Medicinal Herb Gardening
From Seeds to Sprouts, Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Cultivating Medicinal Plants
Ready to get dirt under your nails?
If you’re the type of herbalist that likes to get down and dirty in the soil, you’ve come to just the place. We’ve compiled an array of our most popular herb gardening articles—sure to sprout inspiration!
Whether you’re seeking herb garden layout ideas, or you’re searching for the nitty-gritty of soils and substrates, one of these articles is sure to fill your wheelbarrow. This round-up even includes tips for growing medicinal herbs in tiny yards, porches, and tight spaces. (Shout out to our urban gardeners!)
Don’t have a garden?
Porches, patios, and sunny windowsills are all prime time real estate for the herb gardener. Take a wink at our Container Gardening Hub for a collection of resources that will have you growing potted plants like a pro.
So, no matter your experience level or the size of your space, if you’re eager to sow more seeds of herbal knowledge, there’s something for you in the bounty beyond this garden gate.
Let’s dig in, shall we?
Here’s a list of all of our blog articles on medicinal herb cultivation:
- Guidelines to Growing Medicinal Herbs from Seed
- Cultivating Woodland Herbs: Planning a Medicinal Forest Garden
- Cultivating Woodland Herbs: How to Grow Native Forest Medicinals
- Get Growing: Ten of Our Favorite Resources for Spring Herb Gardening
- Cultivating Medicinal Herbs, a new book by Juliet Blankespoor
These medicinal herbs embody the whole package—providing nourishment, medicine, and beauty to boot! We hand-picked these ten botanical beauties for their ease of cultivation, medicinal potency, and versatility of use from the kitchen to the medicine cabinet. Say hello to your new botanical besties, right here.
There’s an art, and a science, to laying out the perfect medicinal herb garden—this article will help you balance both like a cultivation maven. Whether you have access to an expansive plot or a small patch of earth, this checklist is brimming with practical tips you won’t want to miss. You’ll even get the low-down on making use of shady spaces and wet spots, along with suggestions for shade- and moisture-loving medicinals. Take these 9 Tips to heart and before you know it, you’ll be strolling through your dream garden with bushels of bee balm and bergamot in tow.
It’s not the size of the garden that matters! This guide for growing medicinal herbs in small spaces is proof. By adopting a few clever cultivation techniques, even city slickers can have a productive medicinal paradise, lush with herbs for kitchen and apothecary. All it takes is a few feet of earth (or a few containers!), a little herbal know-how, and a handful of easy-to-grow herbal sweethearts to bring a bounty of medicinals right to your doorstep…or on it!
Don’t let the word “division” scare you. This article is about the kind of math any herb nerd can get behind—turning one plant into ten! Without spending a dime, you can multiply your medicinal harvest and fill out your herb garden by splicing one plant into several (or even up to twenty, depending on the species and age of the plant!). But not so fast, before you get hori-hori happy, be sure to soak up all of our tips on the right tools, timing, and technique to ensure your newborn divisionlings survive and thrive!
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If it’s seeds that you’re seeking, look no further. We’ve rounded-up our favorite medicinal herb seed suppliers and nurseries in the U.S.A. and Canada—many of whom ship internationally too! This article features small-scale and regional suppliers, as well, for those that prefer to keep things local. We know from experience that finding non-GMO, open-pollinated, and even rare medicinal seeds and plants from ethical sources can be tough, until now. If you’re keen on cultivating seed sovereignty, hop over here for some seed shopping therapy.
You’ve just received your first shipment of medicinal herb seeds…now what? Even if you’re a bonafide green thumb, you may not realize that germinating medicinals can be much trickier than sowing your average vegetable seeds. So come, let us take you by the hand and introduce you to the wide-world of seed trays, soil blocks, stratification, and germination stations. With a little time (and a lot of love!), you’ll have an herbal seedling set-up sure to make any botanical geek green with envy.
As cherished species of native flora continue to dwindle, cultivating our own rare medicinal herbs is more important now than ever before. Not only can you create your own sustainable supply of endangered herbs—like black cohosh, goldenseal, and american ginseng—always at the ready for home-medicine making, you can also help to reduce the demand for the unethical and illegal harvest of these vanishing plants. And you may be surprised to find that many of these at-risk medicinals are quite easy to cultivate, too. From germination to propagation, you’ll unearth everything you need to get growing here.
Why grow native woodland herbs? Growing our own medicine—in any setting—creates an intimate connection with healing plants. There are some important environmental reasons for cultivating rare woodland medicinals as well. Further, many of the woodland herbs are easy to cultivate, as compared to our garden herbs. Learn more about growing forest medicinals here.
Take a scenic tour of our favorite resources on growing medicinal herbs. This compilation features five of our very own herb-gardening guides from Blog Castanea’s archive, plus five more of our favorite books and (free!) YouTube videos on medicinal plant cultivation from the likes of Deb Soule and Joe Hollis. Get ready to restock your bookshelves and embark on a botanical video binge, here.
Join us in counting down to the release of Chestnut School Founder Juliet Blankespoor’s first book, slated to hit shelves in 2021! Cultivating Medicinal Herbs is the first book of its kind, bursting with information on growing and using healing plants, and lushly sown with seeding charts, medicine-making instructions, propagation techniques, and soils and substrates.
By subscribing to our newsletter below, you’ll be among the first to know when the book becomes available. (We’ll also send a few treats to your inbox, including our Guide for Budding Herbalists, beloved by thousands of herb nerds worldwide!)
After signing up, be sure to mosey over here for an exclusive sneak-preview of the pages.