Angelica Culture
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Teena Hayden
Posted on: January 16, 2000

I am a graduate student at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and am researching Angelica species and their unique phytochemistry. I need to grow some plants in our greenhouse for my study, but have not had much luck with our native Angelica species (A. lineariloba). I did get about 5% germination the month after we harvested the seed from the wild plants, but a year later I cannot get any germination at all. I was not aware that the viability of the seed was so low, and kept the seed at room temperature.

I now want to try my experiments on A. sinensis, since that is of more commercial interest than our local species. I will be ordering 10g of seed from Richters (once I complete the University purchasing paperwork)... do you have any suggestions for successful culture of this species? Preferred germination protocol, temperature, light requirements? For growing, what light, temperature, and moisture is preferred? We get very high light and heat here in Arizona, should I shade the plants? Do you know when they should be harvested (how long after transplanting) for best root quality?

Three Angelica species have been investigated as far as germination requirements go and all were found to need light to germinate. They cannot be covered with soil and the seed flat must be placed in a lighted area. Some need stratification and some do not. It would be safest to try germinating without stratification first and if they don’t come up take the seed flats in which you sowed the seed which showed such poor germination, water them, let them drain, cover with clear plastic and pop into the fridge - make sure to set the fridge temperature to be above freezing. Take out after 3 months, or earlier if germination starts. Be sure to only press the seeds into the soil surface, as they need light to germinate.

Angelica archangelica seed should last a year under room temperature dry storage, but we find the seed lasts much better if kept in the fridge. Once the seed is no longer fresh it has gone dormant and to break the dormancy it has to be stratified. For the readers of this answer who are not familiar with this term, stratification amounts to storing the seed damp at 4 to 5 degrees Celsius for 2 to 3 months.

Angelicas seem to need rich, damp, well-drained soil and A. archangelica wants soil slightly on the alkaline side. They like full sun to partial shade but in your climate I think you have to stick to partial shade.

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