Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

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Ashwagandha, also known as Winter Cherry or Indian Ginseng, is an annual medicinal herb plant from the Nightshade family. It is cultivated heavily in India and is native to parts of the Middle East, the Indian Peninsula, and the Himalayan regions. 

Ashwagandha is an annual or short-lived perennial that features elliptical green leaves and small white bell shaped flowers. The flowers grow into lantern like cases, which contain bright red cherries bearing dozens of tiny seeds. The root is ready to harvest 150 to 180 days after planting, just as the berries have formed and the leaves have begun to yellow. 

Ashwagandha is widely known for its medicinal properties in Ayurvedic medicine; the root being the most commonly used part. Taken as a tea or in tincture form, it is believed to reduce anxiety and depression, and to help achieve mental clarity and boost the immune system. Studies show that its potential medicinal effects are due to the presence of alkaloids and steroidal lactones within the plant that promote anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-stress, and antioxidant effects. It's a great medicinal plant for any herbalist's garden! 

Ashwagandha is an essential herb in our medicinal garden and food forest.  We carefully harvest its roots in the fall by digging up the entire plant and separating the roots from the base of the plant.  We remove the red berries (seed pods) from their lantern casings then sun dry the roots and the seeds separately.

Plant Type:
Annual Herb

Harvest Season: 
Fall, Winter (multiple harvests per year depending on planting). 

Ashwaganda root is ready to harvest 150 to 180 days after planting, just as the berries have formed and the leaves have begun to yellow. 

Mature Size: 
Up to 2-3 ft tall and wide and can be grown in deep planters.

Soil & Moisture: 
Performs best in high, dry, sandy soil with consistent watering. Drought tolerant once established.

Light Requirements: 
Full Sun, Part Shade

Self-Fertile: 
Yes 

Growth Rate: 
Fast 

Zone Hardiness: 
Outdoors 4+; Patio/Greenhouse 4+ 

Propagation: 
Our Ashwaganda is grown from seed and capable of harvest within one growing season

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