St. John's wort: tips for planting and grooming outdoors

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St. John's wort: tips for planting and grooming outdoors
St. John's wort: tips for planting and grooming outdoors

Description of the plant St. John's wort, how to plant and care for the garden plot, recommendations for reproduction, diseases and pests during cultivation, interesting notes, species.

St. John's wort (Hypericum) belongs to the family of the same name St. John's wort (Hypericaceae), which in turn is included in the order Malpighiales. This representative of the flora is part of the genus of flowering plants. However, there is information that initially St. John's wort was considered as one of the representatives of the Clusiaceae family. If you rely on the help provided by The Plant List database, the genus St. John's wort has up to 458 species, most of which are found in the temperate climatic zones of the Northern Hemisphere or below the tropics in the Southern. There are especially many similar plants in Mediterranean lands.

Family name Hypericum
Life cycle Perennials, occasionally annuals
Growth features Herbaceous, shrubs or semi-shrubs, sometimes even trees
Reproduction Seed or vegetative
Landing period in open ground Spring or autumn
Disembarkation scheme Leave 30-50 cm between seedlings, in rows 30 cm between plants and up to 1 m between rows
Substrate Loam or sandstone
Soil acidity, pH Neutral - 6, 5-7
Illumination Sunny location or light partial shade
Moisture indicators Drought tolerant, but some species require regular watering
Special Requirements Unpretentious
Plant height Up to 0.8 m
Color of flowers Golden yellow
Type of flowers, inflorescences Paniculate or corymbose
Flowering time June August
Fruit type Polyspermous capsules
Fruiting time Aug. Sept
Application area Medicinal plant, mixborders, rockeries and rock gardens, border decoration, color spots on lawns or flower beds
USDA zone 3–7

St. John's wort got its name in Latin thanks to the words in Greek "hypo" and "ereike", which translates as "among the heathers." In all likelihood, in ancient times, people designated the natural distribution of the plant, since it prefers to settle both in pine forests and in mixed plantings of trees of various species. In Russian, the term "St. John's wort" does not have an unambiguous interpretation. According to one of the versions, the eating of this grass by livestock inevitably caused, although not fatal, poisoning, in which the animals' limbs were bent, they fell to the ground and generally behaved extremely restlessly. Another interpretation goes back to the word in Turkic - jarambay, which meant "healer of wounds", indicating the medicinal properties of St. John's wort. Among the people, you can hear the following names - hare blood or St. John's hunter, red grass or blood, ailment or blood man.

Basically, all representatives of the genus are perennial plants, have a herbaceous form of growth, but they can take a semi-shrub, shrub, or even tree-like. The rhizome of St. John's wort is thin, but rather strong. From its root processes, several stems, differing in branching, originate annually. In this case, the height of the plant reaches 80 cm. The stems have basically a dihedral or tetrahedral surface, which is a longitudinally formed grooves. The color of the stems is green, but then it changes to reddish brown. With the onset of winter, the stems dry out completely.

Foliage in some species is located opposite, occasionally it can grow in whorls.The edge of the leaf plate is solid, the leaves are devoid of petioles (sessile) or grow short-petiolized. On the surface of the leaf and at its edges, or only at the edge, you can see oily glands that look translucent or even black. Because of such glands, St. John's wort is called "perforated." The shape of the leaves is in the form of an ellipse or oblong-ovate. The foliage is 3 cm long and about 1.5 cm wide.

From the first days or from mid-summer to early September, St. John's wort begins a flowering period, but in any case, its duration is no more than 3-4 weeks. At the tops of the stems, racemose-corymbose inflorescences are formed, consisting of the correct shape of flowers. In flowers, the petals have a golden yellow tint, there are five of them in the flowers, but occasionally there are 4 pieces. Very rarely, a purplish pink tone may be present on the outside. In the flowers, there are numerous elongated stamens spliced ​​in three bundles. The petals can either fall off or remain after the end of flowering.

The fruit of St. John's wort is a leathery capsule, which, when fully ripe, cracks from 3 to 5 nests. The nests are multi-seeded, but occasionally there is a fruit with one nest, or the capsule takes berry-like outlines and does not divide into nests. The seeds are small in size, their number is large, the shape is cylindrical, oval, or they can be oblong-oval. In this case, the seeds have wings, villi or cells are formed on the surface. Ripening takes place from August to September.

