in either a sunny area of the garden, or one that receives part shade. They prefer a well drained slightly acidic soil of pH 5.5 to 7, but the type is not overly important.
If you first plan to grow Hypericum indoors then the growing process should start about two to two and a half months before they are due to be put out, either before th last frost of spring or at the beginning of autumn. Hypericum will take from three weeks to three months to germinate at a temperature of about 10 to 12 degrees Celsius.
Caring for St John's Wort
St John's Wort basically looks after itself once it has become established in the garden. It will require a good prune at the start of spring however. If you require more plants then cuttings can be took in the spring or summer; or you may prefer to divide the plants; this can be done in the autumn once flowering has finished.