Verbena officinalis , Vervain
Tiny clusters of terminal very pale lilac flowers in summer. Deeply divided green leaves with curved teeth. Important medicinal herb.
• Hardiness: H6 (-15 to -20C)
• Type: Perennial
• Height: up to 90cm
• Spread: 30cm
• Soil type:
• Flowering colour:
• Flowering time:
• Uses: Medicinal (Read Jekka's Guide to Medicinal Herbs for more information)
• Attracts pollinators: No
• Container suitability: No
• UK native: Yes
• Caution: N/A
• Indoor Sowing: In spring, into prepared plug trays or pots, cover with perlite. Place in a cold frame, germination is erratic.
• Outdoor Sowing: In late spring, into a well-drained soil, sunny position. Thin to 30cm apart.
• Propagation: N/A
• Maintenance: (Read Jekka's Blogs on Early Spring, Late Spring and Autumn maintenance)
• Harvest: N/A
Vervain is one of the sacred herbs of the Druids and is still widely used. It is regarded as a nerve sedative, tonic and thymoleptic, i.e. it is thought to be able to calm as well as lift a mood. For herbalists, this makes vervain a choice herb for depression, tension and to help restore an exhausted nervous system particularly where a person is convalescing after illness. Studies also reveal that vervain can help reduce gum inflammation, supports heart health and it supports brain health following stroke. It has other uses too; it is seen as a digestive tonic, so helps to tempt a poor appetite and is reputed to help encourage the production of breast milk in nursing mothers.
Caution: No major issues identified.
Please note: The information provided here is for educational interest only and is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat significant health problems. Any serious or long-term health concerns should always be discussed with a healthcare professional.
See our blog for more information about the National Institute of Medical Herbalists
Jekka's "How to Grow Herbs" videos, includes Jekka's video on how to sow seeds for an informative step-by-step guide to seed sowing.
Growing indoors? Check out Jekka's blog on indoor herb gardening for some advice.
At Jekka’s we sell herbs in 1 Ltr and 2 Ltr pots. These are established and hardy herb plants that are grown following organic principals and to survive the UK climate. Please read Jekka's blog that contains her top steps to growing on your herbs.
Our herbs are designed to be grown in containers or planted in the garden. Although some herbs will be quite happy indoors, most prefer being outside. Please see our indoor growing blog for more information.
If you think your herbs need a little more attention we always recommend an environmentally friendly solution, and these are Jekka's top three:
- Maxicrop liquid seaweed: 'Feed on Fridays' as Jekka always says for all round good plant health.
- SB Invigorator: a safe and effective insecticide and fungicide to help control a wide range of pest species
- Epsom salts: the horticultural equivalent of what you put in your bath to top up magnesium and stop orange leaves.
One of our three core roots is that we are Environmentally Conscious and for the past 30 years all the herbs grown at Jekka’s have been raised following sustainable, environmentally friendly and organic approaches resulting in a remarkable biodiversity at the herb farm.
Our herb seeds are also untreated and can be used to grow organic herb plants.