Zone 9 is a warm, lush environment that takes plants that know how to take the heat. It is a tropical paradise, but that doesn’t mean that all plants love to grow there. When you’re in the market for a specialty garden, like a medicinal plant garden, you need to know which ones will take that kind of temperature. Medicinal gardens are fun for the history and lore value, perhaps not so much fun to use as an actual medicine chest. Never take plants as medicine without completely checking them out and before telling your doctor of your idea. These medicinal plants are all able to take the heat of zone 9.
Wedelia (Wedelia trilobata)
This fast growing vine has shiny foliage and yellow-orange flowers. It grows to 10 inches tall in a mat-forming growth pattern, making for a good ground cover plant. It prefers to have full sun or partial shade with a moist well-drained soil. It is, however, adaptable to most growing situations. Propagate by division. Historically, the leaves were crushed into a poultice or made into a tea for the cold and flu symptoms. If grazed on by livestock, it can cause abortions in pregnant farm animals.
Japanese Blood Grass (Imperata cylindrica)
A fast growing perennial that is also drought tolerant, the Japanese blood grass grows two to four feet high with a bright green leaf blade. Tops are sharp and blooms are white spikes. It grows with acidic soils in full sun or partial shade lighting conditions. It propagates through seed or rhizomes. Medicinally, it is an old remedy for cancer, diarrhea, gonorrhea, night sweats, piles, tumors, and rheumatism. It is a poor forage because of the sharp leaves.
Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)
This perennial water plant has clusters of leaves and non-showy greenish-white to pinkish-white flowers. It grows in a creeping form. Gotu kola likes to grow in full sun conditions in a flooded site or a water garden. It should be propagated by the runners, seed, or by separating the parent plant. It is a medicinal plant of Oriental, Ayurvedic, and Chinese medicine. Gotu Kola is used for mental disease, circulation problems, liver problems, hair loss, inflammation, intestinal complaints, and for immune system deficiencies. In the Western world, it has shown signs of healing wounds, decreasing inflammation, and improving circulation.
Making a medicinal garden can be a fun theme. Telling visitors about the plants lore and history can make for interesting conversation among other gardeners. For more plant choices that have a rich backstory in being a medicinal plant, check out the Related Content.
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