Best St. John's Wort Varieties and How to Care for Them

Best St. John's Wort Varieties and How to Care for Them

st. johns wort in basket

Sunny, uplifting, and decorative - the effervescent St. John’s Wort shrub is sure to provide you and your landscape with three seasons of appeal!

People have used Hypericum flowers as herbal medicine to combat depression and decorate their landscapes for millennia! You'll find a range of St. John's Wort plants for sale right here at Nature Hills Nursery, and you can be assured you're getting St. John's Wort varieties that bring a healthy addition to your landscape.

Sunny Bundles of Cheer - St. John's Wort

There are over 500 species of Hypericums, and they range from trees to woody subshrubs to deciduous perennials. It's important to understand that not all St. John's Wort plants are the same, despite having similar characteristics. The sheer diversity of this plant family has allowed it to thrive around the world!

st. johns wort

St. John the Baptist is celebrated with a Holy Day of June 24. Blooming European native Hypericum perforatum plants were traditionally hung above door frames to ward off evil spirits on the eve of St. John's Day.

Mounded to creeping forms, lovely blue-green to silvery-green foliage, fall color, and winter interest, St. John's Worts have so much more than their brilliantly golden-yellow buttercup-like blooms and long-lasting nature! Each radiant blossom has an enchanting spray of the vivid yellow spark-like stamen that explodes from the center of each flower only adds to their appeal!

St. John's Wort can be a deciduous shrub during the cold, while others are evergreen to semi-evergreen in mild winters, or they may even die back to the ground in harsh winters.

A 'Wort' By Any Other Name

What's a "wort"? A Wort in Old English is an ancient term that translates to medicinal 'plant', but can be traced further back to Proto-Indo-European entomology of "root".

Nature Hills Fantastic St. John's Worts!

st john wort bee

We only grow plants that were developed by top plant breeders, like Proven Winners®, First Editions®, and Iowa State University. These mounding plants offer green to blue-green foliage and yellow blooms through the summer, without the pain of deadheading!

Attracting tons of beneficial insects with vital nectar and pollen resources, Hypericum also has seed capsules or showy berries or ‘hips’ for winter décor. Long-blooming, seldom bothered by deer, cold-hardy, and sporting colorful fall fruit, St. John's Worts are cheerful garden additions. Check out all the wonderful St. John's Wort varieties at Nature Hills!

Best Hypericum for Landscape Specimens & Focal Points

irst Editions® Cobalt-n-Gold™

  • Albury Purple - Unique red/purple foliage and red berries, native cultivar
  • First Editions® Pumpkin - Glowing orange-pink berries
  • First Editions® Cobalt-n-Gold™ - Fall color and wide-spreading
  • First Editions® Red Star - Fall color & red-orange berries
  • Proven Winners® Golden Rule® - Fantastic fall color & spreading nature

Best Hypericum For Groundcover & Erosion Control

ames st john wort blooms and buds

  • St. John's Wort - Native to Southern Europe and Southwestern Asia
  • Sunburst - Evergreen-semi-evergreen foliage and red-brown berries
  • Ames - Evergreen to semi-evergreen foliage and shiny brown seed pods
  • Sunny Boulevard® - Evergreen/semi-evergreen foliage & tight branching

Best Hypericum For Cut Flower Gardens

beauty st johns wort

  • Beauty™ - Bright green foliage and rosy-salmon berries
  • Glory™ - Caramel-orange berries in the fall
  • Green - Green foliage and bright green fall berries
  • White - Unique creamy white berries in fall

All St. John's Worts are fantastic pollinator plants, and space-saving shrubs that exude bright color and fall/winter interest!

The European native Hypericum performatum has several common names, such as Tipton's Weed, Rosin Rose, Goatweed, and Aaron's Beard. Hypericum frondosum varieties are gorgeous little space-saving shrubs and Hypericum x inodorum hybrids have the best of both worlds! Hypericum kalmianum can have semi-evergreen foliage in warmer climates. Creeping Hypericum calycinum can spread and create lovely mats and carpets of color and is native to Southern Europe and southwestern Asia! Hypericum densiflorum is the native US variety.

Medicinal Qualities

st johns wort in bowl

St. John's Wort supplements tout this herb as a curative for anxiety, PMS, and depression. Topically, Hypericum has been used to treat cuts and burns. Recent studies suggest the effectiveness of this herb in treating ailments including cancer, inflammation, and bacterial and viral diseases, and as an antioxidant and neuroprotective agent.

We don't recommend that you ingest garden-grown Hypericum though. Discuss St. John's Wort supplements with your physician, especially if you are taking prescription medicine, then visit your local health food store for more advice.

But we like to say it's the cheerful blooms and working outside in your garden that can help boost your mood!

St. John's Wort Care

Blossoms of spotted St Johns wort

Go ahead and enjoy growing many happy blooms from our curated collection! Our St. John's Wort plants thrive in tough conditions, and deer tend to leave them alone. It's widely adaptable to many soil types (except marshy, wet soils) and can be grown in full sun or partial shade. Make sure St. John's Wort plants receive at least four hours of direct sunlight a day for the best flowering display and color.

Hypericum doesn't have much preference for soil type, they do prefer rich, sandy loams. Just be sure to provide well-drained soils since St. John's Wort cannot tolerate wet feet! A generous layer of mulch retains moisture and insulates the root system from heat and winter's chill. Prune while dormant to control the size and shape however, these really do their best in locations where they're allowed to be themselves. Most species bloom on new wood so pruning in early spring before they start to grow will not affect flowering.

Established plants tolerate a bit of drought, are usually avoided by pests, and grow vigorously with very little fussing over.

Well-Behaved St. John's Wort Plant Landscaping Ideas

outdoor st. johns wort

Plant St. John's Wort as a ribbon of color at the edge of your shrub borders, or along the front walk. A durable Hypericum hedge brings smiles all season long! People have had tremendous success growing St. John's Wort in large containers, too!

St. John's Wort is widely used as a groundcover and in Rock Gardens. This works especially well with creeping St. John's Wort. These ornamental flowering shrubs can also be used to fill in the bare ground at the feet of mature evergreen trees, especially those with very competitive root systems. Pair it with other plants that will show off their graceful, natural form and fit into a naturalized planting.

Loving full sun as well, St. John's Wort brings a fantastic bright color to a formal planting bed as well as informal plantings, sunny country borders, mixed-shrub borders, and informal hedges. An excellent choice for low screens and privacy!

The spreading, suckering nature of some of these varieties makes them perfect for erosion control, steep slopes, and en masse where they can really shine. Don't worry about those out-of-the-way areas attracting deer, those uninvited guests will usually leave this plant alone!

Pollinators & Florists Love Them!

picked st. johns wort

They will certainly brighten up the landscape, and you'll love seeing the butterflies and bees gather their nectar. Don't forget to include these flower factories in Pollinator gardens.

Professional florists use the cute, capsular fall fruit in cut flower arrangements so they’re a must-have for Cutting Gardens, too! Your cut flower beds are a natural place for these intriguing plants, and every florist will be familiar with the botanical name 'Hypericum'. If you don’t use them in bouquets, the seedpods add incredible winter interest, they also fill out your tablescapes amazingly.

Hardy Hardworking Hypericum!

Count on to help guide you to safe landscaping plants that perform beautifully in your garden. Check out more info on planting and flowering shrub care in our Garden Blog!

Like planting sunshine in your garden, you won’t go wrong with the tough, adaptable, and cold-hardy St. John's Wort flowering shrub!

Happy Planting!

Shop Flowering St. John Worts Here

← Previous Next →