How to Grow Andrographis


Andrographis paniculata is also called king of bitters, kiryat and kalmegh. This annual herb is native to India’s dense, moist forests. Andrographis grows upright to 4 feet tall under the jungle trees. The branches are covered with smooth leaves and produce small, rose-and-white flowers. This herb blossoms in November and December in India. The whole plant is traditionally used as a medicinal herb with antityphoid and antibiotic properties.

Step 1

Remove grass, weeds and debris from a planting area in partial shade. Loosen the soil to the depth of 6 inches with a shovel. Break up the soil with the edge of a garden hoe.

Step 2

Spread a 3-inch layer of compost on top of the soil. Mix into the loose soil to create soil with a high organic matter level. Rake the soil smooth and level.

Step 3

Create rows 12 inches apart with the edge of a garden hoe. Place the andrographis seeds in the trench 6 inches apart. Cover with soil and gently firm it over the seeds. Do not press down hard to form compacted soil.

Step 4

Sprinkle the planting area with water until wet. Do not flood the area with water since it will move the seeds out of position. Keep the soil moist while the seeds are germinating. Once sprouted, water the andrographis plants whenever the soil starts to dry out.

Step 5

Remove weeds when they appear, to reduce competition for soil nutrients and moisture. Andrographis flowers in 90 to 120 days after sowing.

Tips and Warnings

  • Andrographis is extremely bitter in taste. This bitterness runs through the roots, stems, leaves and flowers. In India, this herb is used as a wonder drug.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel Garden hoe Compost Rake Andrographis seeds Water


  • Purdue University: Bhuinimb or Kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata Nees.)
  • Flowers of India: Kariyat
Keywords: growing Andrographis paniculata, planting kiryat, kelmegh care

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.