Shrubby St. John’s-wort is a very small, mound-shaped, deciduous shrub, to 3 ft. tall, with dense, upright branching and exfoliating, red to purple bark. Smooth, dark- to blue-green, fine-textured foliage becomes yellow-green in fall. Large, yellow flowers occur singly or in few-flowered clusters. A dry, dehiscent, three-valved capsule persists all winter. This shrub adapts to a variety of moisture regimes and is even flood tolerant. It has no serious disease or insect problems. This species is pH adaptable but does extremely well in calcareous sites.
St. John's wort shows great promise as an antiviral and anti-inflammatory agent and is being researched for its potential benefit to AIDS patients. It has long been used as a remedy for uterine cramping, mild depression, bedwetting, and anxiety. St. John's wort is used internally and externally for pain relief. One of its main active ingredients, hypericin, is a strong anti-inflammatory and can penetrate through the skin if applied locally as an oil. This warming and soothing oil is used externally for wounds, nerve pain, trauma due to tension or accidents, and burns. The oil or tincture applied locally is one of the most effective remedies available to help reduce the redness and itching of poison oak rashes and quickly reduce the pain of a scrape or burn. Herbalists always think of St. John's wort for healing nerve trauma due to injury or chronic disease. Modern research from Europe has shown the whole plant extract to be as effective as a popularly prescribed drug for mild depression.
St. John's Wort seeds are easy to grow. Plant the herb seeds indoors 6 - 8 weeks before the last frost, or outside after the danger of frost has passed. Press the Hypericum seeds into the soil, but do not cover it as the seed will germinate better with light. Transplant the Hypericum seedlings when they are 2 - 3 inches tall. The plants will tolerate most any soil conditions but prefer moist and light soils. Fertilizer is only necessary in the poorest of soils, and water in prolonged drought times. Grow St. John's wort in full sun or partial shade and in moist, well-drained soil of any kind except very alkaline or salty. Space plants 24 to 36 inches apart, and water regularly so that the soil is constantly moist but not sodden.
USDA Zones: 4-8
Height: 24 inches
Bloom Season: Summer
Light Required: Full sun to partial shade
Watering: Keep moist
Soil: Well drained
Seed Depth: Press into soil, but don’t cover.
Seeds per Plant: 3-4
Plant Spacing: 18-24 inches
***These products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and therefore we cannot claim to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All information on our site is provided for educational purposes only.
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