Ashwagandha is a nightshade with ginseng-like constituents. Highly prized in Ayurvedic medicine, the dried root is used for helping a sickened libido, low energy levels, and has a history of use for sedative, an anti-diabetic, and a general tonic.
Common name: Ashwagandha
Botanical name: Withania somnifera
Type: Depending on your location, is either a woody evergreen shrub or herbaceous perennial.
Scarification/Stratification: None needed.
Self fertile: Yes
Hardiness: Zones 8 to 11. Hardy to 15F but keep out of the snowy areas in winter. It doesn’t like to be cold AND wet.
Sow temp/season: Early spring, indoors. Definitely get an early start.
Sow depth: Sow 3/8 inch deep
Germination time: 14 to 21 days
Final spacing: 12 to 24 inches
Final height/spread: 2 to 3 feet tall and 12 to 24 inches wide
pH range: 7.5 – 8
Soil type: Stony is best!
Nutrition Moderate with some limestone for calcium.
Water requirement: Allow to dry between sparse waterings.
Root type: Thick, tuber-like, extremely aromatic roots
Companion plants: Best left by itself.
Pest and disease resistance/susceptibility: Not particularly susceptible to pests or disease.
Sun: Full sun to dappled sun.
Time to maturity: 100 days, but 200 days is ideal for harvesting the root.
Hilling: None needed.
Hybridization: Not a concern
Uses: Aphrodisiac, low energy levels, and has a history of use for sedative, anti-diabetic, and a general tonic.