Herb, Valerian-Common

50 in stock

    • 45 $


Quick Overview

HERB, Valerian-Common –
Valeriana officinalis

FULL SUN Native to Europe and Asia, Valerian has been cultivated for thousands of years, because it is a potent, natural tranquilizer. Valerian is also extremely attractive to cats, as attractive as catnip, and to rats where it has been used to trap rats for centuries. It was brought to the US by the early colonists in the 1600s. Common Valerian is a large, 3-5 ft.plant that has been popular as an ornamental in cottage gardens since the 1800s.

Valerian grows on the damp banks of creeks and streams or in high, dry spaces up to 6600 ft. To grow in a garden, turn the soil to a depth of 8 in. and soak, plant the seeds and cover with 1/8 in soil. Keep the soil constantly moist. Seeds have a low germination, but will germinate in 14-21 days. Seedlings should be separated by 24-30 in.

Valerian can also be started indoors about 6 weeks before the last frost date. Transplant outside when the danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed to a depth of 6 in.. Plant 24-30 in apart in rows 30 in. apart.

Type Spacing Planting Depth Days to Germination Maturity
Perennial 24-30 in. 1/2 in. 14-21 90-120

Herb, Valerian-Common

Valerian is a little known herb in the US in today’s world, but it was a very significant medicinal herb centuries ago and is still widely marketed in Europe. There are two plants which carry the name of Valerian – the common Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) and Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber). They are not related. Common Valerian is the herb. Red Valerian is grown purely as an ornamental. Both are perennials.

Common Valerian has been cultivated and prized for thousands of years because it is a safe and efficacious tranquilizer. Various, rigorous scientific studies have shown that the chemicals in Common Valerian, valepotriates, act as tranquilizers in small animals and humans. Valepotriates produce fewer side effects than diazepam, the drug used in Valium, and they can be taken with alcohol without the synergistic effect, including depression. It is believed that Valerian works by affecting the central nervous system, thus it is more a psychological drug than a physiological oone.

Valerian is often grown today purely as an ornamental. In the 1800s, it became a very popular cottage garden flower. As a companion plant, it has been known to flourish with both Calendula and Echinacea Purple Coneflower.

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