Saint John’s wort, a basket of sunlight in the garden!

Saint John's wort

Saint John’s wort is a shrub with abundant blooming which requires practically no care at all.

Key St John’s wort facts

Family – Hypericaceae
Type – shrub

Height – 1 ½ to 6 ½ feet (50 to 200 cm)
Exposure – full sun, part sun
Soil – rich enough

Foliage – evergreen
Flowering – May to October

The penetrating yellow light that its flowers share is remarkable and will attract all eyes to the garden.

Planting Saint John’s wort

What is recommended is to plant Saint John’s wort in fall to support root development.

But still, you can also plant in spring, as long as you water abundantly at the beginning and over the following summer if the weather is hot and dry.

In a container, you can also plant in spring or summer, provided you water regularly.

  • Find a very sunny spot for it.
  • Saint John’s wort can tolerate any type of soil, even poor soil.
  • Place the plant somewhere you’ll notice its bloom, because all those yellow flowers will boost your mood!
  • Refer to our guidelines for planting shrubs

Pruning Saint John’s wort

Prune your Saint John’s wort at the end of winter or at the beginning of spring, before the first buds start opening up, to ensure you’ll have optimal blooming.

Pruning every year isn’t necessary, but if you run the shears along the bush every 2 or 3 years, you’ll ensure your Saint John’s wort will keep a compact bearing. Occasionally, a growth spurt will hit a single branch and make it grow long and leggy. Don’t be afraid to cut it shorter if it’s not growing in a direction you want it to go: it will branch out and make the shrub grow denser, and you’ll get more lush blooming later on, too.

If the foliage has dried out and the shrub looks bare and sparse, feel free to cut back to the ground and new shoots will start growing from the stump.

  • St John’s wort can take severe pruning when performed at the right time (early spring).

Deadheading St John’s wort

St John’s wort is a repeat-blooming flower. Removing wilted flowers will encourage new blooms.

However, because fresh flowers grow alongside forming fruits, this sometimes isn’t very easy, depending on the variety and the size of the flowers.

Learn more about Saint John’s wort

St John's wort flower and fruitA very appealing shrub with distinctive yellow flowers, Saint John’s wort is also a herbal plant used by many in herbalism to fight depression!

It is also liked for its evergreen leafage.

Its name, Saint John’s wort, comes from the day it can usually be harvested in Europe, the Feast of Saint John. A particularly renowned species is Hypericum perforatum, which has small translucent glands within the flesh of its leaves. If you look through the leaves towards light, you’ll notice uncountable tiny holes.

Since this is an easy plant to grow and care for, you’ll have great results thanks to its hardiness.

In rocky ground, shrub beds, or even in pots or garden boxes, place it wherever you’re certain to see it so that the bright colors and beautiful flowers may light up your day.

Saint John’s wort is found either as ground cover or as a shrub, which makes it an ideal plant to grow in the ground and in pots.

Most Saint John’s wort varieties are herbaceous plants.

Interesting Saint John’s wort varieties

St John's wort hedgeHypericum andosaemum – This is the ideal specimen to set up low-lying evergreen hedges. This variety never grows any taller than 32 inches (80 cm) and bears cute little yellow flowers.

Hypericum citrinum – As its name shows, its flowers are a luminous ornamental lemon-like color.

Hypericum inodorum – This very hardy and resilient Saint John’s wort will also bear innumerable flowers.

Hypericum moserianum – The mottled pink and green leaves make this one particularly appealing. Floral buds are pink and the flowers burst to reveal a striking yellow hue.

Hypericum patulum ‘hidcote’ – Considered by many to be highly ornamental, this Saint John’s wort bears very many flowers and truly illuminates your garden.

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Smart tip about Saint John’s wort

It also makes for great hedges, because its rapid growth will quickly break the view to and from your neighbor’s.

Just remember to prune it very early in spring because flowers will only appear on new sprigs that will start growing in the middle of spring.