Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a herb plant also known as, Indian Ginseng, Winter cherry, Ajagandha, Kanaje Hindi and Samm Al Ferakh. Used by Indian herbalists ( Ayurvedic medicine ) as tonic or powder that has benefits for stress reduction and anxiety.
It is a plant that grows to nearly 2m and is from the Solanaceae or nightshade family.
How To Grow Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is fairly easy to grow in a sunny position and any well drained soil. As with many herb plants it will grow in relatively poor soils.
A well drained humus rich soil is best. Dig the soil over well, add some aged cow manure and compost. Digging the soil over and keeping the area weed free encourages good root growth
In pots, use a good quality potting mix with some cow manure mixed through to boot growth.
It is essential that you provide good direct sun for at least 6 hours a day. It hotter climates some protection from very hot afternoon sun in summer will be beneficial.
This is a plant that requires warmth, once temperature drop below 12C growth will be stunted and plants will most likely die. Growing plants indoors under grow lights is one solution or use a mini greenhouse. Ideal temperature range is 20 – 35 C daytime. And no lower tham 12C nighttime.
Protect the plants from frost at all times.
This is a plant that does not like a wet or constantly damp root system. So use a wet/dry watering regime.
Water deeply and then allow the soil to almost dry before watering again. During winter months cut back on watering
- Mulching and Fertiliser
A good layer of mulch will keep a cool root run.
Propagation is from seed or from cuttings usually taken in spring.
Grown mainly for medicinal uses this is a medium growing plant to around 1m in height. It likes a warm climate and fairly dry conditions, also known as the ‘Winter Cherry’ seems to thrive in poor soils. Grown from seeds sown in time for summer rains.
Watering is only required if follow up rain is not received. Both the roots and seeds from the berries are dried for use in Ayurvedic medicine as rejuvenating agents including the treatment wide range of conditions, and is taken both as a tonic and in powdered of tablet form.
Can you grow Ashwagandha in a pot or container ? Usually not recommended, however, in a large well drained container in a sunny position it would probably work. These are not really ornamental plant, and although you can grow the plants in the home garden, it is mainly grown in India.
- Saffron (How to Grow Your Own Saffron)
- Vanilla Beans
- Neem Trees
- Lemon Grass
- Tulsi (Holy Basil)
- Gotu Kola
Ashwagandha Plants or Seeds are available for sale from the following participating nurseries
CORNUCOPIA SEEDS and PLANTS – phone: 03 5457 1230 fax: 03 5457 1354
PO Box 427 Kerang Vic 3579
Paradise Distributers – 07 5441 5921