Growing St. John's wort, caring for the plant in the backyard

St. John's wort bush
  1. A place for the beds. The plant is thermophilic, therefore it is worth choosing a location in a sunny area. Moreover, in one place, such plantings can grow well without transplanting for up to ten years. It is better that such an area be protected from gusts of wind and drafts. It is preferable that beds with onions or carrots were previously grown on it.
  2. Soil for planting St. John's wort a drained one is needed, it is better that it is loam or a light sandy substrate. If the soil where the plant will be planted is heavy, then it is pre-dug up and mixed with river sand.
  3. Planting seeds St. John's wort can be carried out either before winter (immediately after the seed is harvested) or in the spring (after the seeds have been stratified). Before planting, digging of the soil is carried out, then it is hoe twice and leveled with a rake. After that, manure or peat-based compost is introduced into the soil, at the rate of 3-4 kg of the preparation per 1 m2. When a seedling or a bush is planted, the hole is not dug too deep, since the root system of the plant is compact. It is recommended to leave the distance between the holes about 15–20 cm. Since there are no special requirements for the soil, you can immediately place a seedling in the hole. But experts say that a young plant will not refuse feeding, therefore, you can put a small amount of humus or compost and a little mineral fertilizers on the bottom of the hole. This is only done if the planting is done in the spring. After planting the plant, it is recommended to gently crush the soil and moisten it thoroughly.
  4. Watering hare grass is performed as needed, everything directly depends on the speed of drying of the topsoil. But it is important to remember that the flooding of the substrate will lead to rapid decay of the root system, since in nature St. John's wort grows on very light soil that does not retain moisture too much. Only species of shrubby St. John's wort will require constant and regular soil moisture. However, there are varieties that can grow in nature in swamps and flooded lands, so they will have to be watered regularly and abundantly. If during the flowering period there is a heat for a very long time or there was no precipitation, then regular watering can prolong flowering.
  5. Fertilizers. When growing St. John's wort, it is also necessary to feed, since the plant depletes the soil. The first time it is recommended to apply the preparations in early spring, when the growing process is just beginning, and the second time - before the beginning of flowering. You can use nitroammophoska at the rate of 8 g per 1 m2. The blood man will also respond well to organic matter - you can fertilize his plantings with liquid droppings or mullein solution. During the warm period, the number of such dressings will be 1-3 times.
  6. Pruning. Since there are shrub or semi-shrub varieties of St. John's wort, as well as its decorative species, it is possible to carry out the formation of plants, giving them the desired silhouette. Such procedures are carried out before the beginning of the growing season or at the end of autumn, when the movement of juices will be slowed down.
  7. General advice on care. In the first year, flowering in St. John's wort is rare, but planting care is still carried out. During the growing season, it is necessary to weed from weeds three times and after each watering or rain, the soil must be loosened. Already in the second year, the soil is harrowed in the spring, while all last year's remaining stems are removed.
  8. Wintering hare grass does not require much effort, since the plant copes well with frost. Even if the winter is harsh and the stalks of the blood man freeze, then for the entire next growing season they will be restored. In the event that forecasters predict a snowless and frosty winter period, it is still recommended to cover the plantings of St. John's wort with spruce branches, and remove it with the arrival of spring.
  9. Harvesting St. John's wort is carried out already 2-3 years after planting, until that time they are engaged in the preparation of grass. On a dry and sunny day, starting in June, when the flowering of the hare grass is in full swing, you can already remove the medicinal species of blood. The stem is cut so that its length to the tops is 25–30 cm. To do this, use a pointed sickle, pruner or knife. If the area where St. John's wort is planted is large, then a scythe is used. After harvesting, all the greens with flowers are sent to dry, if this is not done, it will begin to blacken and rot.
  10. Drying harvested St. John's wort is performed in a semi-dark place, with good ventilation. The temperature should be 50 degrees. At the same time, in the process, it is important to periodically stir up the grass so that the raw material dries evenly from all sides. An indicator of the condition of the raw material is the fragility of its stems, while the flowers and leaves will easily crumble. Dried St. John's wort is stored at temperatures ranging from -5 to 25 degrees. In this case, the blanks are stacked in glass or ceramic jars, cardboard or paper bags.
  11. The use of St. John's wort in design. It is clear that using St. John's wort as a full-fledged ornamental plant will not work because of the nondescriptness of its flowers, but you can arrange a garden bed with medicinal herbs in the garden. If we talk about decorative varieties of hare grass, then they will not seem boring at all. There are species of St. John's wort (for example, marsh - Hypericum elodes), which can be grown in swampy areas of natural or artificial reservoirs, on their coastal territory.

