Ways on how to grow and care for Monkshood Plants (Aconitum Napellus)



Monkshood Plants (Aconitum Napellus) is an herbaceous perennial flower that can fills a number of garden needs. Monkshood Plants is one of the few almost true blue flowers. This plant is native to mountainous areas, it is really a heat-tolerant plant. This particular plant is a tall plant that blooms late in the summer and handles partial shade very well. This plant actually gets its common name of monkshood from its resemblance to the cowl on monk’s habits. Research has shown that there are about 250 species of aconite, but the most commonly grown ornamental variety is Aconitum napellus.
This plant has been safely cultivated in gardens for hundreds of years. Monkshood Plants is a lovely flower, just make sure you use caution when handling it. This plant has smooth palmate leaves with deep lobes. This plant also has racemes of blue or white flowers which are borne on sturdy, unbranched stems. Also there are 5 sepals and the top sepal curves downward which give the flower its hood-like appearance. The actual petals are really hidden inside the hood. The botanical name of this plant is Aconitum napellus, why the common names are wolf’s bane, wolfsbane, helmet flower.
This plant is reliably perennial in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 through 8. In ideal conditions, Monkshood plant has been known to survive down to Zone 2.


The light exposure: This particular plant can handle both full sun and partial shade, although they prefer somewhat moist soil. By peradventure if you are growing them in a hot, dry area, make sure you give them a spot with some shade, most especially in the afternoon. If they are grown in shade, you really need to stake the Monkshood plants.

The mature size: From my little experience monkshood fills out to a nice size plant, reaching a height of about three to 6 ft. and also spreading to about 1 1/2 ft. Although the plant take several years to become established. Once they are established, they are a very long-lived plant.

The bloom period: From my experience flowering starts in mid- to late summer and will continue into the fall.


Monkshood Plants (Aconitum Napellus) Growing Tips

The soil: Monkshood Plants (Aconitum Napellus) actually prefer a soil pH that is neutral to slightly acidic, although it will tolerate other soils as long as they are rich, moist, and well-draining.

Starting Monkshood Plants from seed: Monkshood Plants can be started from seed, but it can be finicky about germination and it can take a year or more to actually sprout. You can start extra seeds and don’t expect them all to germinate. You can sow the seed from fall to early spring. The Monkshood plants need to go through a chilling period in other to break dormancy. Monkshood plants don’t really like to be transplanted, just sow them direct if possible. The plant can be ephemeral their first year, you don’t need to panic if they disappear.

The planting: This plant likes fairly rich soil. You can add plenty of organic matter before planting to add nutrients and to also help keep the soil moist, but draining well. You can plant or divide the monkshood plant in either spring or fall, make sure you avoid doing it in the heat of summer. This plant never “needs” dividing, but you can divide it if you actually want more monkshood plants. Don’t forget that the roots tend to break easily, make sure you handle with care. The plant is easier to divide if you really water them beforehand so that the soil adheres to the roots.

The watering of plant: Once they are established, the monkshood plant is able to withstand short periods of drought, but for the robust plants you can provide a moist soil or water them regularly.

Fertilizer Application: Under normal condition the feeding of the plant depends on the quality of the soil. You can start with rich soil that is high in organic matter. You can side dress with compost and some organic fertilizer each spring.

The maintenance of plant: This plant is actually a very low maintenance plant. They are late-season bloomers and they do not really repeat bloom, you don’t really need to deadhead. The monkshood plants will die back to the ground at frost.

Pest control: Monkshood plant does not have serious pest problems, most especially if they have good growing conditions. Monkshood plants are deer resistant. Due to its poisonous qualities, a lot of animals avoid the plant.

Insect control: Four-lined plant bug and leafminers can really mare the Monkshood plant leaves. And again mites can also stress the Monkshood plants.

Diseases control: Monkshood plants are susceptible to bacterial leaf spot, rust, and verticillium wilt.

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