Our broadleaf plantain is a wonderful and easy to grow medicinal selection that is attractive and useful for a wide range of ailments. Great for eczema and bug bites of all kinds, plantain is a must-have for any herbal garden. Very easy to grow.
Common name: Broadleaf Plaintain
Botanical name: Plantago major
Type: Self seeding herbaceous perennial.
Scarification/Stratification: Cold treatment for a couple of weeks helps germination.
Hardiness: -30 F
Sow temp/season: 30-40 F. Late winter to early spring.
Sow depth/spacing: Sow 1/8” deep and press into soil.
Germination time: 4 days to a month.
Final spacing: 6 inch spacing.
Final height/spread: 8 inches tall and 12” wide
pH range: 5-8
Soil type: Most garden soils will work fine.
Nutrition Grows best with a dash of compost here and there.
Drainage: Will tolerate poor drainage.
Water requirement: Can grow in flood zone or seasonal drought. Grows best with water as with most plants!
Sun: Full sun to part shade. At least 5 hours of direct sun.
Root type: Fine roots that delve 6-8 inches deep and equally wide.
Time to maturity: Can harvest leaves in 50 days. Will set seed the first year.
Hilling: None needed, but one can add a 1 inch layer of mulch in the late fall, letting them emerge in the spring
Propagation: Sow seed in a minimum of ¾ inch pot or plug, than transplant up to a 1 gallon pot. Direct seeding works fine for plantain.
Hybridization: Keep different varieties a minimum of 50 ft apart to ensure genetic purity if one intends on saving seed.
Uses: The leaves are astringent, demulcent, deobstruent, depurative, diuretic, expectorant and hemostatic. Used most commonly as a poultice or in herbal healing salves. On the farm we use it for all insect bites. It eliminates the burning and the itch within seconds. Pick a leaf, chew it into a pulp, apply to sting area and cover with a bandaid or tie secure with a nearby blade of grass.