It is also possible to use some types of St. John's wort for the following purposes:

  • landing in flower beds or mixborders;
  • filling with such plantings of voids in the soil next to large-sized plants;
  • landscape design in a natural style, for example, group plantings;
  • the formation of decorating lawns or meadows with the help of shrub or semi-shrub species of St. John's wort;
  • shrubs and tree-like forms are used as a solo plant;
  • if the size of the stems is small, then such hare grass is used as a ground cover;
  • landscaping rockeries or rock gardens;
  • creation of mixborders in the form of carpet;
  • the need for a phytocomposition of yellow shades;
  • shelter of transitions and the front edge of decorative landings.

Recommendations for breeding St. John's wort

St. John's wort grows

Basically, the reproduction of hare grass occurs by the seed method, but seedlings (parts of the rhizome with stems) can also be planted.

With the arrival of spring or already in the middle of autumn, sowing of seed is carried out. If the seeds are placed in the soil in October, then stratification is not required, everything will go naturally. But when sowing seeds in spring, it is recommended to mix them with moistened sand and put them in a plastic bag, placing them on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, where the temperature will be about 1–5 degrees Celsius. The seed is kept in such a place for 1, 5–2 months before sowing into the soil. Before planting, they should be dried so that they become free-flowing.

When sowing is carried out before winter, the sprouts of St. John's wort will be denser and appear early. However, if the spring period turns out to be hot and without precipitation, then the young seedlings of the bloody may not appear at all, the spring-planted plants grow much more slowly.

When the soil on the bed is prepared for sowing and moistened, the seeds of St. sand or the same substrate. After that, it is required to carefully, but carefully water the crops. The garden bed can be covered with plastic wrap on top in the spring until the first shoots appear, in order to create greenhouse conditions for germination. The first seedlings will be visible after 1–2 weeks.

If you want to propagate St. John's wort vegetatively, then its seedling is a piece of rhizome and stems, which are cut off rather shortly. You can plant them both in spring and in September, so that the plants adapt to the cold weather. The scheme of such a planting is 50x50 cm.If the seedlings are arranged in rows, then between them they stand at least 30 cm, and the row spacing will be 1 m.

Planting of seedlings is carried out at the same depth as before, that is, covered with soil, there should be only a darker part of the stem, where it passes into the underground. To make thinning St. John's wort easier, planting a little deeper is recommended. The seedlings are placed in prepared holes, sprinkled with soil to the top and watered. To keep moisture in the soil longer, a layer of mulch is poured around. This role can be hay or straw, sawdust or dry leaves.

Fight against possible diseases and pests in the cultivation of St. John's wort

Hypericum flowering

Although hare grass is considered a fairly persistent plant, occasionally it can suffer from harmful insects or diseases that arise when growing agricultural technology is violated.

Among the pests of St. John's wort are: thrips, leaf rollers or St. John's wort. The signs of the appearance of "uninvited guests" are deformed yellow leaves, growth retardation, small bugs of black or green color, the formation of sticky sugary plaque on the leaves or stems (pad - insect secretions). The method of struggle in this case will be spraying with insecticidal preparations, such as Aktara, Aktellik or Fitoverm. This treatment is repeated a week later, until the pests and their eggs are completely destroyed.

St. John's wort diseases are rust and fungal rot arising from waterlogged soil or too high humidity and cold temperatures. On the foliage of the plant, spots of a reddish-brick or gray hue are formed, which lead to the fact that the stem and root will begin to rot. It is recommended to remove all parts of the plant affected by the disease, and then treat with fungicidal preparations.

Interesting notes about St. John's wort

St. John's wort blooms

For a long time, people have known about the medicinal properties of some varieties of hare grass, which has an astringent, anti-inflammatory effect and can resist certain microbes.St. John's wort preparations help to cope with tissue damage, moderately affect the secretion of bile, and help stimulate gastric secretion.

Teas, which include blood man's herb, serve as a means to strengthen the whole body, can normalize the work of the central nervous system, digestion and endocrine glands. St. John's wort is also included in drugs to combat alcoholism and male impotence.

