Common names: Valerian

Subject to variety Valerian can be an annual, herbaceous perennial or evergreen shrub, and originates from Eastern Europe.

Valerian root is sometimes used for sleep problems (insomnia) although it is recommended that you consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details before trying this out.

Some supplement products have been found to contain harmful impurities/additives.

The variety Valeriana officinalis is the variety commonly grown in British gardens

This bushy shrub has scented pinnately lobed leaves and terminal sprays of small, white, pink or yellow flowers that appear in summer.

They grow to 1.5 metres (5ft) high and spread to around 1metre wide (3ft)

It prefers a sheltered spot in full sun or partial shade and is suited to most soil types,provided they are well drained.

Pink Variety
Typical Shrub formation
White Variety

Pest and Diseases:

They are generally trouble free.


Being deciduous they do not require pruning other than cutting back to ground level after leaf fall.


They can be propagated in a number of ways for example:

Sow seeds circa Week 13 pricking them out when large enough to handle and growing them on in pots or a nursery bed until planting out time circa Week 40.

Circa Week 17 take basal cuttings from new growths at the base of the stem/s and grow these on in a similar manner to seedlings.

Circa Week 40 to Week 13 the following year mature shrubs can be divided.

Plant the divisions immediately in their new locations or grow them on in suitable sized pots and grow them on in a coldframe until the following Spring when they can be planted where desired.

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