Growing Senna

Growing Senna

Growing Senna from seed to harvest. Senna is the fruit (pod) or leaf of the Senna plant. There are nearly 200 different species of senna. Examples of different Senna plants include Alexandria Senna and Italian Senna. Senna plants are perennials growing in height from 60cm to 1m, depending on the cultivar. The herb produces yellow flowers followed by broadly oblong, compressed and flat seed pods that turn brown when ready for harvest.

Growing Senna from Seed

Indoor Sowing: Late Winter and Spring

Direct Sowing: Spring.

  • Sow seed at 18-24C  in spring.
  • The seeds need to be scarified or else can be soaked overnight in warm water before planting.
  • If you start the seed indoors, use biodegradable peat pots to accommodate their taproots and reduce the risk of transplant shock.
  • Germination can take one week to three months.
  • The plant needs well drained soil.
  • It should be planted in full sun, but in areas with very hot summers it is best to grow in partial shade.
  • Grows very well in containers.

Maintaining Senna Plants

  • Senna plants are low maintenance plants.
  • They become drought tolerant, once well established. The plant prefers the soil to dry out between watering. Water regularly when the soil is dry, especially if growing the plant in a container, but do not over water. Water sparingly in winter.
  • Prune the plants to shape in late Winter and early Spring, removing dead growth.
  • Top dress or re-pot in Early Spring.

Harvesting Senna

  • The first harvest of the leaves can be done when the plant is about 2 months old, depending upon the total plant growth.
  • The harvesting of the leaves is done by hand so that most of the growing tops are removed at harvest; this also induces more branching.
  • A second harvest of leaves can be done when the plant  is about 3 months old.
  • The third harvest takes place when the plant is between 4 -5 months old. You can then harvest the leaves and the pods.
  • The harvested crop should be spread in a thin layer in well-ventilated drying area. It takes 10-12 days to dry completely.
Medical Disclaimer

Information is for educational and informational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment offered by healthcare professionals.

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