How To Grow Motherwort


Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) is a biennial herb used for many conditions, especially those affecting women. It's native to Europe, although one variety, Siberian motherwort (Leonurus sibiricus), hails from Siberia, China and Tibet. All varieties are attractive plants in the mint family that sport leaves that are "deeply and palmately cut into five lobes, or three-pointed segments," according to In its second year of life, motherwort sends up a flower spike that can grow to 5 feet tall and that contains literally thousands of seeds, which often self-sow and give you more motherwort plants the following season. It is adaptable to many climate zones.

Step 1

Sow seeds in nursery pots, flats or directly into your garden. If you start them in pots, fill pots almost full with potting soil. Then sprinkle a few seeds on top and cover with ¼ inch of soil. To start seeds in the ground, choose an area with full sun, clear any weeds and then dig in some organic compost. Next, scatter your seeds and cover them with ¼ inch of soil or compost mixture.

Step 2

Maintain a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit---germination will occur within one to two weeks. Keep young plants well watered and make sure they get plenty of sunlight.

Step 3

Thin seedlings to 1 foot apart if you planted seeds in the ground. If you started them in pots, thin the weaker, smaller plants when they are 1 or 2 inches tall. This makes it easier to transplant the hardy plants into the garden later.

Step 4

Transplant 4-to-6-inch seedlings into the garden after your final spring frost. Leave 1 foot between plants. Water your plant(s) every two to three days until they grow larger and can withstand a drier environment. After motherwort is established, it can be quite drought tolerant.

Step 5

Start more plants from cuttings after your motherwort reaches 1 to 2 feet tall.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always check with your doctor if you are considering using any medicinal plants or herbs.

Things You'll Need

  • Motherwort seeds
  • Small nursery pots or flat
  • Potting soil
  • Sun
  • Water
  • Compost
  • Garden space


  • Mrs. Grieve's Modern Herbal
  • Siberian Motherwort
  • Seed source
Keywords: motherwort herb, gardening medicinals, growing healing

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens" and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to "Big Island Weekly," "Ke Ola" magazine and various websites. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at University of California, Santa Barbara and her Master of Arts from San Jose State University.