How to Grow Jupiter's Beard (Centranthus)

Views: 15824 | Last Update: 2009-02-04
Jupiter's beard, or centranthus, is a gorgeous perennial plant from the Mediterranean. Learn about Jupiter's beard and it's ability to handle frost with help from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardening tips. View Video Transcript

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Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen and in this segment, we're going to learn all about how to grow Centranthus, or Jupiter's Beard, and it's a grow...gorgeous perennial from the Mediterranean. Now, Valerian, or Centranthus, or Jupiter's Beard, is native to the Mediterranean areas, so Northern Africa to Southern Europe. And so it likes great ocean conditions, and it can handle frost, quite a bit. All the way down to zone five. So it can handle quite a bit at freezing temperatures, and again, it can go up to zone ten, which would be Northern Africa where it gets quite warm and it doesn't have any break in the winter. It stays warm all winter long. Now Jupiter's Beard, or I've heard it called Goat's Beard, as well, or Valerian, is so easy to grow. In fact, these particular starts, you can see the hot, hot pink flowers. I just love the shape and the color of the flowers, and so do butterflies, they're a great butterfly plant. And when they're all in bloom, they're just so vivid, it's gorgeous. And plants always have a story, and this particular plant has a story. When I was a nineteen, I was a bridesmaid, and when we had the bridesmaid fitting for the dresses, we went to a little old ladies house, and she had a bunch of Valerian or Jupiter's Beard in her front yard, and they were just gorgeous and I told her I said "these are beautiful, what are they?" She goes "they're Jupiter's Beard. Have a start!" And she just pulled a start out of thee yard, and she just cut 'em and it didn't even have a root. They don't even necessarily have to have a root to grow. You just set 'em in water, and they will produce roots. Well, I planted them in my yard at the time, and moved a couple times since, and I gave 'em to one of my friends, and she has a bunch in her yard. Well, I remembered that she had them still, and now that we live in a new area where I haven't planted any Centranthus yet, I asked if she still had some, and of course, she had lots of 'em 'cause they multiply very quickly, so she gave me a start back. So that's the great thing I about plants. I love to give friend's starts knowing that if I ever need 'em back, I can get 'em back from them. So basically, you can start 'em by seed, or by division, and you can just take any branch and stick it right in the ground or put it in water, and it'll set roots. Or you can actually start 'em by the root themselves, and you just plant 'em in full hot sun with good drainage because they don't want to sit in water ever, and they can get lanky. You can always chop 'em down, and they'll even come up and bloom some more. And they'll bloom all the way through the fall and then they'll die back when it freezes hard and then just come back in the spring again. So they're a perennial, you don't have to start 'em by seed every year. To start 'em by seed, you can do that as well in the spring. You just put 'em in some soil and start 'em by seed, and then they'll come up and bloom all summer, and then die back in the fall. But they're a gorgeous plant for your garden with a long history.