Growing Astragalus is easy and fun if you know all the details. To help you out, here’s detailed information on How to Grow Astragalus!
Astragalus is popular for its uses in medicines. This herb is native to China and Mongolia and is quite popular as an immune stimulant. Let’s have a look at How to Grow Astragalus t home easily.
Botanical Name: Astragalus membranaceus
Other Names: Astragale, Astragale à Feuilles de Réglisse, Astragale Queue-de-Renard, Astragale Réglissier, Astragali, Astragalo, Astragalus Membranaceus, Astragalus mongholicus, Astragli Membranceus, Beg Kei, Bei Qi, Buck Qi, Chinese Astragalus, Huang Qi, Huang Se, Hwanggi, Membranous Milk Vetch, Milk Vetch, Mongolian Milk, Ogi, Phaca membranacea, Radix Astragali, Radix Astragalus, Réglisse Bâtarde, Réglisse Sauvage.
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What is Astragalus?
It is a herbaceous perennial from the legume family. It has a short vertical or raised stem, densely covered with imparipinnate leaves. The inflorescence is a dense brush of yellowish flowers in the appearance reminiscent of peas, which turn into oval or egg-shaped beans after maturing.
It is easy to grow and has many medicinal uses, and its appearance harmoniously decorates the landscapes.
Propagation and Growing Astragalus
Astragalus seeds require treatment. First, you have to scrape the hard seed coat. You can do it by rubbing the seeds lightly on sandpaper. Scraping the outer hard shell will accelerate germination. However, ensure that the inside of the seed does not get damaged in the process.
The next step is to soak seeds in warm water overnight. After that, remove the seeds from the water and plant them.
You can either use a good quality seed starting mix for growing medium or make it yourself. The seeds must be first planted inside. Plant the seeds in a small pot or seed tray at least 2 inches deep.
Plant seeds an inch deep and keep the soil evenly moist but not damp until germination. Transfer them to larger pots once the seeds germinate and the seedlings are a few inches tall. It would be better to keep the pot in a place that receives morning sunlight.
Handle the plant carefully to avoid any damage to the roots. Make sure you place the plant in a spot that gets plenty of sunlight. Plant them outdoors in the spring, only when the danger of frost is over.
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How to Grow Astragalus in Pot
You can also cultivate potted Astragalus, but it is important to place them in a light-colored pot to avoid temperatures mounted black pots. Use a 6-8 inches pot for the plant.
Requirements for Growing Astragalus
It grows best in a sunny location. However, you can also plant it on a spot that receives shade in the afternoon. Do ensure it gets bright light for 2-3 hours every day.
Astragalus grows well in relatively rich soil that remains slightly moist with a pH level of around or just over 7. Go for any good quality and well-draining potting mix.
Make sure the soil is a little moist all the time. Water the plant when the top layer of the growing medium feels a little dry to touch. Do not let the soil go completely dry, and also refrain from overwatering the herb.
Mulch around the plant with compost or well-rotted manure every few months; this will also work as a fertilizer.
Fertilizing with natural organic fertilizer is enough. Still, if the plant is not growing well use balanced slow-release fertilizer according to product instructions.
If you are planning to use the plant for medicinal use, avoid the use of inorganic fertilizer and pesticides near the plant. Fertilizers and pesticides if used near the plant may affect and change the chemical composition of the plant enough to affect anyone taking a medical dose.
Astragalus are perennials and quickly become invasive in favorable conditions. It is important to perform an annual pruning to keep them in desirable shape.
Harvest the roots after the plant is three years old. After harvesting, clean and wash the roots with warm water, slice and dry them for later use.
To keep the plant living, harvest no more than 30 percent of small peripheral roots, leaving intact the main root.
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Is Astralagus Safe for Cats?
Yes, the herb is completely safe around cats, and even if they accidentally nibble its few leaves, it would pose no harm.
Is Astralagus Good for Lungs?
Astralagus is one of the most potent herbs that is widely used in a variety of lung tonics. It is also a great herb to increase resistance against respiratory infections and has uses in curing osteoarthritis and asthma.