Aaron’s beard (Hypericum calycinum) is an evergreen shrub worth growing for its beautiful foliage and bright yellow, cup-shaped flowers.
This garden favorite is in leaf all year long, while the flowering period happens between June and September, followed by the ripening of the seeds in the early fall season.
This ornamental plant does not require much maintenance, but you need to make sure that your plant enjoys its environment and it is taken care of properly.
Aaron’s Beard Care Tips
In this article I’ll cover the plant care details you should focus on to help your plant reach its full potential.
Hypericum calycinum is a fast-growing plant that can grow up to 12-18 inches tall and 18-24 inches wide. During the blooming period, it produces 3-inch wide, yellow flowers, each having 5 petals with reddish anthers.
Aaron’s beard performs well as a groundcover for any location. It gives an excellent look to shade borders or woodland gardens.
This plant is shade and light tolerant as well, it can grow well in full shade, semi-shade, but it also enjoys gardens with no shade at all.
This Hypericum plant has different watering needs depending on its environment and age. If you have a new planting, make sure you water it daily for a couple of weeks. Later, you should water it thoroughly every two or three days.
When watering your plant, pour the water to the root zone. Water an area 6 to 12 inches from the base of the plant.
Soak the ground up to 8 inches every two or three days to keep the soil moist. You can check the moisture of the soil by digging a trowel or your finger in the soil. If the first 2-4 inches are dry, you can start watering your plant.
In the case of Aaron’s beard, the best watering tool to use is a soaker hose, so you can reduce water loss, while still being able to water your plant deeply. You can also use a watering wand with a sprinkler head.
Temperature & Humidity
Being native to southern Europe and southwestern Asia, Aaron’s beard enjoys warmer climates, but it also performs well during cold seasons too. It can survive temperatures as low as -20° to -10°F.
Although it enjoys shade, flowering can be more successful in a sunny environment. Try to place them in an area where your plant is protected from cold, drying winds.
Aaron’s beard performs best in well-drained soil, but it will also tolerate light, medium and heavy soils such as sandy, loamy or clay soil types. It performs well in acid, neutral, and basic soils and can grow in very alkaline soils too.
Whether your garden has well-drained soil or sandy soil, to help your Hypericum calycinum reach its best form, make sure you water it properly.
A great quality of Aaron’s beard that you won’t have to do much when it comes to fertilizing.
In case you still want to incorporate fertilization to your plant care routine, add fertilizer to the soil before planting. Already established plants should be fertilized in early spring.
You can also feed your plant during the growing season, but never apply fertilizer too late. Feeding your plant late in the growing season can make the plant less tolerant to early frosts.
To fertilize Aaron’s beard, you can choose from granulated, slow-release, liquid, organic or synthetic fertilizers. When making your choice, the most important thing is to find a solution with nutritional balance specially designed to help blooming.
Potting & Repotting
You can plant your Hypericum plant anywhere from spring through fall. Here are the step-by-step planting instructions:
- Prepare the bed: Break up the existing soil to 12-16 inches deep. To improve drainage and add some extra nutrients to the soil, add some organic matter. You can add manure, peat moss or garden compost for this purpose. It is recommended to add fertilizer to the soil before planting to encourage blooming. Add a granulated or all-purpose fertilizer labeled 5-10-5.
- Position your plants: Accord to the spacing and height suggestions on the plant label, position your plants. This might cause some headache, but what you aim for is to put your taller plants in the center or in the background of the landscape. This way shorter plants will be placed in the foreground, creating a beautiful aspect.
- Remove the plants: Gently remove your plants by bracing the base of the plant, tapping the outside of the container to help the soil loosen. You can rotate the container while tapping continuously until the plant pulls from the pot.
- Dig the hole: Try to dig a hole two times larger than the roots ball. Gently rake the roots apart and place the plant into the hole.
- Cover the planting hole: Fill the empty space around the root ball. Make sure that the soil is even with the surrounding soil. You can also add a thick layer of mulch to help the soil retain moisture.
Aaron’s Beard Propagation
When it comes to the propagation of your Hypericum plant, you can follow two methods: propagating from cuttings or from the root.
Cuttings: You can propagate your plant by taking little cuttings in late spring or early summer. The day before you do this, water your plant thoroughly to make sure the stems are full of water. Take 4 inches long cuttings and insert them into holes filled with rich potting compost.
Roots: You can also propagate your plant by division. Dig up your plant and separate the root ball into pieces. Be careful not to damage the roots. After you take the root balls apart, you can replant them.
Aaron’s Beard FAQs
In these FAQs, you can learn more about maintenance requirements, pest and disease control.
When Should Aaron’s Beard be Pruned?
You can snip off faded flowers or you can wait until the flowering period is over. Then you can remove the entire flower stalk. Foliage can be pruned through the seasons to control plant size.
What Insects and Disease Problems can Aaron’s Beard Have?
Usually, Aaron’s beard is very tolerant to insects and diseases. They are also resistant to honey fungus and deer.
Can I eat the Hypericum Berries?
Although Hypericum plants are used in medicine, their berries are very toxic to humans, so they shouldn’t be consumed as food.
As you can see, Aaron’s beard is not a fussy plant and it requires really low maintenance after you plant it. They enjoy a broad range of soils, so all you need to do is to make sure you water the soil according to the soil type.
Other than that, thanks to the bright yellow flowers of this evergreen shrub, you can enjoy a very unique plant in your beautiful garden.