The benefits of growing feverfew are plentiful. This article will list the benefits and offer a brief description on how to grow this beneficial herb. Feverfew is native to Southern Europe, but it has naturalized in North America.
It’s often found in dry, sunny areas that have poor soil. In the early 1800s, feverfew was used as a herbal remedy for headaches by French nuns who cultivated it in their gardens at abbeys throughout France and Belgium.
Feverfew can be grown from seed which offers several benefits. The article will explore the following: – How to grow feverfew from seed – What kind of soil is best for growing feverfew – The optimal temperature range for growing feverfew and much more.
Table of Contents
- 1 Propagation
- 2 Germination Time
- 3 Sowing
- 4 Direct Sowing Outdoor
- 5 Sunlight Requirements
- 6 Soil Requirements
- 7 Plant Height
- 8 Plant Spacing
- 9 Hardiness Zones
- 10 Harvest
- 11 Pests
- 12 Disease
- 13 Frequently Asked Questions
Feverfew is easy to grow from seed or transplants, but you must start the seeds indoors before late winter if you live in a cold climate.
10-15 days at 65-70 °F (18-21 °C)
- Sow seeds 4-8 weeks before transplanting in either spring or fall.
- Germination takes about 10-15 days.
- If you sow in the winter, grow it under lights with an average temperature of 65-70 °F (21 °C).
- Feverfew seedlings transplant well into the garden.
- You can sow seeds on top of moist potting soil in individual containers, then cover with a thin layer of vermiculite or peat moss. Or use a Propagation Kit with a Heat Mat. You can get one on Amazon.
- Keep watered to maintain damp but not wet soil, and provide light for up to 16 hours per day with fluorescent grow lights set 6 inches from the plant’s leaves or under a cool white grow light bulb (40 watts).
- Once you’ve collected enough seedlings, it’s time to transplant them into 5″ pots for about three weeks to harden them off before planting them outdoors. Make sure that you’re potting soil has plenty of organic material mixed in such as compost, or manure.
- The best time to transplant feverfew outside is when the risk of frost has ended, usually at the end of April or beginning of May.
- Place the plants outdoors in holes as deep as the root ball, spacing plants about 12″ inches apart.
- Feverfew produces flowers from July through September in the Northern Hemisphere. It grows up to 3 feet tall with small leaves and stems growing off a thick taproot. The plant requires full sun, but should be grown away from other plants to avoid.
Direct Sowing Outdoor
The best time to sow feverfew outdoors is in the spring or fall. It can be sown as soon as the ground can be worked, but should not be sown too early because it will take too long to mature and may succumb to disease.
- Softly push the seeds into the soil about 1/4″ deep, but do not cover them in soil. Keep the soil damp until the seeds have germinated.
- Plant the seeds about 8 inches apart from each other in rows spaced 12 inches apart.
Feverfew flowers from July through September and prefers light shade or partial sun during hot summer months. It likes to grow where it can soak up plenty of sunshine and needs at least six hours of full sunlight each day.
Feverfew prefers a soil that is light and well-drained with plenty of moisture. The pH should range from 6.0-7.0, which is acidic, so avoid using fertilizers that have high amounts of nitrogen or ammonium nitrate on the plant since they will change the pH balance and affect how the plants grow.
2-3 feet (28-36″ in.)
8-12″ (20-30 cm)
If you live in the southern regions of the United States, then you’re most likely not going to have much luck growing feverfew. This herb is best suited for zones 5-8 and will grow successfully in these areas with no difficulty.
Harvesting feverfew is easy, and the leaves can be used fresh or dried.
Harvesting The Plant:
Feverfew is a herb that can be found in the wild or cultivated. It’s best to use when it has reached maturity, but it may also be harvested before this time for drying and later use. Harvest feverfew by cutting it at its base or digging up the whole plant. To dry, hang or spread it out in a shady area with good air circulation.
It is best to harvest before noon so that you don’t have to worry about sunburned leaves and wilted flowers. It should be harvested when the flowers have just bloomed, but before the seeds have started to form on the stem, typically early summer through late fall.
Harvesting The Leaves:
Step 1: Gather the leaves when they are young and green (late spring to early summer).
Step 2: Cut them off at ground level. Be sure not to remove any of the roots in the process!
Step 3: Put them in a jar or baggie for storage in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer until you’re ready to use them.
Aphids and slugs are pesky insects that can destroy a plant in no time. Fortunately, there are many ways to deter these pests. One of the easiest is to wrap tape around the base of your feverfew plants with a sticky side out.
This will prevent both aphids and slugs from climbing up the stem to feast on leaves or damage flowers by eating them before they have a chance to open.
Feverfew is a plant that repels many types of insects.
1) Mosquitoes: Feverfew can help with the common summer problem of mosquitoes by repelling them away from you and your family.
2) Ticks: Feverfew has been shown to have a significant effect on ticks, reducing their population significantly in localized areas where feverfew grows or is planted.
3) Aphids: The seeds of feverfew are high in protein and oil content . Aphids are attracted to this and will eat the leaves. This plant also has a strong smell which will repel aphids.
4) Mosquitoes: Plants like feverfew release substances that mosquitoes do not like, so they avoid it.
5) Cabbage worms: In order for these bugs to stay on the plants, they need something sticky to keep them from being blown away by wind. The oil in feverfew can cause them enough stickiness to make sure they cannot fly.
Powdery mildew is a fungus that can infect plants in the garden. If left untreated, it will cause leaves to turn yellow and die. The disease thrives when the air is humid and wet.
Powdery mildew spores are carried by water droplets or insects such as aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies, mites and scale insects.
It’s easy to prevent powdery mildew on feverfew by making sure it gets more direct sun, and plenty of air circulation, which will reduce humidity levels and deter the spread of fungi spores.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will feverfew grow in shade?
Feverfew is a herbaceous perennial that prefers full sun, but can be grown successfully in partial shade. The plant will not flower as much if it is shaded from the morning or afternoon sun. However, they will still produce leaves and new growth on their stems year-round.
What insects does feverfew repel?
Insects are a problem in gardens, but there is an easy solution. Feverfew repels many insects such as mosquitos, ants, aphids, cabbage worms, beetles, gnats, ticks & fleas.
Does feverfew attract bees?
Some believe that feverfew attracts bees because of its flowery aroma, but this is not the case. Bees do not like the smell of feverfew flowers, and will often fly away from them in search of sweeter scents such as lavender or roses. This is because feverfew has a sulfuric odor that insects don’t enjoy.
Do I deadhead feverfew?
Yes, you should. When a flower dies, its energy is used up and won’t be there to support new growth on the plant. This means that if you leave them in place they will interfere with any future blooms and limit how tall your plant can grow. It also means that their leaves will stay green for longer than they would otherwise have been able to as well which reduces the amount of chlorophyll production