The Inula plant also known as Elecampane root is an herbal perennial plant that has value as a medicinal as well as an ornamental presence in the backyard. There are actually different types of Inula plant that is useful to the landscape and also at home. Continue reading to learn how to grow Inula plants.


Inula Plants Info

The Inula plant is a bushy herbaceous summer flowering plant. The Inula plant blooms from July to October in most zones and it produces five inch blooms with slender rayed petals in yellow and deep orange-yellow. Most of the species of the plant are hardy to USDA planting zones five to eight. The Inula plant is a low maintenance plants that usually get only about one to one and half feet tall with a similar spread. On the other hand, the Inula helenium may get as tall as six feet in appropriate conditions.  

Furthermore, the rockeries, perennial gardens and borders are actually the perfect areas for growing Inula plants, although you can also use the plant in container gardens. Some of the types of Inula plant are native to North America and they are found in damp pastures, roadsides and unmanaged fields.  


Elecampane Root Varieties

There are about one hundred species in the Inula genus. A vintage herb, Inula helenium is an ingredient in absinthe, vermouth and some perfumes. Most types of the Elecampane root have herbal qualities and have been part of treatments for digestive ailments, respiratory illness and to also enhance the immune system.

The Chinese had information about Elecampane root that showed them useful in Eastern medicine as well as the source for xuan fu hua, an important scent.  

Inula helenium and I. magnifica found growing wild in the United States have naturalized when they escaped from cultivation. The majority of the genus is native to central Asia. Inula verbasscifolia is native to the Balkans and Italy and has foliage like lamb’s ears, with fuzzy white hairs.


How to Grow Elecampane root

The seeds can be started indoors in flats six to eight weeks before the date of the last frost. You can transplant them outside when soil temperatures have warmed to at least sixty degree Fahrenheit. Plant them twelve inches apart and keep the seedlings well watered. The Inula plant will often form only vegetative growth the first year but will flower prolifically the next year. The plants in some climates will spread each year and they will require division approximately every third year. In a perfect condition they can also self seed.


Caring for Inula Plant

 Elecampane root actually need plenty of space to grow, also a well drained soil and a sunny location. The Inula plants are tolerant of a range of soil types, but make sure you avoid heavy clay soils which do not drain well. You can prune back the Inula plants in early spring to remove the dead stems from winter. The Inula plants have few pests and disease problems. The Inula plants are relatives of aster plants and they benefit from a top dressing of manure around the base of the plants in spring. 

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