The decoction of St. John's wort helps with weight loss, hair restoration, gives them a light golden color, contributes to a beautiful tan.

There are also contraindications to the use of this medicinal herb:

  • hypertension, since an increase in pressure is possible;
  • use in any form is prohibited during pregnancy.

Description of the types of St. John's wort

In the photo, St. John's wort is large

St. John's wort (Hypericum ascyron)

he respects the southern regions of Siberia and the Far East with his native lands, can grow in Japan and China, in the east of the North American continent. Perennial plant, the stems of which reach a height of 1, 2 m. The surface of the stems with 4 edges, there is weak branching in the upper part. Foliage grows opposite, with a solid edge. The leaf plate is green, stem-embracing, its shape is oblong-ovate. The length of the leaf varies in the range of 6-10 cm. On its surface, one can see a large number of half-transparent glands. On the back, the foliage has a bluish tint. When flowering in paniculate inflorescences in the form of scutes, bright yellow flowers are collected, the diameter of which is measured 8 cm. There are 3-5 buds in the scutellum, but sometimes they can be located singly.

In the photo, St. John Gebler's wort

John Gebler's wort (Hypericum gebleri)

The native area of ​​distribution falls on the lands of Central Asia, such a plant is not uncommon in Siberia and the Far East, as well as in China and Japan. The branchy stems reach about a meter in height. Foliage without petioles, its outlines are linear-lanceolate or elongated. In the inflorescences, crowning the tops of the stems, golden flowers are collected. When fully opened, their diameter does not exceed 1.5 cm. The buds open from mid-summer for 35–40 days.

In the photo, St. John's wort is Olympic

St. John's wort (Hypericum olimpicum)

This type of hare grass has the shape of a half-shrub, measuring in height in the range of 0, 15–0, 35 m. The root system is strong, but not too deep into the ground. The foliage is gray, with linear-elliptical outlines. Flowers can reach 5 cm in diameter. The color of the petals is straw-yellow. From the buds, semi-umbellate inflorescences are collected at the tops of the shoots. Introduced into culture at the beginning of the 18th century.

In the photo St. John's wort is calyx

St. John's wort (Hypericum calycinum)

prefers to settle in the western regions of the Caucasus, and can also be found in the Balkans and the eastern lands of the Mediterranean. Shoot height rarely exceeds half a meter. The plant is evergreen, the foliage surface is leathery. The shape of the sheet plate is oblong or it can have the form of an ellipse. The flowers in the central part are decorated with a large number of elongated stamens. Their color is yellow, with full disclosure, the diameter is measured 6–8 cm. In culture, the species has been in the 76th year of the 18th century. One of the most popular forms, Citrinum, has lemon-yellow flowers.

In the photo St. John's wort

St. John's wort (Hypericum nummularioides)

possesses semi-ample outlines and in nature prefers to grow on stones and rocks (petrophyte). The species has dwarf stem sizes that do not go beyond 5–15 cm. Its numerous shoots, differing in small branching, are lignified in the lower part. The foliage unfolds in an oval shape, its color is bluish, the leaves are practically sessile, since they may be deprived of petioles, the surface is decorated with glands. Inflorescences at the tops of the stems have a semi-umbilical structure and contain 2–5 buds.

In the photo, St. John's wort is spreading

St. John's wort (Hypericum patulum)

Native territories include the lands of the southeastern regions of Asia, stretching from the Himalayas to Japan. It has a shrub form, the plant is semi-evergreen, it is distinguished by a strong branching of shoots.The height of the branches can reach a meter mark. Shoots grow open, drooping, painted in brown color. When the twigs are young, they are bare and rather thin, their bark has a carmine or reddish-green tone. The surface of the foliage is leathery, the shape of the leaf plate is ovoid or elliptical. Small-flowered inflorescences at the tops of the shoots are composed of large flowers. The color of the petals is bright yellow, in the central part there are a large number of long stamens.

In the photo, St. John's wort odorless

St. John's wort odorless (Hypericum x inodorum)

is the most ornamental plant in the genus. Its foliage persists for a long time, the color of the fruit is red, yellow or white, it can be green, salmon, purple to black.

Video about growing St. John's wort:

Photos of St. John's wort:

Photo St. John's wort 1 St. John's Wort Photo 2 Photo St. John's wort 3 Photo St. John's wort 4 Hypericum Photos 5

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