Growing Boneset: How To Cultivate This Low-Maintenance, Nursing Plant

Written by: Lars Nyman

Growing Boneset

Growing Boneset

Growing Boneset is a rewarding and enjoyable experience. The plant is popularly used to make herbal teas, which have a slightly bitter taste with a hint of minty sweetness. Boneset is also known to have many health benefits – it can help reduce fever and can be used to treat colds and flu. Growing this plant offers a great way to kick off an herbal healing journey, and its rewards are enjoyable whether you use it for health or just enjoy its taste.

Cheatsheet: Growing Boneset


🌿 Low-maintenance perennial plant
🌿 Natural insect repellent
🌿 Medicinal properties for colds, flu, and inflammation


  • 🌱 Sow seeds in well-drained soil
  • ☀️ Requires full sun to partial shade
  • 🌧️ Thrives in moist conditions


  • 💧 Water deeply once a week
  • 🍃 Cut back after flowering to promote growth
  • 🌱 Divide clumps every 3-4 years


🔪 Collect leaves when the plant is in full bloom
🌸 Dry and store in an airtight container


  • 💊 Infuse leaves for tea to relieve respiratory ailments
  • 🌼 Create soothing salve for skin irritations

Fun Facts:

🌍 Native to North America
🔬 Name "boneset" due to its use in treating dengue fever symptoms
🦋 Attracts butterflies to your garden

Growing Boneset: How To Cultivate This Low-Maintenance, Nursing Plant

Why Grow Boneset?

Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) is a hardy, low-maintenance perennial native to North America.

Boneset is an incredible addition to your garden for both medicinal and aesthetic reasons. This nursing plant is known to support a wide range of pollinators, making it an eco-friendly choice.

The plant thrives in moist environments and produces clusters of delicate white flowers. These flowers add a touch of elegance to any garden space.

Optimal Soil and Site Conditions

Direct sunlight and well-draining soil greatly influence the health and growth of Boneset.

Boneset prefers moist, rich soil but can adapt to less fertile conditions. Plant it in an area that receives full to partial sun.

Choose a spot near a water source for best results. If none is available, consider mulching to retain moisture.

Planting Boneset

Spring or early fall are the ideal times for planting Boneset. You can start from both seeds or cuttings.

If sowing seeds, sprinkle them on the soil surface and slightly press down. If using cuttings, make sure they're at least 4 inches long.

  1. Prepare your soil with compost.
  2. Plant the seeds/cuttings 12-24 inches apart.
  3. Water immediately after planting.

Maintenance and Care

With minimal care, Boneset thrives and flourishes, attracting beneficial insects.

Boneset is incredibly low-maintenance, requiring little more than occasional watering during dry spells. It is also deer-resistant, adding to its easy-care appeal.

Prune dead leaves and stems in late winter or early spring. This will encourage fresh growth and maintain plant health.

Beneficial Relationships

Boneset is a great companion plant. It works well with other moisture-loving plants like Joe-Pye Weed and Swamp Milkweed.

The plant also attracts a plethora of pollinators. Bees and butterflies love Boneset, making it beneficial for the entire gardening ecosystem.

First-Hand Experience

Observing pollinators attracted to Boneset is rewarding and educational.

"When I planted Boneset in my garden, I noticed an immediate uptick in bee and butterfly activity. The lush greenery and beautiful blooms were a bonus.”

Its rapid growth and minimal needs make it a must-have for both novice and seasoned gardeners. In my experience, it's the perfect plant to add beauty and ecological value to any garden.

Now get out there, plant some Boneset, and watch your garden transform into a thriving, buzzing ecosystem.

Frequently Asked Questions about Growing Boneset:

1. How do I grow boneset?

Plant boneset seeds in well-draining soil, in a sunny or partially shaded area. Keep the soil consistently moist until seeds germinate.

2. When is the best time to plant boneset?

Plant boneset seeds in early spring or sow them directly in the fall for a head start in the following year.

3. Does boneset require special care?

Boneset is a low-maintenance plant that thrives in most conditions. However, regular watering and occasional fertilizing can promote optimal growth.

4. Can boneset be grown in pots or containers?

Yes, boneset can be grown in pots or containers as long as there is sufficient space for its roots to grow. Choose a medium-sized container with good drainage.

5. How tall does boneset typically grow?

Boneset can reach a height of 3 to 5 feet when fully grown. Pruning can help maintain a more compact shape if desired.

6. Does boneset attract pollinators?

Absolutely! Boneset flowers are a magnet for bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, making it a great addition to any pollinator-friendly garden.

7. Is boneset invasive?

No, boneset is not considered invasive. However, it can self-seed and spread, so it's important to monitor and control its growth if necessary.

8. Can boneset be used medicinally?

Yes, boneset has a long history of being used medicinally. Its leaves and flowers can be made into teas or tinctures to help relieve various ailments such as cold and flu symptoms.

9. Are there any other uses for boneset?

Aside from its medicinal properties, boneset can also be incorporated into dried flower arrangements or used as a natural pest deterrent in the garden.

10. Can I divide boneset to propagate it?

Yes, boneset can be divided in early spring or fall to create new plants. Make sure each division has a healthy root system and replant them promptly.

Growing Boneset is great for both gardens and pollinators! It's easy to care for and provides a great source of nectar and pollen for bees and butterflies. Not only that, Boneset has long been used in traditional medicine for alleviating fever and pain, so having some on hand for home healthcare can be beneficial. In addition, you will have a beautiful perennial in your garden that can grace it with fragrant white flowers during late summer. So why not give it a try and join the many people who are discovering the benefits of adding this wonderful plant to their garden!

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