Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a plant in the Solanaceae or Nightshade family that has been grown and used as an adaptogen for over 3,000 years in India and the East. It is one of the major herbs of Ayurveda. It grows very well in Hawai’i, and could be part of your family's backyard medicine chest. It is one of the herbs my family occasionally uses for helping to keep the immune system healthy.
Ashwagandha grows easily from seed, but it can take about 3 weeks or more to germinate in a pot with evenly moist potting mix. When the plant has 2 sets of mature leaves, carefully transplant into its own pot and grow it up a little more before transplanting it out in the garden. Let the plant grow for about one year. Usually, Ashwagandha is harvested in the late fall, when the plant begins to decline after it seeds. I use the woody roots dried and chopped for tea, but you can also use the leaves and stems.
Please consult your medical care provider before using herbal medicine, particularly if you have a known medical condition or if you are pregnant or nursing. You are responsible for your own health. As with conventional medicine, herbal medicine is vast and complex and must be used responsibly.
Spacing: Plant 3-5 feet apart when transplanting into the garden
Days to Maturity: 1 year or more
Germination time can take anywhere from 3-8 weeks, so be patient. Seed should be lightly pressed into the soil, as it needs sunlight to germinate. Keep soil lightly moist. Challenging to germinate, but then will last for years. Drought resistant when older.
30 seeds per packet
Seeds grown in Kainaliu in mauka Kona.