The Majestic Angelica Herb

The angelica herb! My vague recollection when I first heard of the name at school was of a sweet green stuff that topped the icing on party cupcakes. I never dreamed that the sweet green stuff was once an actual living thriving plant.

Well, my curiosity got the better of me when I saw and bought a rather droopy, broken stemmed specimen going for the fraction of its price. As you may guess I knew nothing on how to go about growing it so what unfolded gave me a few unexpected surprises.

When I got it home I immediately watered it and propped up the broken stems with a garden stake. It worked. It took only a few days for the stems to repair themselves and I had a nice young plant to nurture.

There is a lot of food to be had from this herb. Leaves, stems and flowers can all be used in salads or the pot. But don`t throw away anglica`s medicinal roots. They are good for natural healing.

Angelica Herb Facts

Take note before you buy this plant or its seeds! Its life expectancy is normally 2 years. The first year it grows in a rosette fashion with the stems leaning or flattening out.

The colour of the lower stem is a striking pink against the bright green leaves which look very attractive and ornamental, but it doesn't grow very tall, doesn't flower or bolt this first half of its life span but dies down with the stems turning soft. To tidy up is just simply pull them out.

The second year it will re-appear early Spring. My plant was very early probably due to the dire weather patterns we are experiencing now in the UK. It popped through the soil at the end of January! Never-the-less, it grew to be rather spectacular.

A Very Delicate Angelica

Be prepared with stakes galore, you will need them! The hollow stems easily break as they shoot skyward at an incredible pace this second half of its life cycle.

Choosing the best location in your garden (behind the neighbours fence) or position on your patio or balcony will help protect it from the wind which is the main reason for broken stems.

It needs a good semi-sheltered spot from the hot sun too and ample water being a plant that naturally grows near water.

Here below is my crazy solutions to the above problems. Not particularly the norm but they worked! My motto is improvise, improvise, improvise!

The Flowering Season

The angelica herb can reach 6 to 7ft. Amazing! Do you still want it for your balcony? I would! Besides, if you love looking after our bees they will love you for your herb choice.

They are extremely attracted to it as are other insects like the hover fly. With an umbel shaped flower spiked with glistening honey dew stamens displayed at the end of each skyward bound stem, they buzz around it all day long filling up on the sweet nectar.

angelica in seed

But be amazed at what happens next. Those stamens turn into little green pill-shaped seed pods, ample supply to plant for next again year. It's after this happens that your herb will start to die back. You can clean up ready for the show all over again.

Food for All

One downside when growing this green giant is that too many garden pests love it. You will have a fight on your hands to stop it from being devoured before your very eyes.

My plant was munched by tiny caterpillars, blackfly, green aphids, and snails. Spraying with an organic insecticide early on and covering with a net until the flower buds begin to appear will help a great deal, cutting down on the onslaught so you can sit back and admire your majestic angelica herb.

Grow A Herb  –  Activity for kids
Angelica

Here are simple instructions for our young participants taking part in the Grow A Herb Today Activity. This is how to grow Angelica.

  1. You need compost and a pot. Fill the pot with the compost.
  2.  Place 2 or 3 seeds on top of the compost apart from each other.
  3. Cover over with just a little thin layer of compost.
  4. Water well and keep the pot in a warm room on a window sill or under a grow light if you don`t have a windowsill.
  5. If your seedlings do not germinate in a couple of weeks put them in a bag in the fridge for about 1 1/2 months and then restore them to their position on a room window sill.
  6. When the seedling grows to about 10cm plant in a big pot outside but not if the weather is frosty.
  1. HerbHints
  2. How to Grow
  3. Angelica

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