Valeriana Species, All Heal, Garden Heliotrope, Valerian

Valeriana officinalis

Family: Caprifoliaceae (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info) (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Valeriana (va-ler-ee-AH-nuh) (Info)
Species: officinalis (oh-fiss-ih-NAH-liss) (Info)




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Adana, Adana(2 reports)

Union Grove, Alabama

Seward, Alaska

Berkeley, California

Kiowa, Colorado

Pueblo, Colorado

Temple, Georgia

Ashton, Illinois

Evanston, Illinois

Inwood, Iowa

Sioux Center, Iowa

Manhattan, Kansas

Barbourville, Kentucky

Prospect, Kentucky

Falmouth, Maine

Lisbon, Maine

Portland, Maine

Douglas, Massachusetts

Feeding Hills, Massachusetts

Mashpee, Massachusetts

Southborough, Massachusetts

Adrian, Michigan

Constantine, Michigan

Ferrysburg, Michigan

Marquette, Michigan

Andover, Minnesota

Marietta, Mississippi

Eunice, Missouri

Helena, Montana

Lincoln, Nebraska

Middletown, New Jersey

Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Croton On Hudson, New York

Hilton, New York

Naples, New York

Charlotte, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Corning, Ohio

Grove City, Ohio

Newark, Ohio

Astoria, Oregon

Eagle Point, Oregon

Bellefonte, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

North Scituate, Rhode Island

Salem, Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah

Great Falls, Virginia

Wytheville, Virginia

Gold Bar, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Stanwood, Washington

Vancouver, Washington

Green Bay, Wisconsin

Spooner, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 21, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Connecticut has banned trading, transporting, or planting this species as a noxious weed and an invasive plant destructive to natural areas.


On Jun 7, 2011, wonkyostrich from cardiff,
United Kingdom wrote:

i bought this plant and planted it up in my clay soil and it seems to be doing ok and is flowering with tall white blooms that look very nice although i am aware that this is not a native of britain and was introduced in the 19th century as a captive herb but self seeded and is now considered as native because it covers the whole of the country and is a pest to get rid of but it is a very nice plant to give height to a garden border.


On May 23, 2008, gardenwife from Newark, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

A friend gave me starts of valerian five or more years ago and it has never taken over any place I've planted it. It thrives in the fairly dry beds I have it in, too. The fragrance is so sweet, just outstanding, and I love its ferny foliage.


On Jul 13, 2006, Joy from Kalama, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Valerian roots will give a cat the same sense of ecstasy as catnip. Valerian is a mild stimulant. Though it doesn't do any harm, it shouldn't be given to cats with kidney ailments.

My cats seem to prefer Valerian over Catnip.


On Jan 29, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Valerian is nice in the back of a garden where it doesn't tower over smaller plants. Because of its straight, long stalks, it seems to provide the look of a garden structure as much as a plant. It is slow to germinate.


On Nov 3, 2004, Kruch72 from Elgin, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

Spring to early summer bloomer with fragrant flowers that smell like vanilla. Plant doesn't need staking very sturdy. Nice fern-like foilage all summer. Spreads on it own runners.


On Apr 22, 2004, mominem from Ashton, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

This plant will grow quite happily in a container and overwinters without needing to be mulched or protected. The seedlings are easy to pull although they do tend to pop up at quite a distance to the mother plant. Seeds are carried by wind. Deadheading will provoke a second, smaller flush of blooms.


On Sep 8, 2003, saya from Heerlen,
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

I love its fragrance during late spring. Blooms at that time when there is so much to do in the garden. The scent is like almond blossoms and fills my whole garden. Wouldn't miss it for this. It blooms about 4 weeks in my garden. Attracts bees and butterflies. I have it in my garden for several years now. I have 'nt experienced it as spring I may find two or three seedlings, easy to recognize and easy to pull out. I have medium dry/moist soil conditions for it.


On Sep 7, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Staking valerian as it grows its floral stalks helps it keep a flower appearance, rather than a weed appearance.


On Aug 10, 2001, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

Valerian grows wild along the roadsides ditches and in wet meadows. The plants get 5-6 feet tall when they're happy in a moist soil. It has a very sweet fragrance that perfumes the air for several weeks in early summer. The roots of the plant are used as a medicinal herb - a mild sedative. It's an aggressive spreader ao make sure to give it plenty of room or plant it were it won't crowd out other plants.