An old, medicinal herb, St. John's Wort is believed to have been named after St. John the Baptist. It originated in Europe and Asia where it grew wild in woods, fields and along roadsides. Easy to grow, with attractive leaves, it has clusters of bright yellow flowers that bloom from July through August. This is another great plant for the garden, attracting bees and insects, as well as its herbal and decorative uses. Full to part sun, and will be okay in shade. This perennial is hardy (good to zone 7), and requires little to no attention. Harvest and dry the leaves and flowers. Store them in a cool, dry place. Seeds are stubborn to germinate, so soak them overnight, then put them in the freezer for 10 days. Plant by scattering, and be prepared for a lot of seedlings! Will come up every year after that, and will be so prolific you will have a bunch to share with neighbors.
Growing instructions: Start seed indoors 4-5 weeks before last frost in pots, or sow directly into the garden after danger of serious frost has passed, will germinate best when soil temp is cooler. Cover seeds with 1/8 inch of fine soil. 10 to 31 day germination time. Keep soil moderately moist during germination (not soggy). Transplant indoor started seedlings after hardening off and danger of serious frost has passed, or plant them in the fall. Space plants at least 6 inches apart. Plant in the spring, sow seeds outdoors after all danger of frost has passed or for earlier blooms start indoors in individual peat pots 2 to 3 weeks before last frost (Hardy in zones 5-8). Decorative and useful, this plant is often overlooked. Heirloom biennial.