Cohosh, Chastetree Culture
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Ange Davidson
Posted on: November 9, 1998

Are there detailed germination/cultivation instructions for the herbs I received or just what is on the packets. I would especially like more info on growing blue and black cohosh and chaste tree if you have it.

Black cohosh is hardy in zones 3 to 9, grows in sun to shade, does best in moist, humus-rich, deep, fertile, well-drained, slightly acid to acid soil. Space plants 60 to 120 centimeters by 60 to 120 centimeters. To germinate the seeds keep them moist for 3 months at 21 degrees Celsius, then shift the seed bed to three months at 5 degrees Celsius.

Blue cohosh is also hardy in zones 3 to 9, grows in half to full shade, does best in a rich, moist, humus-rich soil that is slightly acid to neutral. To germinate the seeds nick the seed coats as soon as you receive the seeds, sow in a flat and keep the seed flat at 21 degrees Celsius for three months, then place outdoors in the fall to freeze and thaw for shoot growth in the spring. Space plants on 45 centimeter centers.

Chastetree is hardy in zones 7 to 10, grows in sun, does best in rich moist soil but will tolerate poor, dry soil. Space plants one by three meters apart. Seeds germinate readily in 4 days after they have been held moist at 5 degrees Celsius for three months.

You also requested information on growing Echinacea angustifolia in a previous e-mail. Stratify at 5 degrees Celsius in moist sand for 4 to 10 weeks and then surface sow. Prefers fertile well-drained soil that contains lime and clay. It tolerates a pH from 6 to 8.

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