Grow a garden filled with the attractive Valerian herb, from freshly harvested Valeriana officinalis seeds. Valerian is just as much an attractive flowering plant, as it is a useful, medicinal herb. The small, white to light pink flowers will bloom through the summer months, attracting an array of beneficial insects to the garden, such as butterflies, bumblebees and honeybees. The plants stand to a mature height of roughly 3 or 4 feet tall, displaying hundreds of attractive green leaves.
Categorized as a perennial flowering herb, Valerian will establish a deep root system in its initial year of growth. The plants continue to grow quickly within the first season, later wilting with the first signs of frost. Although the plant life on the surface will surely wilt, the plants can return the next season, from its deep roots if the winter isn't too harsh. Seeds can also fall to the bare ground beneath at Autumn's end, or you can collect fresh seeds from spent flower heads to regrow.
Sowing The Seed
Valerian herbs are best established indoors, 6 to 8 weeks prior to the last frost. Sow in Peat pots, at a shallow depth of 1/16" under topsoil. Avoid covering the seeds with too much topsoil because the seeds will require a bit of direct lighting to germinate properly. Transplant entire peat pots into the garden, or direct sow outdoors, when the weather is warm and all danger of frost has passed.
Valerian herbs thrive in areas of full sunlight to partial shade, and will require temperatures of at least 70F. The sowing medium should be rich and fertile, but also well drained. To increase your drainage, we recommend adding a light compost to any areas that consist of hard, compact soil. Water daily with a mist setting or spray bottle until germination has occurred.
Germination & Growth
Valerian seeds will typically take anywhere between 7 and 21 days to germinate. The plants will grow to a mature height of roughly 3 to 4 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. They can be spaced about 18 to 24 inches apart from one another. The plants will flower through the summer months, attracting an array of beneficial insects to the garden, such as butterflies, bumblebees and honeybees.