Perennials & Ornamental Grasses

Planting Holy Herb - Santolina in the garden or tub


The saint herb (Santolina) is still quite rare in our gardens. If you want to plant the evergreen subshrub, you will find the instructions and tips here.

© Bernhard - Heiligenkraut is one of the daisy family. The botanical name 'Santolina' can be traced back to the Latin word “sanctus” for holy and “linum” for flax. Holy herb is mainly found in the Mediterranean. The attractive subshrubs are a rarity in our gardens. The holy herb is easy to cultivate and conjures up Mediterranean charm in the bed. With planting, you lay the foundation for healthy growth. What needs to be considered can be read below.

Heiligenkraut - plant description

The evergreen subshrubs have branched growth. There are upright, but also low-lying species. The height of growth is ten to sixty centimeters. The hairy leaves are another characteristic of the plant. The leaves are alternate. The leaves are usually pinnate. The white or yellow flower heads appear between June and August. The inflorescences are basket-shaped. The plants emit an aromatic scent, which is less attractive to insects.

Holy herb - distribution and use

The main distribution area of ​​the plant genus Santolina lies in the western Mediterranean. The plants are also widespread in northern Africa and southern Europe. The holy herb was first mentioned in an herb book written by William Turner in 1629. At that time the plant was classified as new and very rare.

Only about three types of the saint herb are used worldwide as ornamental plants. In England, the plants used to be used as bed borders. Today the saint herb can often be found in Mediterranean gardens. The plant also receives attention in the rock garden or for the design of roof gardens. Popular companion plants are lavender, roses, bluebells or tulips.
Santolina in the rock garden - © Alusha - The leaves of the saint herb are edible and can refine meat or pasta dishes. Fresh holly herb can also be used to protect against insects. The dried parts of the plant sell fruit flies or moths.

Plant holy herb - find a suitable location

The Mediterranean plants love a bright and sunny location. The holy herb prefers to be sheltered from the wind and does not like to take a cold shower. Therefore, a location under one roof lends itself. So the plant is well protected from rain and wind. The plants can also be cultivated very well in the tub and find an ideal location on the balcony or terrace.

Plant holy herb - select substrate

If we look at the natural distribution area of ​​the saint herb, it becomes clear that the plant prefers a rather dry soil. The plants also cope with poor soils. Calcareous soils are also tolerated. Therefore, the holy herb can also be safely poured with tap water. Particular attention should be paid to the permeability of the floor. The plants do not tolerate waterlogging. Therefore, the liquid should always drain off easily. If the soil is too moist, the roots will die off.

" Tip: Conventional garden soil can be mixed with sand or gravel to better meet the demands of the Heiligenkraut.

The ideal substrate is a stony sand or clay soil. Soil quality should range from neutral to alkaline.

Planting holy herb - step by step

The best time to plant the saint herb is spring.

  1. Select location
  2. Prepare the soil
  3. Dig out the planting hole
  4. Incorporate drainage
  5. Insert the plant
  1. Note planting distance
  2. Fill in the substrate
  3. Close the planting hole
  4. Water the plant well
After choosing the right location, the soil must be cleared of roots and weeds. Then check the soil quality. The planting hole is dug out about twice the width of the root ball. Before the plant is used, drainage must be worked into the soil. This permanently prevents the occurrence of waterlogging. Sand or gravel is laid on the bottom of the planting hole. This allows the liquid to drain better. Now the plant can be placed in the ground.

" Tip: The saint herb should not be planted deeper than it was in the plant pot beforehand.

The Holy Herb appears particularly pretty, set in small groups of three to five plants. A planting distance of 30 to 40 centimeters should be maintained. After the substrate has been filled in, the plant is watered. The floor can then be covered with grit or gravel.

➔ Overview of tips and advice

Find locationChoose a warm and sunny location for the plants.
It is an advantage if you can offer wind and rain protection and place the Heiligenkraut, for example, under an eaves.
The plants can also be placed in the tub and placed on the balcony and terrace.
Prepare the soilThe Holy herb prefers a dry and nutrient-poor soil.
Make sure that the substrate is permeable, because the plants are sensitive to waterlogging.
Herbal soil mixed with lava granules is suitable for planting pots.
Plant holy herbThe planting hole should be about twice the width of the root ball.
When planting in the group, a planting distance of 30 to 40 centimeters must be observed.
After planting, the Holy herb is easy to water.

Plant holy herb in a bucket

Are you lacking space to plant a bed or are you only gardening on the balcony? Then you do not have to do without planting holy herbs. The plant does very well in a planter or planter and makes beautiful arrangements with lavender, bluebells and other summery ornamental plants.

Planting in a tub generally poses greater challenges for the hobby gardener, because tub plants are not quite as easy to cultivate as a plant that is grown outdoors. Holy herb in particular is very well tolerated by dry matter and therefore requires little maintenance when cultivated outdoors. However, the daisy needs to be watered regularly in the bucket. The nutrient supply of a container plant is rather limited, so you have to stay active here throughout the growing period.

➔ Choose a suitable planter

There are also a number of things to consider when choosing a planter. The planter should not only be of sufficient size, but also have enough drainage holes in the ground. If this is not the case, the liquid builds up in the plant pot and even a heavy rain can be enough to put the Mediterranean plants to rot.

" Tip: If you place the planter in a saucer, it must be emptied regularly so that no liquid builds up there either.

When choosing the potting soil for planting pots, herb potting soil can be used. You can add Perlite or lava granules. Again, it is important to create a drain on the bottom of the bucket. By adding a layer of gravel or lava granulate, you improve the drainage properties of the water. In addition to regular watering, a good nutrient supply to the tub plant must also be ensured. During the flowering period, a sufficient liquid nutrient supply for the saint herb in the tub can be provided every two weeks with a commercially available liquid fertilizer - in low concentration.