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Are There Some Easy to Grow Medicinal Herbs? From Seed?

 
master steward
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For a couple of years, I have been planning a Medicinal Garden.  I know that some plants are hard to grow from seed.

Maybe they require stratification, chilling, have poor germination or a variety of other problems.


What are some easy plants for someone who wants to get started growing medicinal herbs?


I am Zone 8b.


I tried Lemon Balm and Lavender without success so I purchased transplants.  

I have wild nettles and plantain.

Any help would be appreciated.
 
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I've found that most of the herbs we grow for medicinal use are best started then transplanted out once they are up about 3 inches tall.

I planted Echinacea in ground with little success, but if I start the seeds in a flat I get almost 100% germination, same goes for nettle, lavender, and others.
White sage is probably my hardest to start herb.

Redhawk
 
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Hello Anne, I have farmed medicinal herbs and found the following to volunteer easily from seed or from seed I plant.
Marshmallow, Yarrow, Burdock, Pleurisy root, Oats, Borage, Calendula, Hawthorne, Echinacea (plant in fall for spring emergence) California poppy, Boneset, Meadowsweet, Fennel, Geranium, Gumweed, St. John's Wort, Hyssop, Elecampane, Motherwort,  Horehound, Chamomile, Poke root, Milk thistle, Feverfew, Dandelion, Red clover, Mullein. There are many other herbs that are also easy to grow as long as you give them what they need, be it a chilling time in the freezer or over winter, or they may take a couple years to actually germinate etc. You might want to check out the book "The Medicinal Herb Grower" by Richo Cech.
 
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Easy to start from seed is thyme and lemonbalm pops up everywhere in my garden. Shame i’m in europe. Would have sent you seeds, because the stuff you buy online and in gardencenters is really not always on point. Calendula is easy as well and beautiful to make a salve is very nice. Mint is easy from rootcuttings/divisions. Rosemary is easy for wintercuttings. Marjoram is quite easy from seedbut not really medicinal, better do oregano. Tiny seeds. Comfrey is better to do by rootdivision because if you get the seeding kind it is extremely hard to control. I got one sageplant years ago and that is easy to multiply by putting a rock on a fresh branch and bury it a bit. Roots form and in three month at least you can cut it loose from the motherplant and keep it shaded and moist in a pot and when it perks up plant it. Lavender i can’t get going from seed either nor from cuttings or layering. It’s disastrous but i am confident that if i don’t give up my quest i will manage to find one that has seeds that will give plants that will give seeds that will give etc.
 
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I managed to grow thyme, basil, oregano, chives, chamomile and parsley from seed.... I found them easier to start in pots and then transfer to the garden, that way I could make sure nothing ate them or outgrew them. Most of my herbs, though, I purchased as starts, because it was a lot easier! It's hard to find some of them as starts, though...
 
Anne Miller
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I thought I would post a reply with some of the medicinal plants that I have been able to grow from seed:

I started Echinacea, purple coneflower from seed:




The parsley was easy to start from seed:




Lemon balm is also an easy one:




I did not start this one from seed.  Rosemary is easily propagated from just a limb touching the ground:




Are there some other medicinal plants that you have found that were easy to plant from seeds?
 
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I'm trying ashwagandha this year. Even starting it cold, rather than warm as recommended, most of the seeds germinated. They probably took longer than usual, though.

I just transplanted mine out, so not sure how they'll grow yet. But can definitely start from seed without much effort.
 
Hugo Morvan
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Try savory, dille and basil! Easy peasy. Fennel and oregano pop up on their own if i don’t watch out. Borage, absinth, burdock, ramsons, agrimony, capsicum, wild chicory, californian poppy, ivy, hyssop, flax, common mallow, chamomile, alfalfa,, watercress, evening primeose, perilla, parsley, anis, primrose, marythistle, feverfew, valerian, mullein, i’ve started all these from seed. I might have lost some because i couldn’t provide the right circumstances for them to flourish enough to supply me with viable seed. The thing is. You must try different sources. One time you’re lucky and you find an easy starter. I looked for hyssops for years. Now i found one that finally worked last year. I planted it, it flowered, i tried the seed immediately, it turned out viable. Now i’m pushing these plants on my friends. The world needs herbs that work. Spread, spread, spread them herbs! It’s such a sad affair we let these mega companies get away with selling us stuff we can’t propagate ourselves. I could keep it all to myself, sure, but stuff always comes back if you give people something that works. And flourishes in their garden they will think about you later. Any way, it’s not only about that. Since the medical stranglehold they got us in, poisoning us with radiation, sitting jobs and a plethora of hardly tested herbicides pesticides and fungicides we get sick. And then sell us the « cure » . Always symptom elevating stuff, with side effects. It’s a sick system we have to fight against with herbal power cutting to the core. People’s medicine is the future they can’t control. And we’re creating bio diversity while we’re at it.
 
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There are some rather obscure but very effective medicinals that are easy to grow from seed.

Some are anti-virals, which should be of interest now,certainly. Houttuynia cordata is easy and very aggressive. I would suggest growing it in a pot for that reason.  Well researched vietnamese mint relative.  Also, baikal skullcap, one of the original 50 Chinese medical herbs.  Takes awhile though.  Winter savory is also well researched and easy to grow from seed.  Woad, isatis, is another.  Very well researched and easy to grow anti-viral.
John S
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