How to Grow Aconitum

Monkshood is a very traditional perennial for the cottage garden. The plant is so well known for its toxicity that it plays a role in ancient Greek mythology, and folklore from Europe to India. So please don't eat it.


Latin Aconitum napellus Family: Ranunculaceae


Difficulty Germination can be challenging


Season & Zone Exposure: Prefers partial shade Zone: 3-8


Starting Aconitum seeds require stratification. Direct sow in the fall on the surface of the soil, and mark the planted area clearly. Or, moisten seed starting mix in seedling trays and sprinkle the seeds on the surface of the soil. Wrap the trays in plastic and refrigerate for a minimum of 6 weeks. Then place the trays indoors under bright lights. Transplant seedlings to individual pots after 8 weeks, and then outdoors when the weather permits. If starting indoors, provide bright light and a soil temperature of 15-18°C (60-65°F).


Growing Space or transplant 60-90cm (24-36″) apart. Water deeply and mulch plants on a regular basis. Stake tall plants in windy areas - the stems are quite strong, so it may not be necessary. Cut back to the ground in autumn. Divide every 3 to 4 years.




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